Burgundy Wine Heaven
It can be unfair to judge a restaurant on its second night after opening. The staff is hesitant; the chef and his team are just starting to perfect the food; the wine list is often unsettled; the vibe of the restaurant is not yet really set. But sometimes just one element is so good and so sure that you can be certain the restaurant will become a good address.
Such was the case with a new restaurant I tried recently in Paris. Les Climats is dedicated to Burgundy wine and food only. It is located in a gorgeous setting, an Art Nouveau space with beautiful tile work, flamboyant windows, high ceilings and majestic columns and arches. There is also a beautiful garden in warm weather. All have been lovingly restored to create a magical atmosphere day or night.
But the decor is not really the star; it is the wine, 100 percent Burgundy. With over 580 different wines, and a total of 8500 bottles, it is the most impressive Burgundy wine list I have ever seen in a restaurant. There are wines from practically every appellation and dozens of producers, many of which you cannot regularly find in retail or in restaurants. Better yet, the list is filled with values — wines as low at 25 euros per bottle, which is a rarity for any Burgundy on a restaurant wine list. And while there are not huge numbers of older vintages, nor deep verticals of “trophy” Burgundy wines, the list is replete with diversity and reflects a very personal selection. I highly recommend conversing with the co-owner/sommelier, Carole Colin, who collected all the bottles herself and knows the wine list backward and forward.
I tried the 2002 Gevrey-Chambertin En Motrot from Denis Mortet. It was drinking perfectly with subtle hints of mountain berries and cherries. Each sip lingered long after it was swallowed. A gem of a classic Gevrey, and a steal at 150 euros.