We just went to Le Repaire de Cartouche , which is a restaurant, not a wine bar, but with an incredible wine list. That's why it has a place in "My Wine Journal". It is located 8 Bd des Filles du Calvaire in the 11 th Arrondissement ( Metro: St Sebastien Froissard) , or access also at 99 rue Amelot .Phone 01 47 00 25 86. You need to reserve with a prior phone call. Pictures above and left show the two accesses .
Cartouche is a legendary figure, the nickname of a famous thief and highwayman that roamed the region in the 17 th century. This cooper's son going by the real name of Louis Dominique Bourguignon was born in october 1693. After a tumultuous youth and some time in the army, he heads a band of thiefs and robbers, more than 200 of them, men and women, operating in Paris and the region. According to his romantic legend that was strong even in his life time, he had a rich love life and many women. Enjoying the sympathy of ordinary people, he evaded capture and, when caught at last, escaped first , was caught again and executed nov 27, 1721 at the age of 28 (on the wheel).
The relation with the restaurant is he spent time in this house.
The restaurant's chef is Rodolphe Paquin. His refined cuisine uses best quality ingredients. As he says , even the wine used to make the delicate dark sauce of one of our dishes is an excellent wine.
As aperitif, B. chose a glass of white wine : a Jasnieres " La coulee" 2002 by JP Robinot (see picture). She likes whites and Chenin grape variety like in this Jasnieres. It is a little known Loire Valley appellation, on a small surface.
I chose a glass of red : Domaine Gramenon "Poignee de raisins" 2003, a Cotes du Rhone. Good wine, even before a meal. The waiter brought us tasty rillettes and (excellent) bread to eat with the wines. The quality of the wine, bread and rillettes was a good start.
Then we chose our respective entree and main course, and devised which wine to come with the food. It certainly took some time as the waiter came several times thinking our choice was made.
The wine list is another wonder of the place. It is enormous, the waiter told us altogether 450 wines are listed in it. Except for 3 of them, all are from France, with a big share for the Cotes du Rhone region. Some are very affordable, like several Cheverny wines of the Loire Valley at 20 Euro a bottle.
Our choice was a bottle of red Coteaux du Languedoc "Pic Saint Loup" Clos Marie "Simon" 2001. Words are poor to tell. Fantastic wine. Goes perfectly with the persillé and the Saute d'agneau. 14,5° .
Among the first arrived, the place was filled up when we left.