Another wine tasting and some surprises along the way. Last night I attendend a Pinot Tasting the included some older wines that have had mixed blessing over the years (Flowers and Siduri) and some new wines that didn’t show as well but may be better down the road. The line-up was as follows:
a) Rochioli Chardonay 2001 – Vanilla, buttery, some sweetness and long finish but some tartness.
1) Martinelli Reserve RRV 2000 – smoke, some steminess and dark cherrys, light tanins, spice and meaty, dry fruit finish with some syrah characteristics. Rating 90+
2) Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Sonoma Coast 2000 – Pinot nose, fruit forward, nice cherry/strawberry fruit, slight tanins on edges, hints of oak and big fruit finish. Statement of “Focused” was mentioned. Rating 91+
3) Siduri Gary’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands 2001 – Green, stemmy, slight carbonation and spritz (acid?), dark friut, rough on finish. Rating 88
4) Stephan Vincent Pinot Noir 2008 ($10) – Pinot nose, young fruit, some tartness with some strawberry on finish but seemed closed. I think it will age OK. Rating 87.
5) Sinskey four vineyards 2005 – corked.
6) AuBon climate Santa Maria 2006 ($38) – Nice cherry nose, Burgundian style, some tartness, little funk in nose, young fruit some acidity and short finish. Rating 87+
7) David Bruce Sonoma Coast 2006 – Pinot nose, deep black fruit, some acidity, tart and bitter on finsh. Rating 86+
8) Domaine Drohuin Oregon 2006 ($50) Young and stemmy, vegital, light cherry fruit and slight bitterness and short finish. Traditional French style? Rating 89+
9) Drohuin Pommard 2007 ($45) – nice strawberry/cherry fruit, some stemyness, tart, sour cherry fruing but expected in French pinot. Rating 90
10) Sea Smoke Southing 2006 ($60) – spice and cherry on nose, young fruit, some stem tannins, slight heat and little acidity on finish but a long finish. Leoni – “Cab lovers Pinot” Rating 88+
I had the opportunity to attend a tasting last night and venture down a few highly well known French vineyards in Burgandy and Bordeaux and a selected California vineyard in comparison. The tasting also included selected food courses to accompany the wines. Not having tasted any of these wines in the past it showed me as a wine lover exactly why these vineyards have the notoriety they have and why we continue to buy and drink these wines after centuries of cellar time. I was grateful for the invite and just to have the opportunity to taste wines that I might never have the chance to drink again.
Rhone (Hermitage) blanc
1) 1990 Chapoutier Chante Alouette – (Deep yellow, oak and botrytis, some acidity with hints of butterscotch. Smooth long finish.) Rating 91
2) 1988 Chapoutier Chante Alouette – (Appeared closed, then vanilla sweet oak, slight acidity, apple, flinty on finish.) Rating 92
3) 1986 Chave – (Musty, wet, edge of cork, high alcohol, taste cork thru finish (N.S) , 1 hr later: candy nose, no cork, honey and round on finish.) Rating 91+
Course: Minestrone of Cannellini Beans and Escarole w/prawns, herb-fennel seed infused
4) 1979 chateau La Louviere – (Musty, nice balance, some tartness and nice finish) Rating 89
5) 1988 Chateau Haut Brion – (Deet, bug spray, some tartness, high acidity, finish was harsh and never changed.) Rating 83
6) 1993 chateau Haut Brion – (Tropical fruit, coconut, dry and flinty, round smooth texture and nice long finish.) Rating 91
Course: Citrus Risotto and Bay Scallops
Chateau Lafite Rothchild
7) 1966 Lafite – (dusty, musty, mushrooms, brown edges, pepper, still cherry fruit and slight tartness.) Rating 93
8) 1970 Lafite – (black cherry, some slight tannins and acidity, good balance, smote, tobacco on finish and some bitterness later.) Rating 94
9) 1981 Lafite – (slight must, cedar, black cherry fruit and some flint on finish). Rating 92
Course: Porcini crusted swordfish and truffled polenta, baby spinach and red wine reduction sauce
Ridge Monte Bello
10) 1978 Ridge – (musty, cherry fruit, smoke, dry tobacco finish, fruit on outer edges and dry in middle, some tannins.) Rating 93
11) 1980 Ridge – (Tobacco, alcohol nose, green stems tannins, tobacco box on finish, not my style other liked it.) Rating 88-
12) 1992 Ridge – (wet cloth, nice black cherry, round finish and good balance, nice tannins but some slight steaminess.) Rating 92
13) 2006 Ichiro 51 – ( yound fruit, cherry, nice round finish, some tannins, just young.) Rating 89
Course: Grilled Venison Chop and spices, root vegetables and pomegranate – black pepper jus
14) 1993 Zind – Heimbourg Turchheim Pinot Gris – Grans Nobles – (dark yellow/orange, great botrytis and long finish)
Course: N Blooms Lemon cheesecake
Earlier this year a group of us went to the Santa Barbara/ Santa Ynez valley and had a spectacular weekend of wine and food. One of our tastings included a stop in Los Olivos at the Stolpman wine shop. We tasted an abundent amount of wines there but one wine stood out and that was the 2005 Melbec. I bought a few bottles and happened to open one up last night.
The wine a deep purple and highly extracted was fruit forward with hints of black cherry and spice. It had a nice texture in the mouth and a long finish. I have tasted many melbecs that were fruit forward but the alc was very high that it overpowered the fruit and burned on the finish, this was not that case. I had this with a spicy chicken breast but was just as enjoyable on it’s own. Rating 89.
Last night I had dinner after an interview in Canoga Park. Irene Virbila reviewed Marche in the Food Section of the LA Times Wed. 11/11/09 /www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-review11-2009nov11,0,3283743.story. It’s on “restaurant row” on Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks. I had the house pate with an Albert Mann Alsatian Auxerrois Vielles Vignes 2007 that was fruity, rich, extremely well balanced, with some tartness and great acidity. The restaurant’s menu features small plates – last night they had a white truffle risotto for $80.00 but everything else was reasonably priced for the quality. I had a great salad with beets, grapefruit, smoked salata ricotta and walnuts, a ravioli with swiss chard in a brown butter sauce with roasted chestnuts that was very good. Also had paquette de porc $16.00 – kind of like pork belly that was very rich so you didn’t mind the small size of the portion – served with brussel sprouts, pears and grits. Took home the peanut butter cups which are exceptionally rich – a world apart from a Reece’s – this was only dessert item that could make the travel the rest had sauces or ice cream that wouldn’t take the trip. Paul Wasserman selected wines with some emphasis on biodynamic, organic and/or sustainable farming. With a completely full house I could still hear the great jazz playing of the sound system – they’ve gone to some length to dampen the noise which I appreciated. www.marche-la.com
Actually making this post just to get my feet wet with posting. If you don’t get Hi-Time’s email you won’t have seen the notice about the Domaine Cayron Gigondas that Stephen Tanzer gave 93 pts to. Selling for $20.99. Tanzer says, “Deep red. An impressively complex bouquet offers raspberry, cherry, apricot, nutmeg and potpourri with a gentle smoky note adding interest. Supple, seamless red and dark berry flavors stain the palate with tangy minerality providing bite. The apricot note echoes through the long spicy finish. A very intriguing wine!”
I recently had a bottle of the 06 Castle Rock Sonoma Co. Pinot Noir, it was wonderful! What I enjoyed about it was the nice strawberry nose and what I deem to be a traditional Pinot Noir nose, there was no doubt what I was about to drink. It was very round in the mouth and very fruit forward and had a nice finish.
I had it with salmon that was covered with pesto and red onions and baked. A very enjoyable meal with a nice bottle of wine. With the wine priced in the $9-11 range it was a great buy.
A Rotari (Mezzocorona a big Italian firm owns Rotari) “Talenton” Trento DOC Metodo Classico NV
B Rotari Rose (Mezzocorona a big Italian firm owns Rotari) “Talenton” Trento DOC Metodo Classico NV
1 Frase’s White: Pietra Santa Central Coast Gewurztraminer 2006
2 Linda’s White – Stolpman Vineyards Santa Ynez Valley “L’Avion” 2006
3 Derekson’s White: Erath Willamette Valley (Oregon) Pinot Blanc 2005
4 Tim #1 White: Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese 2004
5 Tim #2: Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett Mosel 2007
6 Holly’s Rose: Tablas Creek Rose 2005
7 Richard W’s #2: Arden Hills Garnacha (Lodi – Bocksh (?) Vineyards) 2007
8 Frase’s Red: Pedroncelli Russian River Pinot Noir 2006
9 Diane’s Red: Lorca Roella’s Vineyard Monterey Co. Pinot Noir 2003
10 Gerry’s Red: Imagery 2006 Dragonsleaf Red Wine, Sonoma Mtn. 2006
11 Mary’s Red: John Robert Eppler Wines California Zinfandel “Tradition” 2006
12 Scott’s Red: “Wine Guerrilla” David Coffarro Vineyard and Winery Old Vine Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley. 2007
13 Richard W’s #3: Bogle Russian River Pinot Noir. 2007
14 Richard R’s Red: Papapietro Perry Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2007
15 Charlene’s Red: Jospeh Faiveley Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2006
16 David R’s Red: Kaena Larner Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Grenache 2006
I’m not sure we came up with a consensus on the best wines to serve on Thanksgiving. All of the wines were terrific – some clearly outstanding. and my own solution will be to have several wines to serve different guests tastes and not have to make a choice on one. I like the idea of only serving American wines for this American holiday but I have a Beaujolais Villages I want to throw in with a fruity Pinot Noir, a Sauvignon Blanc that’s not too grassy and probably a Gewurtztraminer that’s a bit more fruit forward than the Pietra Santa that I served. I plan to stay under $20 a bottle too. The tasting opened up so many possibilities.
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