Wine & Food

Snooth User: Mary John Baumann, DWS

A Coalescence of Burgundy and Eli Zabar

Posted by Mary John Baumann, DWS, Mar 1, 2016.

On Friday February 26, I was fortunate enough to be the guest of Randall Restiano, Beverage director for the vast emporium of Eli Zabar's Old World driven wine portfolio.

The evening focus was a dinner at Eli's Table with winemaker Cyprien Arlaud of Domaine Arlaud in Morey-Saint Denis. Also presiding were Eli Zabar and the US importer Michael Skurnik.  For those of you unfamiliar with this under the radar Upper East Side wine bar and restaurant, run, do not walk to experience arguably the finest wine list in Manhattan. It is a mecca for Burgundy lovers.

The wines of Domaine Arlaud harken from Morey-Saint Denis and Chambolle-Musigny in the Cote de Nuits. The estate is biodynamic, producing wines of great purity and finesse on clay-limestone soils. Vines range from 32 to 60 years old. Oak is used sparingly for premier cru bottlings, averaging 25% new oak, while the grand cru wines receive up to 80% new oak for 16-18 months.

A decadent first course of seared Calves Brains with brown butter and capers was paired with multiple vintages of Morey-Saint Denis 1:e Cru Aux Cheseaux. The 2004 vintage was the lightest and most approachable, along side the more powerful 2005 and 2006 vintages. Just 11 years old, the 2004 was redolent of intense black cherry, smoke, earth and hints of leather. Both 2005 and 2006 were closed, but showed the structure for a promising future.

Housemade Colechino Sausage with French Lentils was accompanied by Morey-Saint Denis 1:e Cru Les Ruchots. Again, the 2004 was quite elegant, with bright lifted red and black cherry notes, rose petal and liquorice with a spicy, earthy finish. The 2005 and 2014 vintages followed, and both were infants requiring years of ageing.

A free range Poussin with seared Porcini mushrooms was the perfect pairing along side the Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin. Again, the 2004 vintage was brilliant with intense ripe red cherry fruit, savory earth and leather with an excellent backbone of acidity and great concentration and length.The 2005 had excellent structure, but was closed, as was the 2014 vintage.

Finally, a rich Beef Short Rib was a wonderful match to the 2006 Clos de la Roche. This youthful Crand Cru was light and lithe with great delicacy and finesse. It had the powerful structure to stand up to the assertive, rich meat.  Next, the 2006 Bonnes-Mares was a brilliant effort, needing time to grow up and show its many layers of pedigree, 

A visit to Eli's Table promises outstanding cuisine and a mind blowing wine list. Located on Third Avenue and 80th Street, it's easily accessible and promises a delightful experience.




Reply by duncan 906, Mar 1, 2016.

Sounds like a good evening to me

Reply by dmcker, Mar 1, 2016.

Haven't been to Eli's Table, but have frequented his shops since the '90s, and always been happy except, sometimes, for the price. Spent a few months around 9/11 staying across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and eating breakfast most mornings (when I needed to meet someone) at E.A.T. From well before that (the '80s), I've made regular pilgrimages to the family place across on the Upper West Side. Business trips always saw me loading up there (grabbing wine at Morrell's beforehand) at least once and then picnicking either in the Park or back in my hotel room. Eli's obviously full of energy and just keeps adding shops that he seems to manage most stringently, which obviously reflects in their quality. Next time in NYC I'll make an effort to hit his most recent, including the winebar and Eli's Table.

Here's the winelist. Wish I had access to it here in Tokyo. Perhaps many regulars on these boards may need a map and a compass, since nary a Sonoma may be found!  ;-)

Should we guess, Mary, that those were tasting menu portions?

Reply by JonDerry, Mar 1, 2016.

Like your style Mary, I haven't had a chance to try anything from Domaine Arlaud but have heard good things. My next stop is Arnoux-Lachaux in Vosne.

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