Grand Vefour, Paris, France

After I washed my mouth out with some delicious Blanc de Blancs Champagne from Taittinger, we had two bottles of classic Bordeaux. Both were decanted at the beginning of the meal. The 1983 Pichon Lalande is fully mature and was more evolved from the cellars of Grand Vefour than bottles I own. It exhibits a ruby/garnet color as well as a beautiful nose of cedar, spice box, olives, and black currant fruit, medium body, and an elegantly nuanced style. Based on this bottle, this 1983 needs to be drunk over the next 4-5 years. The more rustic behemoth, the 1989 Montrose, is a large-scaled, chewy, dense offering revealing a garnet/purple color to the rim. It possesses huge aromas of beef blood, black currants, minerals, licorice, and earth. A staggering effort, it is not far off the mark of the perfect 1990.

At the end of the meal, the sommelier (who had somewhat of an attitude, unlike the other pleasant staff members) served us a glass of something blind. Despite the fact that I haven't tasted one in twenty years, I correctly identified it as a Pineau des Charentes. Bingo! After that, he offered us a magnificent Armagnac (something I rarely drink), the 1982 Francis Darroze Bas Armagnac.

By the way, this is the only Michelin 3-star restaurant in Paris that consistently excites me. However, the wine list is a major disappointment for a restaurant of this quality.

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