Philippe Faure-Brac, Meilleur Sommelier du Monde 1992 is again hosting Les Vendredis du Vigneron ...
Par Margaret Kemp

Philippe Faure-Brac, Meilleur Sommelier du Monde 1992 is again hosting Les Vendredis du Vigneron, a fantastic opportunity to discover new wines. There's room for about 15 guests around the table d'hôtes in the vaulted stone cellar of Faure-Brac's chic Paris bistro, opened in 1992.

"Les Vendredis" are booked well in advance by wine afficionadoes, regular clients and visitors to Paris. And, always present, on Fridays, are Les Vignerons invited by Faure-Brac to introduce their wines at lunch and dinner. The first Friday showcased Domaine Jessiaume's Grands Vins de Bourgogne. The vineyards are located in Santenay a village in the Loir-et-Cher region of central France, at the foot of the Côte de Beaune wine region. Jessiaume comprises 15 hectares of vines in one of the world's most sought after, valuable and prestigious wine regions. The multi-layered lime and marlstone soil, bedrock and drainage of Burgundy, are ideal for growing pinot noir and chardonnay grapes.

Heading the Domaine are brothers Marc and Pascal Jessiaume, fifth generation wine-makers. Owned and managed by the Jessiaume family since the 1850's, the vineyards produce about 80% red and 20% white wines. In 2006 Jessiaume was bought, for £3 million pounds, by Sir David Murray, wine lover, businessman and Chairman of Glasgow Rangers Football Club (where Gordon Ramsay once played). " Sir David leaves us to concentrate on improving the quality of the wines, while he takes care of the commercial side, it's a perfect arrangement", said Marc Jessiaume; brother Pascal was back in Burgundy, minding the store". For the first Friday Faure-Brac and chef Guillaume Saluel created a seasonal lunch menu around Domaine Jessiaume wines. The Domaine's myriad of cellars have a collection of 100,000 bottles dating back to 1908, so plenty of choice then.

En aperitif Auxey Duresses 1er Cru Les Ecusseaux 2008, chardonnay grapes, fresh and elegant. The starter: Brochette de gambas aux noisettes, salade d'asperges, matched the flinty, mineral, acidic Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2007. The perfectly cooked main of Volaille de Bresse aux morilles, jus framboisé, legumes de saison gave a tasting of three superb reds: Santanay 1er Cru Gravières 2007, deep purple, aromas of fruit and spices. Volnay 1er Cru Les Brouillards 2008, ruby colour with violet and cherry notes, " the refined bouquet earned it the title, Côte de Beaune's most "feminine" wine", said Marc Jessiaume. And then a very special treat, Santenay 1er Cru Gravières 1959. Add the tannin rich Corton Perrières Grand Cru 2008 and a unique opportunity to taste the 1929 Santenay 1er cur Gravières with dessert: Moelleux à la cerise au chocolat de Tanzanie. For sure you'll be on the telephone booking for the next "Vendredi".

" Dinner has five courses and cheese from Alleosse ", explains Faure-Brac.
The lunches and dinners are beyond convivial, even if you know nothing about wine as Faure-Brac insists: " Sommeliers can only be guides, to love and truly taste wine you must learn to trust your own palate".

Voici les prochains rendez-vous des Vendredis du Vigneron :
- Vendredi 7 mai Louis Michel et fils, Grands Vins de Chablis en Bourgogne
- Vendredi 28 mai Jean-Michel Cazes, Ch Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
- Vendredi 11 juin Marie-Laure Lurton, Ch du Villegeorge, Cru Bourgeois Haut-Médoc
- Vendredi 18 juin David Launay, Ch Gruaud-Larose, Grand Cru Classé Saint Julien
- Vendredi 25 juin Alain Combard, Dom Saint André de Figuière, Côtes de Provence

97 Boulevard Haussmann 8th
Metro: St-Augustin
T: 01 42 65 24 85
Formule "Friday" déjeuner 3 plats : 50€
Formule "Friday" diner 5 plats : 75€
Attention: Lynch-Bages et Gruaud-Larose diners 100€
Closed Saturday & Sunday

Lire l'article de Margaret Kemp et voir les photos.

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