I selected this dinner to attend during Triangle Wine Experience. Louis Kressman, a Frenchman living in NYC, was the representative for the Joseph Drouhin wines and was probably glad to escape the coming storm in NYC. We had a 2011 Joseph Drouhin VAUDON CHABLIS as aperitif and with the dessert cheese course. This was one of my favorite wines of the evening. It had the crisp minerality I seek in Chablis--flinty with lemon and lime accents. It caused a slight puckering on the finish but I like that acidity. The Chablis vineyard was undersea at one time and has crushed oyster shells in the soil substratum. I ordered a couple bottles for pickup later (was offered for $21 at the dinner.)
With our first course we switched to the Oregon estate and had 2011 DOMAINE DROUHIN ARTHUR CHARDONNAY, DUNDEE HILLS. I preferred the Chablis.
I believe the 2008 MAISON JOSEPH DROUHIN CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET was served with the pork terrine dish (or maybe with crawfish or trout--I'm not sure of the order of the dishes.) While the wine was pleasant, I found it refined but a little bland, a pale version of a Chassagne. Others were more impressed. I generally gravitate to Chassage- or Puligny-Montrachet and was very fond of a Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet I tasted in April 2010. Not sure of the vintage of that one (2006 or 2007) but I liked the mouthfeel and chewiness of it and thought its delicate buttery flavor would be good with lobster or crab. The 2008 just didn't do it for me but to each his own.
The next wine was 2010 MAISON JOSEPH DROUHIN CHOREY-LES-BEAUNE. Semi-transparent in the glass. Cherries on the nose and also on the palate. Pretty color but dim lighting prevented any assured judgments on the shade of crimson. Slight tartness but very enjoyable. I ordered for later pickup at $24.
With short ribs (delicious and fall-off-the-bone tender) we had the Gevrey-Chambertin (2010? somehow I missed writing down the vintage but it was on the menu which may still be in my car.) I liked this and found it less masculine than some GC but decided to order the Chorey-les-Beaune at about half the price. One of the men at my table said he found the Gevrey-Chambertin three times better than the Chorey-les-Beaune, so again, to each his own. I did end up ordering the 2007 Gevrey-Chambertin at that tasting in April 2010 where I had liked both the Chorey-les-Beaune and the GC, so maybe I'm just being more frugal this time around. Can't really find fault with either of the two reds. Maybe I can order the Gevrey-Chambertin from a wine store later on. We also had a chance to order the Oregon Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir but without a chance to taste it so I passed on it.
Then we revisited the Vaudon Chablis with Chevrot cheese. Vin Rouge is a French bistro-style restaurant and always worth an evening out. My companions at the table included two musicians (one directs the Duke University Symphony Orchestra) so conversation covered music, travel in Europe, wine collecting and other topics.
It was raining most of the evening and I wisely splurged on a taxi ride to and from the restaurant and my hotel so I didn't have to worry about driving in the rain after sampling all those wines at the dinner. (However the cost of the taxi rides could have bought one bottle of the Gevrey-Chambertin--c'est la vie.)