Noble's Restaurant

3 Morrocroft Centre at SouthPark Morrison Boulevard at Cameron Valley,

6801 Morrison Boulevard,

Charlotte, NC 28211

Tel:+1 (704) 367-9463

May 2008

This incredible dinner was organized by Wine Advocate subscriber Kelly Walker as part of Charlotte Wine and Food Weekend, a bi-annual event that raises money for several local charities. Having spent much of my childhood in this part of US, it was great to get a dose of old-fashioned southern hospitality. The contrast with the hustle and bustle of New York could not have been more different. We arrived between 8:00 and 8:30, yet things were already winding down in the restaurant! We started with an assortment of appetizers served family style. The crispy fried calamari and pan-seared jumbo lump crabcakes were particularly of note, yet I also loved the tuna tartare and the wood-oven roasted Prince Edward Island mussels. We washed our appetizers down with a gorgeous bottle of Billecart Salmon’s 1996 Rosé Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon. The wine’s aromatics alone were captivating. This delicate, elegant Champagne opened in the glass with pretty notes of pomegranate, dried roses and sweet spices. We then moved into Raveneau’s 2002 Chablis Butteaux, which also showed beautifully. In general I have left my 2002 Chablis to age in the cellar as most of the top bottlings are painfully young, but this wine was surprisingly open. Lime peel, minerals and smoke flowed onto the palate with seamless length and generosity.

My grilled veal tenderloin was exceptional. Readers visiting Noble’s will need to bring a healthy appetite as the portions are definitely southern-style, which means large. Special thanks to Kelly Walker for bringing a magnum of one of the finest wines I have ever had the privilege of drinking, Beaucastel’s 1989 Châteaneuf du Pape Hommage a Jacques Perrin. This youthful, deeply-colored Châteaneuf was simply breathtaking. It revealed profound delineation in its aromatics and flavors, with waves of black cherry fruit that caressed the palate with extraordinary finesse and depth. It was a memorable wine, and every bit as phenomenal as my score suggests. Chave’s 1995 Hermitage was youthful and firm, but it too was terrific. The wine offered up an exciting array of cracked black pepper, mint, wild herbs and dark fruit with terrific vibrancy and freshness buffered by firm tannins. Guigal’s 1991 Côte Rôtie La Mouline presented a contrast to the previous wines, most notably for its super-ripe fruit and soft-textured personality. Gorgeous aromas melded into notes of dark raspberries, leather, smoke, toasted oak and spices. The wine’s liqueur-like inner sweetness was framed by silky, finessed tannins and lingered on the palate with amazing length. This was a great bottle. Sadly, Jean Gros’s 1985 Richebourg was not in great shape. There was some debate at the table, but it seemed pretty clear that the wine’s structural elements had outlasted the fruit. Ultimately the wine did not offer much pleasure. An early morning of tastings awaited so we had to wrap it up early, but this highly enjoyable dinner provided a delicious taste of the south.


Assorted appetizers

Grilled Veal Tenderloin; Three Cheese and Mushroom Ravioli, Roasted Vegetables and Veal Glace



Billecart Salmon Rosé Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon



Raveneau Chablis Butteaux



Beaucastel Châteaneuf du Pape Hommage a Jacques Perrin (magnum)



Chave Ermitage



Guigal Côte Rôtie La Mouline



Jean Gros Richebourg


--Antonio Galloni