Had a lovely evening with my Finnish hosts at C Restuarant in Tampere. The restaurant is a collaboration between chef Ilkka Isotalo (below) and ex-sommelier Christina Suominen, and the emphasis is very much of matching food and wine. Most people have the food and wine pairing menu when they eat here. The wine list is short but well chosen, and exclusively European.
We began with this really visual dish (top): pork skin with sage, reindeer lichen, and fish wing tempura. This was beautifully done and the flavours were superb.
Champagne Philipponnat Grand Blanc Long Vieillisiment 1985 France
This was disgorged in June 2011 after 26 years on the lees. It’s fresh, toasty and fine with just a hint of cabbage and mushroom in the background, and a core of bright citrus fruit. Savoury and lean with real finesse. 93/100
This is grilled vendace (a local freshwater fish from the salmon family) on a bed of salad. The sauce is made from meadow sweet (fermented tea).
Van Volxem Scheifer Riesling 2014 Mosel, Germany
This is pure, primary, mineral and linear with some floral notes. Taut and dry with good concentration. 92/100
This was another beautiful and delicious dish. It’s poached pike perch with seasonal vegetables, and a mugwort milk sauce.
Domaine Doudet Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2007 Burgundy, France
Rich and quite toasty with nice ripe apples, spice and nuts, as well as some quince. This has quite a full yellow colour and shows some appealing development already. 93/100
This dish was grilled Kyyttö veal from Ylätalo organic estate, chanterelle purée and garlic sauce. The sauce was very rich, and while it was delicious, it was a slightly trickier match than the previous courses.
Chateau La Providence 1975 Pomerol, Bordeaux
Mushrooms, earth and spice on the nose: it’s one of those older Bordeaux that smells a bit corky but which isn’t. The palate is much more appealing, with lovely cherries and plums, with spice, iodine and earth complexity. It’s a delicate old wine that changes quite a bit in the glass. 92/100
This dessert was very imaginative. It’s buttermilk sorbet, blackcurrant leaf pudding and dried beetroot. It was superb with the final wine.
Chateau Le Tarey Loupiac 1964 France
Full bronze colour. Rich, sweet and unctuous with notes of nuts, herb and spice. Focused and complex: still has lovely peachy fruit but also spun sugar and a hint of raisin. This is drinking perfectly at 50 years old. 94/100