Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dinner with Owner/Winemaker Eric Bonnet of Domaine La Bastide Saint Dominique, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France/USA

Picture: Bistro Vivant Co-Owner Aykan Demiroglu, Eric Bonnet, Winemaker and Co-Owner of Domaine La Bastide Saint Dominique and Christian G.E. Schiller at Bistro Vivant in McLean, VA, USA

Bistro Vivant in McLean, Virginia (USA), known for its excellent French cuisine, hosted a special evening with Eric Bonnet, Winemaker and Co-Owner of Domaine La Bastide Saint Dominique, located in the Rhone region of France. We enjoyed a five-course menu, prepared by Co-Owner/Executive Chef Domenico Cornacchia (Assagi Osteria, Assagi Mozarella Bar and Bistro Vivant) and his new Bistro Vivant Chef Ed Hardy.

Pictures: Co-Owner/Executive Chef Domenico Cornacchia (Assagi Osteria, Assagi Mozarella Bar and Bistro Vivant) and Bistro Vivant Chef Ed Hardy

See also:
The Wines of the 2010 Giro d'Italia

It was a lovely evening with great wines and food, all well-orchestrated by Bistro Vivant Co-Owner Aykan Demiroglu and General Manager Shannon Paretzky.

Picture: Eric Bonnet and General Manager Shannon Paretzky

The Vineyard

The event was initiated by The Vineyard Wine Store in McLean. The prices below are The Vineyard prices for single bottles.

Picture: Eric Bonnet and Louis Cinelli, General Manager, The Vineyard Wine Store in McLean

Domaine La Bastide Saint Dominique

Domaine La Bastide Saint Dominique is a family-owned winery in Courthézon in the southern part of the Rhône Valley in France. It is owned by Gerard and Marie-Claude Bonnet, with their son Eric Bonnet, who visited us, as well as his wife Julie Moro.

Eric Bonnet: “My family has been making wine for a number of years now. My great-grandfather started it. He did not bottle the wine he made under his own label, but sold it by barrel to a negociant. My father started to bottle the wine in 1980.”

Pictures: Eric Bonnet Answering Questions

The family owns 38 hectares of vineyards in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC and other areas.

The vineyards in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC total 10.5 hectares, of which 1.8 hectares are set aside for white wine. It comprises 7 different lieux-dits: Chapouin, la Gardiole, Pignan, la Guigasse, les Bédines, Valori and Saint Georges. Eric Bonnet: “Our oldest vines were planted in 1920 in Pignan. A further area was planted with Grenache after World War II, and in the course of the past 20 years or so, the range of grape varieties was expanded 2 more times: with Syrah in 1989 and with Mourvèdre in 2006.”

The Bonnet family also owns 28 hectares of vineyards where they produce white, red, and rosé Côtes du Rhône wines, as well as vin de pays, or ordinary table wine.

Finally, Domaine La Bastide Saint Dominique is a vignerons/negociant, i.e. the Bonnet family also buys grapes/wine in bulk from other growers/winemakers. For example, the 2 Hermitage wines we had were negociant wines.

Eric Bonnet

Eric Bonnet learned winemaking in Burgundy. He studied enology in Beaune and joined his father in 2000. Eric focusses on the cellar, while his father takes the lead in the vineyard.

Pictures: Eric Bonnet, Christian G.E. Schiller and Annette Schiller from Ombiasy Wine Tours

For more on Ombiasy Wine Tours see:
Ombiasy Wine Tours: Bordeaux Trip Coming up in September 2013

Bistro Vivant

Bistro Vivant is Bistro/Brasserie in the heart of McLean in the greater Washington DC area. Effective February 11, 2012, Ed Hardy has taken over the kitchen. A native of Richmond, Hardy graduated third in the 2007 class of the former French Culinary Institute in New York. From there, he went on to work for some of the biggest names in the food business. Under Marcus Samuelsson, he was a line cook and sous chef at Aquavit and Red Rooster, respectively; under Gabriel Kreuther, Hardy served as a sous chef at The Modern and MoMa cafes. Most recently, he consulted for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group at the Columbia Firehouse in Alexandria.

Pictures: At the Dinner

The Menu

Picture: The Wines

Pike Quenelles on Toast

Picpoul, Pays de Mediterranee 2010 ($12)

A fresh, crisp, fruity summer wine with lots of acidity.

Maine Lobster and Grilled Seafood Sausage, Sauce Nantua

Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc "Andreas" 2011 ($50)

A white Châteauneuf du Pape. Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. A cuvee made for Eric’s son.

Eric Bonnet: “The grapes are pressed right after the harvest and fermented at 16°C by means of lactic acid fermentation. After that, the wine stays on the wine lees for six months and is finally filled into the bottles after a slight filtration procedure.”

Light, bright gold in the glass, notes of peach and white flowers on the nose, a medium-bodied wine, notes of grass coupled with hints of honey on the palate, a round wine with a good finish.

Rabbit with Fennel and Olive Broth + Rabbit Terrine with Clove spiced Quince

Lirac 'Reserve Saint Dominique' 2009 ($22)

Lirac is an AOC along the right bank of the Rhône river in the southern Rhône, situated between Orange and Avignon. It is named after the village of Lirac. On the opposite river bank is Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Medium purple ruby in the glass, notes of Kirsch and black fruit on the nose, fine structure, notes of roast earth, black and red fruit on the palate, long, fresh finish.

Vacqueyras 'Reserve Saint Dominique' 2010 ($22)

75% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre and 10% Syrah.

Vacqueyras is an AOC in the southern Rhône wine region, along the banks of the River Ouvèze. It is primarily a red wine region. Located only a few kilometers south of Gigondas, Vacqueyras is often called the little brother of Gigondas.

Medium purple ruby in the glass, notes of blue and black fruit on the nose, spicy tannins on the palate, citric tannins mildly coating the insides of the lips, bright finish.

Smoked and Pan-Fried Veal Sweetbreads with Jerusalem Artichokes, Watercress, Black Truffle and Anchovy Dressing

Chateauneuf du Pape "Les Hesperides" 2007 ($70)

In 2008, Eric Bonnet decided to create a new wine and gave it the name Les Hespérides.

50% Grenache - 10% Syrah - 40% Mourvèdre

Deep ruby in the glass, notes of red fruits and flowers intermixed with incense, licorice and ink on the nose, good structure, blending richness and energy smoothly on the palate, excellent clarity and persistent spiciness on the finish.

Vivant Cheese Selections and Green Tomato Moutarde Preserve

Hermitage 2004 ($80)

Hermitage is an AOC in the northern Rhône wine region of France south of Lyon. It produces mostly red wine. Syrah is the primary grape.

Deep ruby in the glass, notes of plum, meat, and spices on the nose, solid acid/tannin backbone on the palate, full-bodied and mouth-filling, more open, more approachable than the 2005.

Hermitage 2005 ($80)

Deep ruby in the glass, notes of blackcurrant, gunflint and tobacco on the nose, a bigger nose than the 2004, full-bodied with good acidity and sweet tannin, still a bit closed on the palate. Hermitage is typically at its best between 10 and 20 years after the vintage, but the greatest examples from the strongest years can go on for several decades. This one should be put aside for many years.

Post Dinner Celebration

As it turned out, this was Domenico Cornacchia's birthday and there was a small post dinner celebration in a small group.

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The Wines of the 2010 Giro d'Italia

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