On this warm summer evening, three of us came from Long Island (one with a broken hip), one came from New Jersey, and one walked 3 blocks from her office to meet at 11 Madison Park for dinner and wine. It has been said before, but I will reiterate that 11 Mad Park is an ideal restaurant in which to enjoy an outstanding wine and food experience. We ordered off the regular prix fixe menu and brought our own wine.
With assorted appetizers of poached egg atop frogs legs and chanterelles, corn chowder with chunks of lobster and drizzled with bacon oil , and langostines with peas and carrots
1996 Domaine Caillot Batard-Montrachet – beautiful dark golden in color, it started out with a muted nose, but soon opened with aromas of honey and buttered popcorn. An elixir of burnt almonds and zest of orange, with a long nutty finish that coated the mouth – just lovely.
As we segued into the next course
1978 Guigal Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde – when looking around for a wine to bring, Kim remembered that I mentioned this wine from a dinner at Cru. It was fantastic then and showed beautifully last night. We would have done it more justice had we arranged to drink this with our entrees, but it needed to go before the remaining very young wines. A floral nose, and on the palate were sweet red fruit, some black olive leading to a smoky finish. It showed well for a 28 year old wine.
With our entrees of lamb with Moroccan spices, and tenderloin of beef were our final three wines
1999 Rostaing Cote Rotie Cote Blonde – a great, gamey nose. More tannic than the following two wines, it is full bodied, well structured showing earth and smoky, dark fruit.
2003 Rostaing Cote Rotie Cote Blonde – gorgeous black cherry nose, restraint prevents it from being a jammy fruit bomb, it shows sweet black fruit and a touch of spice with sweet tannins. The least Rhonelike of all the wines.
2003 Rostaing Cote Rotie La Landonne – pronounced nose of black cherries and bacon fat, full bodied with dark currant and a cocoa and dusty tannic finish.
With the cheese course, we continued with the leftover wine.
Wow – these were all great wines. I couldn’t (wouldn’t) pick a favorite, The last three wines were so easy to drink and enjoy. The 1978 was a treat, and the Batard, after the initial chill warmed up a bit, was stunning. Time restraints precluded us from opening our dessert wine, 1999 Essence D’Automme, Condrieu. We had the assistance of Sam, one of the sommeliers, and he seemed as excited about these wines as we. Service at the restaurant, after a small gaff, was tremendous. I would return in a heartbeat.