Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tasting Chablis

     Yesterday, I attended a Chablis Training Seminar and Tasting held for wine trade professionals and media. James King, of The Texas Wine School, ran the training sessions for the Burgundy Wine Board in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Houston.

2009 Petit Chablis, La Chablisienne (approximately $15)
Almost clear, watery color. Light body. Crisp acidity. Apple, lemon, bit of salty minerality in finish. Excellent with any savory puff pastries, light seafood or alone, as an aperitif.

2009 Chablis, Domaine Daniel DAMPT et Fils (approximately $18)
Almost clear, watery color. Somewhat closed, less aromatic. Light body. Crisp acidity. Grapefruit.

2009 Chablis Premier Cru-Montmains, Domaine VOCORET et Fils (approximately $22)
Light lemon color with green glints. Ripe pear and buttery aromas and flavors with floral notes and a bit of peach. Medium body. Crisp, yet with a softer mouthfeel. Medium+ length finish. Good with any seafood particularly with a buttery sauce.

2009 Chablis Premier Cru-Mont de Milieu, Domaine SIMMONET-FEBVRE (approximately $20)
Pale straw color. Peach and honey for both aromas and flavors. More aroma/less flavor. Light body. Bit of heat in the finish.

2008 Chablis Grand Cru-Bougros, William Fevre (approximately $80)
Pale gold color with green glints. Low intensity aromas of peach, lime blossom and oak. Full body. Medium acidity. Strong minerality with ripe pear and a bit of vanilla. Long finish. Very promising, needs more age. Good with lobster or shrimp dishes with heavy cream sauce.

2005 Chablis Grand Cru-Grenouilles, La Chablisienne (approximately $90)
Lemon color with pale gold glints. Medium intensity aromas of mushroom, honey and a bit of lightly bruised apple. Full body. Medium acidity. Interesting, needs more age. May be the perfect complement for foie gras or poultry in a creamy mushroom sauce.

To learn more about Chablis wines www.Chablis.Fr 

2008 Two Hands "Bella's Garden" Shiraz

     My husband cooked ribs for dinner on Sunday evening so I opened a bottle of 2008 Two Hands "Bella's Garden" Barossa Valley Shiraz.  
     In the glass, the wine was an opaque purple color with pronounced aromas of ripe black fruit dominating with some oak and chocolate. In the mouth, the wine was full-bodied with medium acidity. It had concentrated mixed fruit flavors of dark berries and plums with vanilla and some smokey notes balancing the high alcohol and tannin. It had a slightly spicy, long length finish. Absolutely fantastic with the ribs.
     The "Bella's Garden" was an excellent example of the typically high alcohol, inky mouthfeel, boldly fruity Shiraz that can come from the Barossa Valley. Priced at approximately $60.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2008 Taz Pinot Gris

     Last night, we went to Corelli's, an Italian restaurant near our home for dinner for the 2 eat for $19.99 Tuesday special. During the summer, they don't charge a corkage fee, so in keeping with our cost conscious theme, we also brought along one of my inexpensive grocery store purchased white wines, the 2008 Taz Pinot Gris from Santa Barbara priced at approximately $14.
     In the glass, the wine was a pale lemon color with medium intense aromas of ripe peach, honeysuckle and a bit of pineapple. It was medium body with medium+ acidity and had light fruit flavors of lime and pear. The wine was more in the style of an Alsatian Pinot Gris than an Italian Pinot Grigio.
     The dinner special consists of one split appetizer (we chose the shrimp scampi), 2 salads (my husband had the house while I chose the Caesar) and 2 entrees from a set list (He had the Chicken Parmesan and I had the Cheese Ravioli in cream sauce with pesto and caramelized mushrooms and onions). The wine was food friendly and complemented both our meals.
     A good wine at a good price!

Friday, June 17, 2011

1999 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva

      After a couple of days of drinking whites, I decided to serve a bottle of 1999 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva that we have been holding. I had made Rolled Stuffed Eggplant for dinner and wanted some good Italian red wine to go with it. 
     In the glass, the wine was a brownish red color with medium intense aromas of dark cherries and berries, cocoa and floral notes. It had a medium+ body, high acidity and very smooth medium+ tannins with flavors of the ripe dark cherries and berries, black tea, vanilla and a bit of spiciness in the long finish. Absolutely delicious!
      I am not sure what this cost as I bought it under special circumstances a few years ago. It is an outstanding example of  Brunello di Montalcino if you can still find it.
You may want to decant first, it was throwing sediment.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut NV Champagne

     The Nicolas Feuillatte Brut NV Champagne was part of my 10% off any six wines purchased at my local grocery store which means I got this bottle for about $25 (the most expensive of my affordable whites to try for summer sipping). I bought this to be paired with my National Lobster Day dinner that I cooked last night.

     In the glass, the wine was a pale gold with small fizzy bubbles. The aromas were fairly light in intensity but were mostly of indiscernable red fruit, pumpernickel bread and honey. On the palate, a medium body with crisp acidity but a bit more sweetness in the finish than I was expecting. The bubbles were not quite as long-lasting as I would hope. Overall, however, I would say that it was a good bottle and reasonably priced for a Wednesday night Champagne/lobster dinner at home. 

     I served it with broiled lobster tails with lemon butter, roasted zucchini, bell peppers and fingerling potatoes with fresh rosemary and mixed berries for dessert. I felt that it paired quite nicely.   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

2009 Mossback Chardonnay

     It isn't even officially summer yet but it is already hot in Houston. This makes it a good time to try some affordable easy to find white wines to sip on the patio while waiting for the seafood to come off the grill. I made a quick trip to my local HEB where I purchased 6 assorted bottles with a 10% off discount. The first from my line-up was the 2009 Mossback Russian River Valley Chardonnay priced at approximately $17.
     In the glass, the wine was a bright lemon yellow with medium intense aromas of pear, citrus and a hint of jasmine. On the palate, it had a full body with fruit flavors that mirrored the aromas and balanced the high acidity. It had a medium length, lemon butter finish. A classic Chardonnay in the French Chablis style.
     I served it with grilled salmon on pesto pasta with diced heirloom tomatoes and Caesar salad and it worked quite well. I think it would also be good with any lemon-butter seafood or chicken dish. 
     A good value for a very good wine!