Monday, November 11, 2013

Clos Fortet Bordeaux for Paris Bistro French Cuisine Dinner

Clos Fortet Bordeaux for Paris Bistro French Cuisine Dinner

After a tumultuous day, we planned to dine out and to check out Paris Bistro in south Naperville. We went to see and support our friend Rosa who works there as a server. When we discovered it allowed BYOB,  we selected this eight year old Bordeaux from the cellar to take to accompany our French cuisine dinner. While they offer half priced bottles of wine on Monday nights, the selection is very limited and that offer does not apply to few the premium labels on the wine list, so we stuck with our BYOB selection.

Paris Bistro is part wine bar, part Boulangerie Patisserie, it promotes itself as a Rotisserie and Creperie. Its open for breakfast and lunch as well as dinner. While this is true, it doesn't do justice to its serious dinner entree beef and seafood offerings. The menu is simple and limited with a seafood and beef entree in addition to its crepe and rotisserie features. The menu is the handiwork of a local artisan chef who is eastern European but develops and serves authentic French cuisine. They offer a simple limited wine list of French labels to compliment each menu selection either by the bottle of by the glass. The selection included a couple of Crus Bourgeois du Médoc equivalent Bordeaux, a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and a varied selection of other reds and whites - mostly modest wines at frugal prices.

I chose the day's special, a beef shank on the bone served in onions, carrots and mushrooms in a red wine reduction that was delicious, with truffle infused whipped potatoes (shown left). Linda chose the other day's special selection, shrimp and sea scallops served on a bed of polenta. Both were moderate portions served in a stylish thoughtfully prepared presentation, and were tasteful. While prices for most of the menu selections offered good value, our daily special selections were priced at 'upscale' suburban or even 'city' prices (thirty+ dollars).

Prior to dinner, we had a featured plate of cheese, pate and olives in olive oil ($14), served with toast points. Three various cheese, creamy, soft and moderate, were served in this delightful offering which by itself would be a great small plate accompaniment to a couple glasses of wine. It was tempting to not try their by-the-glass selections with the plate but we had our BYOB Bordeaux which turned out to be a perfect complement to this plate as well as our entrees.

After dinner we enjoyed superb creme brulee and chocolate mousse desserts.

Clos Fortet 1er Grand Cru Classe St Emilion Bordeaux 2004

The Clos Fourtet château sits right outside the gates of the medieval city of Saint-Emilion and is one of the oldest, most renowned and frequently visited estates in the area. It is within walking distance from the luxury hotel and restaurant Hostellerie de Plaisance. The property has about fifty acres of vineyards planted with Merlot (72%), Cabernet Franc (22%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (6%).

Clos Fourtet has had several owners over the years and underwent a mini-renaissance under the stewardship of the Lurtons family who bought the property in 1949. The winemaker Pierre Lurton established the property`s reputation as one of the finest on the St. Martin plateau. He left to become winemaker at the esteemed Cheval Blanc and was replaced by Daniel Alard. In 2001, Clos Fourtet was bought by Paris businessman Phillipe Cuvelier who continued to modernize and develop the property

Clos Fourtet has had an exceptional run of terrific vintage releases in recent years. Robert Parker, the legendary acclaimed critic loves this wine and has praised their efforts in recent releases. Parker cited their 2003 a breakthrough vintage for this estate and their best ever. He said this 2004 was a worthy successor to the 'brilliant' 2003, however not as powerful. He gave their 2005 vintage a classic 98 points rating, and then he awarded the 2009 a perfect 100, saying 'it was one of the greatest young Bordeaux (he) had ever tasted'.

Tonight this wine was dark purple colored, medium to full bodied. Upon opening it burst with aromas of berry fruits. It was vibrant and bright with a symphony of youthful exuberant black cherry, black berry and blue raspberry fruits, accented by tones of  spice, creme de cassis and licorice, with hints of smoke and mocha, turning to a soft spicy lingering moderately tannin finish.

RM 92 points. RP 91-93 points.

I wish I had more than my few bottles of this to taste over the next decade or so.