43 East 20th Street,

New York, NY

Tel. (212) 353-3700

March 2009

This recent dinner at Veritas was superb. Chef Grégory Pugin prepared an extraordinary menu that went from strength to strength. Before moving into the dining room we enjoyed a few appetizers at the bar, including the frog’s legs and steak tartare, which were brilliant. A bottle of Jacques Selosse’s NV Cuvée Origine (disgorged 10/1999) was spectacular as we contemplated the menu. The Origine is a solera-style Champagne, started in 1986, that is the pre-cursor to today’s Substance. This 1999 disgorgement was gorgeous, and also noticeably fresher than the Substance bottlings today, as at the time, the solera blend incorporated a set of younger vintages. Perfumed apricots and flowers emerged with superb grace and elegance from this delicate, layered wine. Roulot’s 2000 Meursault Les Tessons was full of gunflint, smoke and minerals. It was a pristine, focused Meursault that paired beautifully with the Lobster Nage, a sublime dish that is one of Chef Pugin’s signatures.

The Seared Sea Scallop, served atop a spelt risotto with black truffle, was also sublime. Wine Director Tim Kopec chose Léonard Humbrecht’s 1976 Gewürtztraminer Vendange Tardive to pair with the scallop. It was an exotic, wild wine loaded with spice cake and gingerbread notes. Owing largely to its age, this was not an especially sweet Vendange Tardive yet the wine retained a full-bodied, unctuous personality and tons of balance.

Two Barolos from Giuseppe Mascarello offered much insight into an early period in the estate’s history. The 1957 Barolo was promising when it was poured, as the color was simply perfect for a wine of its age. Unfortunately the volatile acidity was quite high, even for a traditionally-made Barolo, something which was all the more disappointing given that it was otherwise intact. This floral, ethereal Barolo was fascinating to contemplate in the glass, but it fell short of being truly outstanding. The 1958 Barolo Riserva, from one of Piedmont’s most historic vintages, was equally pristine. It was a little deeper and richer than the ethereal 1957, with tons of ripe fruit and an exotic quality. Most impressively, the wine appeared to still have plenty of life ahead of it. Here too, the wine revealed quite of bit of volatile acidity, but there was also enough fruit to provide a measure of balance. The 1958 was especially delicious with my veal loin, a beautifully prepared dish accented by morels and asparagus that captured the essence of spring.


Lobster Nage; vin jaune, white asparagus, morels

Seared Sea Scallop; spelt risotto and black truffle.

Veal Strip Loin; sage gnocchi, morels, green asparagus, veal jus

Artisan Cheeses



Jacques Selosse Cuvée Origine



Roulot Meursault Les Tessons



Léonard Humbrecht Gewürtztraminer Vendange Tardive



Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo



Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Riserva


 [Photo and Credit: Veritas, New York]

--Antonio Galloni