Marché Bacchus Wine Lunches, Year 2

By Glen Frederiksen

Last winter, there were a series of wine lunches presented at Marché Bacchus restaurant in Las Vegas. They were great fun, and a stone bargain besides. With the coming of spring, they disappeared. I wondered if they would come back as the weather cooled, and if they would be as good as before.

Guess what? They are back, and better in every way!

Let’s start with the food. Marché Bacchus is renowned for being the best French Bistro food in Las Vegas not on the Strip. Add to that the wine shop in the front that stocks some of the best, hard-to-find labels on the planet, and you have a combo that is hard to beat. And yet, over the past year, Marche Bacchus has done just that – gotten better.

Jose Aleman, Executive Chef

Jose Aleman, Executive Chef

A big part of the reason is Executive Chef Jose Aleman. He crafted the menu for the luncheon event, and the meal was outstanding. There were two choices for each of the three courses. I will list the ones I had for lunch – others at the table had the remaining dishes, to similar rave reviews.

Cream of Celery Soup

Cream of Celery Soup

My first course was a Cream of Celery Soup. Light and almost mousse-like in texture, it was an outstanding match with the first three wines we tasted. I showed no couth, lapping up the last of the soup with a hunk of the bread provided.

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin

My main entrée was Coq Au Vin. This classic French bistro dish takes chicken and braises it in red wine, bacon, pearl onions, mushrooms, and fingerling potatoes. The two California Pinot Noirs tasted were a perfect match. More bread was ordered so I could sop up the reduced wine sauce left in the bowl.

Apple Strudel

Apple Strudel

For dessert, I ordered the Apple Strudel with Vanilla Gelato. This was an Americanized version, much sweeter than the Strudel I used to have when I lived in Germany. Think of it more like Mom’s homemade apple pie. That said, it was delicious.

A baker’s dozen wines were presented by John Smith, veteran wine educator and representative of Wirtz Beverage Company. The quality of these wines across the board was outstanding. The notes that follow are my on-the-fly impressions. The prices given are what they retail for at Marché Bacchus.

2012 Domaine Laroche Chablis “St. Martin,” Burgundy, France
Lightly perfumed, with honeyed lemon-lime aromas and flavors. In the mouth, there is minerality and a juicy acidity. Very clean.
Marché Bacchus price: $23.99 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 89

2011 Pierre Sparr Gewürztraminer, Alsace, France
Lush and opulent, with rosewater, white flowers, lychee, green apricot, and a hint of geranium. Impressive quality for this pricepoint.
Marché Bacchus price: $19.99 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 90

2013 Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé, Burgundy, France
In contrast to the Chablis above, this Chardonnay has riper, honeyed stone fruits. It shows a medium weight on the palate, good acid balance, and a clean finish.
Marché Bacchus price: $29.99 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 88

2010 Schloss Schonborn Estate Riesling, Germany
Pretty honey-kissed apple with pine needle notes. There is a nice round, sweet impression in the mouth, kept balanced by ample acidity.
Marché Bacchus price: $19.99 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 89

2011 A. J. Adam Riesling Spatlese, Dhron Hofberg, Germany
While classified as a Spatlese, the sweetness level of this wine is more in line with an Auslese. Quite decadent, initial pine needle scents lead to honeyed tropical fruit and apricot. In the mouth, the overtly sweet fruit is nicely counterbalanced by young, prickly acidity. This wine will drink well for a decade and more.
Marché Bacchus price: $54.99 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 91

2013 Rueling Rosé of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
No expense spared here… A high quality Pinot Noir vineyard planted to cuttings from DRC La Tache and DRC La Romanée-Conti was used to fashion this delicate rosé. Moderate aromas and flavors of strawberry, passion fruit, and rose petals are found in this sleek, clean rosé. It is light on its feet, more Old World in style than New World. Enjoy this as a welcome wine.
Marché Bacchus price: $19.99 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 89

2012 WHOA Farm Pinot Noir, Crane Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
Perfumed aromatics of red cherry, beet root, and anise, with subtle notes of oak. Sleek in the mouth, with flavors of red berries and orange peel.
Marché Bacchus price: $55 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 92

2012 Melville Estate Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills
Layered, complex, and exquisitely balanced, this smooth red delivers orange, black raspberry, dark flowers, black tea, sandalwood, and fennel seed. The best estate Pinot Noir from Melville I have tasted.
Marché Bacchus price: $42.99 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 92

2011 Chateau des Jacques Moulin-A-Vent, Burgundy, France
Full of berries and fleshy cherry. Many shy away from young Cru Beaujolais as they can be tannic and earthy, if not downright gritty. Such is not the case here. These wines can age gracefully for 10 to 20+ years. Good value.
Marché Bacchus price: $27.99 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 90

2010 Buglioni “Il Bugliardo,” Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC Ripasso, Italy
Deeply perfumed with a concentration of fleshy black fruits (plum, currant, and cherry). A rich style of red well-suited for meat roasts or mature cheeses.
Marché Bacchus price: $39.99 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 90

2011 Clau de Nell Cabernet Franc de Anjou, France
Opaque purple/black color. This dense red has an iron-tinged minerality that leads to leather notes and black fruit. Full and chewy in the mouth, with drying tannins at the back. This one could use a decade of cellaring.
Marché Bacchus price: $47.99 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 90

N/V Caposaldo Sweet Sparkling Moscato, Italy
There is a chalky edge to this sweet bubbly, showing aromas and flavors of rose geranium, honeyed stone fruits, and sweet lime.
Marché Bacchus price: $15.99 (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 90

2003 Clarendelle Amberwine, Bordeaux, France
From Chateau Haut-Brion comes this new mid-priced line of wines, Clarendelle. This one, Amberwine, looks like and drinks like a Sauterne – but without the stiff pricetag. Typical aromas and flavors of marmalade, honey, and dried apricots make this a pleasant and affordable substitute for its more expensive big brothers.
Marché Bacchus price: $25.99/500 ml. (November 2014)
Wine Lines rating: 91

At a nickel under $38, the wine luncheons at Marché Bacchus are a steal. The wine pours are just tastes, but the three courses are full servings. You will not go away hungry.

Marché Bacchus is located at:

2620 Regatta Drive, Suite #106
Las Vegas, NV 89128
(702) 804-8008
To make reservations for coming events, get on their email list, peruse their menu, or otherwise contact Marché Bacchus, click on the link below:

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