Cafe Boulud Wine List Review- 1 Michelin star

Cafe Boulud

Champagne

         Domaine Dominique Gruhier Crémant de Bourgogne Extra-Brut 2014 55- A non-Champagne sparkling wine from Burgundy. This is a vintage wine at a very good price point. Look like a sport and order a second bottle!

         

Iron Horse "Wedding Cuvée", Russian River Valley 2012 120- This is a great American sparkling wine. I tasted this wine at a wedding[ really]. I loved it and had a few too many glasses at the reception.

 

Larmandier-Bernier “Vieilles Vignes de Cramant” Extra-Brut 2006 280-This “Grower”  [small artisanal winery] produces an excellent Champagne, with great depth and “balance” [The Champagne acts like a wave, with the fruit flavor rising, cresting, and followed by a long slow finish] 

 

Whites

 

Under $100.00

        

Joseph Drouhin Mâcon-Bussières Les Clos 2015 50- French Chardonnay grown outside of Burgundy in the Macon. Great value wine! You don’t pay the white Burgundy price.

         Domaine de la Bastide "Figues Blanche", Côtes du Rhone 2016 45- DOn’t be afraid to oder this $45.00 wine if you like simple Rhone white wines. There are some great Cotes du Rhone red and white. A lot of Cotes du Rhone are made with pedigree grapes that just don’t make it into the final cut. A lot of Cotes du Rhone are made by serious winemakers.

 

         Jean-Louis Chave "Circa", Saint-Joseph 2014 95- Chave is the king of Hermitage red ad white. Here is a Rhone white that is made with less pedigreed grapes but is beautiful. Great wine.

  

         Au Bon Climat, "Cuvée Daniel", Santa Barbara County 2015 65-I like Au Bon Climat wines. I wanted to include one California Chardonnay in my list of picks that was a fair price.

 

          Boutari, Mantinia "Moschofilero" 2015 50- You would never order a Greek white wine in a French restaurant unless someone recommended it. Well I am recommending this wine. Moschofilero wines are crisp with stone fruit[think peaches-apricots] flavors. I would order this wine!

 

          Peter Zemmer, Riesling,Trentino-Alto Adige 2014 55- The Alto Adige region of Italy is famous for producing Riesling style wines. Ask the Sommelier to describe [bone dry-dry-semisweet-sweet] Rieslings [German-Austrian-Italian-Alsacian]. see which one matches your prefered style of wine.

 

 

SANCERRE Domaine Thomas-Labaille “Authentique” Sancerre 2016 80- Sancerre could be the best value wine on a restaurant wine list because it has great fruit flavors [citrus-pineapple] and is usually offered at a great price.

 

VERMENTINO Clos Signadore "A Mandria" Patrimonio 2012 95- A lot of young winemakers have been producing artisanal Vermentino white wines on the rocky island of Corsica. A “crisp” [high acid] wine with spice and herb flavors. A great wine with rich food!

 

 

Over $100.00

 

 

CONDIEU Benoît Roseau Condrieu 2015 175- Condrieu in French means “the bend in the river”. With white wine yo can smell the white flowers and honeysuckle that grow on the banks of the river. A “pretty” wine with “feminine” qualities. 

 

 

RIESLING Domaine Albert Boxler Riesling "Brand" 2013 195- Ask the Sommelier to describe [bone dry-dry-semisweet-sweet] all the Rieslings [French-German-Italian-Austrian] at this price point. See which one matches your preferred style of wine.

 

 

CHABLIS Eleni et Edouard Vocoret “Butteaux” 2015 175-This is an excellent Premier Crus [grapes are grown in the special “Butteaux” vineyard] Chablis [Chardonnay] from the great 2015 vintage. Great complex and mineral flavors.

 

CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAY Kistler "Vine Hill" Russian River Valley 2013 240- Even if you don’t know anything about wine, you will enjoy this California Chardonnay. Big and rich in style and substance.

 

CHASSAGNE Domaine François Carillon "Clos St. Jean" 2013 275- Carillon is  serious winemaker and this white Burgundy [Chardonnay] has all the “wet stone’, “flinty” and stone fruit [peach-apricot] flavors.

 

CHABLIS Domaine Dauvissat-Camus “Les Clos” 2009 675- If money is no object, you love 10 year old Chablis [Chardonnay], from the great 2009 vintage, produced by an amazing winemaker, pick this beauty. This could be a life altering experience.

 

 

Reds

 

Under $100.00

 

          Jean Foillard "Cuvée Corcelette" 2015 95- Don’t assume that all Beaujolais is that "super fruity" wine. This is Crus Beaujolais from the Morgon region. Crus Beaujolais is aserious wine and can be as complex and as nuanced as Burgundy Pinot Noir.

 

         

 

          Domaine Combier 2015 90- Crozes Hermitage is a great restaurant wine. You can drink it young and it is not crazy expensive. If you like Syrah with a French aesthetic, this is your pick.

 

          Jean-Louis Chave Selections, "Offérus" 2014 95- Easily one of my favorite value wines in the world. Have is the king of Hermitage. He buys property in St Joseph, away from the pedigreed area of Northern Rhone, and makes great wine. This is without the price tag of comparable Syrah wines. This wine has character, structure and flavor. Ask the Sommelier to decant this wine while you are having cocktails. This wine needs at least 45 minutes to breath before it is at it’s apogee.

 

          Domaine le Sang des Cailloux, "Cuvée Floureto" 2013 90- This Vacqueyras[pronounced Vah-Kay-Ra] is a great value rhone red wine. Spicy [black pepper] and black fruit [plums-black cherries] flavors. Repeat after me Vah-Kay-Rah.... Vah-Kay-Rah....

 

          Au Bon Climat, "Cuvée Daniel", Santa Barbara County" 2014 80- This is a nice California Pinot noir. You will be happy with this wine because it has all the fruit you expect from a California Pinot noir. 

 

          Colomé, Malbec "Auténtico", Salta 2015 75- If you like Malbec, you will like this traditional wine.

 

 

Over $100.00

 

          Château Plince 2010 140- If you want to have Bordeaux with your dinner, pick this wine. A great Pomerol in a great vintage, produced by the people who make Chateau Petrus. Ever heard of Chateau Petrus? It is only one of the most expensive wines in the world. This is not THAT wine, but the same winemakers with a different raw material make this wine. Ask the Sommelier to decant the wine and let it breath. After 30 minutes you will be able to appreciate how good this wine is. BTW the 2010 vintage was amazing

 

LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON & SOUTHWEST Clos de l'Anhel "Les Dimanches" Corbières 2015 100- A blend of Syrah, Carignon, and Grenache [typical southern France blend] is rich and “round” [ soft] and lush. A very “user friendly” red wine.

 

SAINT-AUBIN PREMIER CRU Domaine Lamy-Pillot “Castets” 2013 125- Pinot Noirs from SAINT-AUBIN are a fantastic value. This is because SAINT-AUBIN is located “off the beaten path” of other expensive Pinot Noir producing towns [i.e. Vosne Romanee-Gevrey-Chambertin etc.]. Here is where you get a great Pinot Noir for a great price.BTW this is a Premier Crus  [grapes grown in the special “Castets” vineyard] wine.

 

SAVIGNY-LES-BEAUNE Domaine Simon Bize et Fils “Les Bourgeots” 2015 140- Pinot Noir wines from SAVIGNY-LES-BEAUNE tend to be “rustic” and bold. The 2015 vintage is great, so there will a lot of fresh fruit flavors.

 

CALIFORNIA ZINFANDEL Turley "Rattlesnake Ridge" Howell Mountain, Napa Valley 2015 150- Helen Turley know Zinfandel! Pick this amazing Zin and you will be very happy. A big but “graceful” `Zinfandel.

 

MOREY-SAINT-DENIS Domaine Michel-Noëllat et Fils 2014 150- This French Pinot Noir is from a really good vintage and will be “bright” and full of red fruit [strawberry-raspberry] flavors. A good value wine. 

 

TUSCANY Molino di Sant'Antimo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010 150- This is the “sleeper” pick on the list. This 8 year old Brunello di Montalcino is from the great 2010 vintage. The 8 years of bottle age allows the tannins to soften and the lush fruit to emerge. This “gem’ is hiding in plain sight! One of the best values on the whole list.

 

CALIFORNIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON Philip Togni Vineyard "Tanbark Hill Vineyard" Napa 2014 175-If it is California Cabernet you desire, pick this one. I have tasted Philip Togni Cabernet several times and have really enjoyed them.

 

CHAMBOLLE-MUSIGNY Domaine Hudelot-Baillet 2015 185-  Pinot Noir wines from Chambolle are almost “etherial”. Light as a cloud but with intense fruit flavors. Think of a strong woman.

 

NUITS-SAINT-GEORGES PREMIER CRU Domaine Henri Gouges “Chaignots” 2014 210 - Premier Crus [grapes grown in the special “Chaignots” vineyard] Pinot Noir wine from Nuit St George tend to be more “masculine” [think of a gymnast’s body, tight and sinewy] wines. 

 

WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT NOIR Bergström "Bergström Vineyard" 2015 275- If you desire USA Pinot Noir, pick this one. The Pinot Noir wines from Oregon are are darker and more complex than the California Pinots [I think}. Did you know that Oregon and Burgundy France are on the same Latitude?

 

VOSNE-ROMANÉE Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg 2014 280- Pinot Noir wines from Vosne Romanee have a cult following. It is said the grapes grown there possess “unique” fruit flavors. Pick this Vosne Romanee from the really good 2014 vintage and see what all the “buzz’ is about.

 

VOLNAY PREMIER CRU Domaine Marquis d’Angerville 2012 310- Pinot Noir wines from VOLNAY are considered to be “female” [floral-sweet]. This is a “beautiful” wine with dinner. Domaine Marquis d’Angerville is an amazing VOLNAY producer.

 

CÔTES DU RHONE Château de Fonsalette 1997 350- This is no ordinary Cotes du Rhone. This 40 year old CÔTES DU RHONE is produced by J. Rayas, who is the master winemaker in Chateauneuf du Pape [see his CDP below on the wine list]. Ask the Sommelier if this wine is a “stunner” or “hollow” [void of fruit]. Ask if this wine is past it’s prime and say “Will I be disappointed?” Sublime or a shadow of it’s former self?

 

CÔTE-RÔTIE Domaine Jamet 2008 375- This is Syrah from an amazing producer. The 2008 was not a great vintage, but in a “weak” vintage, great winemakers like James, produce great wine. CÔTE-RÔTIE is one of my favorite wines. It has intense leather and smoked meat nuances and exotic fruit flavors.

 

NUIT ST GEORGE Domaine Robert Chévillon “Les Vaucrains” 2009 450- I have tasted this Pinot Noir several times and have never been disappointed. This Premier Crus [grapes gown in the special Vaucrains vineyard] is produced by an amazing winemaker [ Domaine Robert Chévillon]. His ability to express the true terroir of the “Vaucrains” vineyard, sets him apart from other “average” winemakers. A serious wine!

 

 

Magnums

 

Domaine Catherine et Pierre Breton "Nuits d'Ivresse" Bourgueil magnum 2010 200- If you are dining with 5 or more guests, a second bottle of wine will be necessary. Pick this Cabernet Franc from the really good 2010 vintage. With 8 years of bottle age, the tannins will have softened and the evolved complex fruit will have emerged. A great value Magnum.

david kleinc