Dinner with Friends at Petit Louis
Another delightful meal at the best bistro in Baltimore (Charm City's only bistro). A meal consisting of their perfect Eggplant Napoleon with goat cheese, olives, tapenade, and very intense and perfumed herbs, followed by a simple steak and French fries, was matched up with a 1993 Auxey-Duresses from Leroy. The wine was slightly maderized but had real intense flavors. I am worried about its color and direction. Drink up. Once again, one of the irregular vintages for both white and red Burgundy, it proves to be disappointing. That was followed by a gorgeous bottle of 1998 Cordier Pouilly-Fuissé Vers Cras, young, vibrant, and still in need of maybe another year of bottle age. After that a stunningly perfumed 1998 Rocca Barbaresco Loretto got us in the proper frame of mind. Full-bodied, lush, with some new oak, and loads of black cherry flavors intermixed with tobacco, this is a beautifully balanced, elegant Barbaresco to drink over the next decade. Following that, a great bottle of 1995 Marcoux Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes was reaching full maturity. The wine is majestic and, like so many of this estate's vieilles vignes cuvées in the top vintages, it is just the essence of blackberry liqueur intermixed with licorice in almost liqueur-like intensity. It was followed by an absolutely brilliant magnum of 1990 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf du Pape. This wine is not yet mature but very vibrant, full-bodied, and a magnificent example of this great vintage for Châteauneuf du Pape.
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Petit Louis Bistro
A lookalike, authentic French bistro, Petit Louis in Baltimore's Roland Park is the creation of restauranteurs par excellence Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman. You feel like you’ve walked into a bistro on the Left Bank of Paris when you enter Petit Louis. The food is classic bistro, and they do it well. All of the courses we had were flavorful, sometimes a trifle rustic, but delicious in their intensity. This was good comfort food prepared extremely well. The wines started with one of the major surprises for me over the last year, the 2006 sparking wine from Tony Soter in Oregon. I had this several times while I was out visiting Oregon, and I had always been impressed, but this is a 10-year-old sparking Rosé that is just sensational, and I’m talking world class—it’s that good. Something this good from France would cost at least two to three times as much, so kudos to Tony Soter. The 1995 Billaud-Simon Chablis Mont de Milieu was oxidized and undrinkable. The 1996 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Clos St. Urbain Rangen de Thann was sweet, and although it went well with the foie gras, it was just a little too unctuous and sweet a wine...