Redefining Bordeaux with Michele D’Aprix… at The Lucerne Inn…

Bordeaux, France came to The Lucerne Inn, in the form of a woman named Michele D’Aprix…for a very special Wine Dinner in June… Michele is redefining Bordeaux in more than one way…First…she is the Wine Maker at Chateau Beausejour in Saint Emilion, the only American female Winemaker in that region… Second…when faced with the task of how to get her own wine to the U.S. Market…she started Christopher Imports in order to do so, and to help out a few of her friends there to do the same…Third…she is importing top quality wines from lesser known appellations from the “Right Bank” of Bordeaux… At this Wine Dinner we featured 4 Wines from Christopher Imports…4 Wines that Michele and her mentor, Stephane Derenoncourt, have a direct connection to… The first wine, 2012 Chateau Monestier La Tour Blanc is from the Bergerac A.O.C.. This Wine is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Muscadelle. White Bordeaux traditional pairs well with seafood,which is why we chose it for the Citrus Shrimp Ceviche with Avocado and Jicama. A symphony of flavors on the plate and in the glass. Delicious… Next Course…Truffled Cremini Mushrooms with Prosciutto on Polenta Cake with Creme Fraiche (see photo). Because the Mushroom is the dominant flavor in this dish, we paired it with red wine…2012 Chateau Monestier La Tour Rouge. Michele is the blending consultant on this wine which is made with Merlot,Cabernet Franc,Cabernet Sauvignon, and Malbec. This is a traditional blend,and approachable, expression of Bordeaux in keeping with Stephane and Michele’s philosophy of making great wines in the vineyard,purely and naturally,with Mother Nature taking the lead…The last course was a Mixed Grill of House made Italian Sausage,all Natural Chicken and Angus Petite Tenderloin Medallion served with Grilled Fresh Vegetable Kabob and Maine Potato Hash. This hearty dish had a lot of flavors going on and we paired it with 2 very different red wines. It was great to experience the contrast in these wines and their marriages with the food. The first wine…2011 Le Ringue comes from a small 4 Hectare plot in Rauzan. Christophe Quebec is a 4th generation farmer and Wine Maker who uses only stainless steel tanks for his wine. This blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc is a bright fresh expression of Bordeaux that does not sacrifice the character of the terroir…and then there was the second wine… Pentimento is Michele D’Aprix’s personal creation…yes,she is the Wine Maker for Chateau Beausejour…and on that property she has her own little plot of land, and from that she makes Pentimento…the 2010 Pentimento is 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc…it is aged in oak barrels as is tradition in Bordeaux. Michele’s philosophy is that the oak should help “season” the wine but not “become” a flavor of the wine. She is meticulous about tasting the wine on a regular basis while it is “in barrell”, she takes it out as soon as she thinks it is just right. The result is a full bodied,very well balanced wine that is approachable enough to enjoy now, and has all the qualities to cellar for years…I have personally tasted the 2008 Pentimento on several occasions since it’s release in 2011,and gets better,and better each time… Now,we do a Wine Dinner at the Lucerne Inn on the second Thursday of every month… We always offer great food, and great wine, but this evening was truly special… 45 guests listening intently to this petite woman wine maker from New York, who learned how to make wine in California, talking about preserving tradition and making great wine with pride…Redefining Bordeaux