More about the Chateau and Georgie in a moment, but first, about the lunch itself: it was such a wonderful reminder of why I–and I suppose all of us–love wine so much. I love to settle in with a glass of something delicious all by itself, but there’s something transcendent when you have just the right great wine with just the right food. It can be downright revelatory.
If you’ve never dined at Georgie, it’s well worth a visit. All of the dishes we had at the luncheon are available on the regular menu, so if you see something here that looks good–go get it!
We started out with a thoroughly impressive pairing–Prieuré de Montézargues rosé (one of the labels owned by the Chateau), with a single, perfect oyster escabeche, a Galician preparation topped with a meticulously brunoised pepper relish. When an Amuse-bouche is placed in front of you and you reflexively grin at the sheer aesthetic loveliness, you know you’re in for a good time.
And so the rest of the lunch progressed–yellowfin poke and the Chateau’s 2012 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc; kale and tabbouleh salad with the astonishing 2012 Clos de Beauvenir, a Roussane-dominant blend and the estate’s top white. I will dream about this wine. My favorite of the starters, the herbed labne–a riff on tzatziki topped with cucumber, cherry tomato and pickled red onion–was paired with the 2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, which has aged beautifully, drinks beautifully, and still has years of (delicious) life in the bottle.
And those were just the whites.
On to the heavier plates and the lineup of the estate’s Côtes du Rhône Villages, Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge (2012 and 2006), and their Châteauneuf-du-Pape des Cadettes, their premier Rouge, made from a dedicated 20-acre vineyard under vines ranging from 80 to 100 years old. The food continued to impress as we moved into the heavier dishes, including some truly inventive pairings–especially the salsa verde marinated shrimp which made for a surprisingly spectacular pairing with the Côtes du Rhône Villages. My favorite dish served with the reds was the short rib ravioli (because come ON you know this is going to be good!) and the des Cadettes. FANTASTIC.
In short, Chateau La Nerthe produces some of the finest Rhône wines you’re likely to find–know that much (and those of you in the Los Angeles area can find them at Wally’s). The Chateau has a wonderful history, and I’ll be interviewing their export director, Christophe Bristiel, here in the coming days about that in detail.