Saturday, July 3, 2021

French Wine Dinner Al Fresco at Suzettes Creperie Wheaton

French Wine Dinner Al Fresco at Suzettes Creperie Wheaton 

We booked a dinner outside on the patio at Suzette's Creperie in Wheaton. Attracted by the delectable French cuisine, thoughtful Wine Spectator Best Award winelist, and outdoor dining, we were looking forward to a delightful evening. The final component of an ideal dinner outing was the acceptance of BYOB so I pulled from the cellar a vintage St Emilion to accompany my planned pate' or foie gras. 

We were joined by son Alec and daughter-in-law Vivianna. This was a special outing, partially in light of our fond memories of our spectacular trip together to Provence and the Luberon region of France two years ago. One of the highlights of that trip was a visit to the Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine appellation. Suzette's wine list featured several wines from the estates we visited during that trip. 

We dined on the quaint outdoor patio under the tent, likely a remnant of the Covid era, which had much the same feel of the patio garden under the tent as Restaurant Le Savoie where we dined in Marqaux during our trip to Bordeaux during that same trip to Provence.

I had been looking forward to ordering the Pâté and brought the Right Bank Bordeaux wine specifically for the pairing. We also ordered a selection of Appetizers that called for white wine and we chose from the winelist a very special limited release label. 

Chateau La Nerthe Clos de Beauvenir Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009
One of the highlights of our visit to Chateauneuf-du-Pape was a tour and tasting at Chateau La Nerthe where we tasted the special limited release bottle Chateau La Nerthe Clos de Beauvenir. This label is only produced in select vintages with small production of fewer than 250 cases of the special white wine in a release year. 
This is a blend of Rhone varietals, 60% Roussanne and 40% Clairette.

This was rated 95 points by Robert M. Parker Jr., 94 points by Wine Spectator and 93 points by Vinous / International Wine Cellar.

Golden colored, medium full bodied, expressive complex tropical fruit with  notes of pear and melon with floral tones and hint of vanilla on the finish. 

RM 90 points

This special bottle was a highlight to accompany the Sole Meunière entree and the appetizers: Spicy Coconut Shrimp with Red, Yellow & Poblano Peppers in a Creamy Coconut Sauce, Three Cheese Soufflé comprised of Bleu, Gruyère & Goat Cheese, and Shrimp Beignets.

Linda and Vivianna both ordered the Sole Meunière served in a butter-lemon Sauce with potatoes du jour & seasonal vegetables. 

Suzette Creperie Sole Meunière

I ordered the Beef Bourgogne Crêpe, made the authentic French way with a bottle or two of Red Wine, braised with mushrooms and carrots for six hours. 

Suzette Creperie Beef Bourgogne Crêpe
Suzette Creperie Beef Bourgogne Crêpe

Alec ordered the Duck Confit with rich duck jus on a bed of white and wild rice with seasonal vegetables.

Suzette Creperie Duck Confit

All the entree's were delectable, ideally prepared and presented.

Chateau L’Arrosee St Emilion Grand Cru Class 2000

I brought BYOB from our cellar this 2000 l'Arrosee, St-Emilion to pair and enjoy with the pate' and the beef bourgogne entree. 

Chateau L’Arrosee is named for an underground spring located on this Bordeaux estate in St. Emilion.

Founded back in 1868, L’Arrosee belonged to a member of the Council of Napoléon III, Pierre Magne who sold the estate to the French Ambassador to Austria. It was acquired by by the Dupuch family in the early part of the 20th century who produced the wines at the local cooperative until 1956. 

In 2002, Chateau L’Arrosee was bought by the Caille family who made extensive renovations to upgrade the vineyards and wine making facilities. They hired Gilles Pouquet as consulting winemaker who had extensive experience in St. Emilion having worked at Cheval Blanc, Figeac and several other notable Right Bank properties. 

In July, 2013, Chateau L’Arrosee was purchased by Domaine Clarence Dillon, the owners of Chateau Haut Brion in Pessac Leognan. They had recently purchased the St Emilion property Tertre Dugay, which they combined with L'Arrosee to form the renamed and re-branded Chateau Quintus.

Chateau L’Arrosee has 9.5 hectare St. Emilion vineyard planted with 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, with vines of an average age of 35 years. The wine is aged in 100% new, French oak barrels for 12 to 18 months with an average annual production of close to 3,500 cases a year.

This was rated 92 points Wine Spectator. 

Dark ruby colored, medium bodied, red berry and black cherry fruits with notes of floral, earth, herbes de Provence, sweet tobacco leaf, smoke and dusty rose with a moderate lingering tannin finish. 

RM 89 points.

The cork separated in half upon extraction by the server using a traditional corkscrew. It was then strained and decanted.