Lucien Le Moine Dinner

$600.00 per person
Sold Out

When

6:30 pm Wednesday,
October 23, 2019 - October 23, 2019

WHere

POD

Details

Lucien Lemoine is a small, haute-couture négociant house was established by Mounir and Rotem Saouma in 1999. Their aim is to bring to the market each year a maximum of 100 barrels of premier cru and grand cru burgundy which they have raised in their vaulted cellars in Beaune according to their most exacting standards of élévage.
According to Rotem, her husband’s strength is that he can sniff out the quality and style of a vintage at a very early stage. They work closely with their barrel supplier, Stéphane Chassin, to ensure the right barrels for the style of a given wine, using wood from the Jupilles forest which is apparently the slowest growing in France, thus giving the most fine-grained wood.
Typically the wines end up with a soft, sweet-fruit character but otherwise little other evidence of new oak, and those I have tasted have displayed good typicity of their vineyard origins. They are not cheap. JASPER MORRIS MW

“Every vintage is the year of the century but this time it’s true,” said Mounir Saouma only half in jest about vintage 2016. Like a few of his colleagues, he compared ’16 and ’15 to ’10 and ’09, noting that ’15 and ’09 gave us our most mature grapes ever but that “in ’16 and ’10 we were surprised at the successful results.” He went on: “People learned from their mistakes in 2009 and did better in 2015; in this very warm vintage, many very fresh, fine wines were made. The ’16s were born by Caesarean: the baby was not sitting well, mom was hysterical and the doctors were in panic. So we cut out the baby and he’s a genius.”

The key in 2016, said Saouma, is how to bring out the tannins and keep enough energy without allowing the wines to dry out by the time they go into bottle. “There’s a fresh, mineral aspect to the vintage, but I’m a bit concerned that if we make wines with tannins that are too supple, we’ll lose length, but if we go in the direction of tannins, we risk having dry wines.” Still, he maintained that alcohol levels are “classical” (i.e., below 13.5%) and that acidity levels and pHs are good. In fact, he went on, the 2016 tannins are fuller-bodied than those of the ’15s, which since the beginning he has considered a bit soft and fragile. “With the ’16s, you can do anything you want to the tannins. The wines are not sensitive by nature, although there was a lot of sameness at the beginning. We started with fresh, crisp, clean, almost underripe grapes, and we had to extract in order for the wines to express terroir. And of course the tannins of 2016 will soften with longer élevage.” He went on: “Even for producers who torture their wines by racking, pumping and fining them and by bottling early, the tannins of ’16 will give their wines some protection, but 2015s made this way really suffered. The ’16s are about black fruits and spices but they also have flesh. There’s also an impression of acidulation-almost a flash of citrus-from the not-quite-ripe grape skins. It’s a vintage that’s full of life.” STEPHEN TAZNER

For some reason the wines of Le Moine do not have the rabid following here they do in Europe or the States. I for one have never understood that but I have had the discussion, ad nauseum, over the years. There appears to be a belief here that Negociant wines are not of the same level as those of the great Domaines even with the rise and rise of the Micro Negoce. I think producers like Mounir Saouma put that myth to bed quite emphatically.

To expand a little on what is covered by the comments by Jasper Morris I believe a critical factor in what makes these wines so remarkable is a combination of a couple of things. Firstly, while the Saouma family don’t give away their fruit sources it is commonly known that they have access to some of the best parcels from the best growers in the region, paying a premium to ensure that they have access to the greatest fruit in any given vintage. That certainly goes a long way to helping ensure that the quality here remains at the very top but great fruit is not all that goes in to crafting brilliant wines.

I have included the comments from Mounir as they are always enlightening and pretty entertaining. He does not always agree with the commonly held ideas of any given vintage and I love his thoughts on the 2016s.

There seems to be a little magic, or more likely a very serious intellect and a steady hand, here in the elevage. Le Moine’s reds usually have a glossy aspect to the fruit, a sumptuousness and deeply pitched nature. While a lot of new wood is used Mounir uses only one cooperage who he works closely with to ensure the right fit for each cuvee. While there may be some significant differences from wine to wine here, in terms of general winemaking, the real talent comes through in building texture and impeccably managed phenolics. At their best these wines can rival the great names of Burgundy, and often do, but patience is required for them to shine through properly.

While he is justifiably recognised as one of the top producers for reds in Burgundy there is a lot to be said about his whites. Here they may split the crowd a little as they are always intense, concentrated, powerfully built, showing abundant solidsy notes and plenty of smoky nuance from the long elevage which is part of his “house style”. They remind me in some ways of the whites from Leroy/d’Auvenay but with a more wild edge to them. In their youth the wines can seem a bit tightly bundled and for people unfamiliar with whites of this style perhaps a little confronting in their intensity. These are white wines that are built to age and the long ageing in the cellar ensures that they are actually capable of it.

It is a little hard to get across to people just how incredible these wines can be and in particular how the unique and special his white offerings are. So the only solution is to come and try them for yourself with the importer and long term Le Moine Tragic, Neil Thomson. Together we have put together an incredible night with a line up of these wines that should make for an unforgettable tasting to accompany a menu that Nicky Reimer is organising especially for the event.

This really is a night not to be missed by any serious Burgundy lover and with only 10 seats available it will go quickly. We would love for you to join us on the 23rd of October at Bellota for this intimate dinner and exploration of one of my favourite domaines and one look at offerings of one of the industries to geniuses. Seats are only $600 a head as the wines and food are being heavily subsidised. Do not miss this.

Hopefully I will see you there.

Cheers
Roscoe

Champagne on Arrival
Vilmart Blancs des Blanc Les Blanches Voies 2009

1st Course
King George Whiting,
Moreton Bay bug tail & broadbean beurre blanc

Lucien Le Moine Meursault 1er Cru Genévriers 2016
Lucien Le Moine Meursault 1er Cru Porusot 2016
Lucien Le Moine Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot Blanc 2015
Lucien Le Moine Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Grandes Ruchottes 2015

2nd Course 
Roast Kangaroo Island Marrons,
Caviar butter, corn crème

Lucien Le Moine Corton Les Grandes Lolieres Blanc Grand Cru 2016
Lucien Le Moine Criots Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 2016
Lucien Le Moine Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 2016

3rd Course 
Squab,
Roast breast, braised leg & boudin noir pie,
Black lentils, jus gras

Lucien Le Moine Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Mouches 2016
Lucien Le Moine Nuits St Georges 1er Cru Les Saint Georges 2016
Lucien Le Moine Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Feusselottes 2016
Lucien Le Moine Morey St Denis 1er Cru Rouge Reserve MS 2015

4th Course 
Pheasant galantine,
White asparagus, braised cos, peas & pancetta, madeira jus

Lucien Le Moine Griotte Chambertin Grand Cru 2016
Lucien Le Moine Latricieres Chambertin Grand Cru 2016
Lucien Le Moine Le Moine Clos de Vougeot 2013

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