The Wine: 1988 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne Romanee Malconsorts (Rating: 89)
The Match: Roast Duck. Good but not perfect.
Lucy found a fresh Pekin duck, which is unusual here as most of the ducks seem to be Muscovy. From her Scottish heritage, roast duck is her favourite dish. Roasted with potatoes and served with applesauce, French beans and some new Ontario asparagus I decided to match it with a burgundy I had hidden in the cellar.
In the spring of 1991 we visited the cellar of M. Cathiard, where the labels were just being applied to the 1989's, but they were not yet ready for prime time. Nonetheless we were delighted to acquire the 1988, a good solid year in Burgundy, when many sturdy but few ethereal wines were produced, to bring home for our cellar. At that time Sylvain Cathiard's wines were to be found only in very select locations, including La Tour d'Argent in Paris.
Still chilled coming out of the cellar, the nose was closed, opening to modest, but refined dark berries as it warmed by the fire. On the palate, initially somewhat astringent, again opening to restrained raspberry plum flavours and a long silky finish. Still plenty of structure, it tried mightily to keep up with the richness of the roast duck and accompaniments, but alas, fell short of perfect. A great experience nonetheless, if not up to the very best