On a rainy Sunday recently, I stopped into the Tavern at Gramercy Tavern. It’s the one place in my neighborhood that offers dishes other than the typical brunch fare on Sunday along with a solid list of wines by the glass to pair with them.
For my first course of fish croquette with heirloom beans, arugula and lemon, I chose the Annie & Philippe Bornard Savagnin Côtes de Jura Les Chassagnes Ouillé 2006 ($15 a glass). The Savagnin grape variety is native to Frace’s Jura region, and at the small domaine run by Annie and Philippe Bornard, it is made in a non-oxidized style (ouillé, meaning that the wine has been topped up in barrel to prevent the voile of yeast from covering the surface and resulting in the deliberately oxidative character of the region’s vin jaune wines). Its crisp apple, straw, lemon and mineral notes were clean and refreshing, a perfect accompaniment to the fish dish. 88 points, non-blind.
For my second dish of duck confit with black lentils, rutabaga and butternut squash, I ordered Giuseppe Cortese’s Barbaresco Rabaja 2003 ($17 a glass). Ripe and slightly pruny, with plenty of tar, licorice, cherry aromas and flavors, this Piedmont red was rich and firm, with a long, dry finish echoing dried cherry, leather and tobacco notes. 90 points, non-blind. A hearty wine for a hearty plate.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Giuseppe Cortese Barbaresco Rabaja 2003 (89, $53).