La Régalade, Beaune

The cooking of this restaurant's wonderfully exuberant chef, Marie, is every bit as good as Pierre Rovani has said. It's earthy, rich cooking filled with flavor (the price is relatively high for the Burgundy locals). The frog's legs are to die for, as is Chef Marie's eggs and truffle dish.

The wines included a stunning 1990 Chave red Hermitage, which was a bit more evolved than from my cellar. It was a beautifully rich, cedary, full-bodied offering with great intensity, elegance, and aromatics. It was nearly matched by a spectacular old Burgundy, the 1964 Charmes Chambertin from Clair-Dau, a vigorous, complex, incredibly savory wine. I could have sworn that 30-40% of this bottle was old vine Grenache given its power and similarity to a top-notch Châteauneuf du Pape. However, enough Pinot character comes through to make it a riveting drinking experience. There is a touch of amber to the medium ruby color, but the wine is full-bodied, very expansive, and incredibly fragrant. What a treat!

Lest I forget, Ramonet's 1983 Montrachet was stupendous - still youthful at 20 years of age, but with mind-altering intensity and power. My guess is that it carries at least 14.5-15 % alcohol.

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