08 July 2006

Fourth of July Weekend Continued

A day late, but here's the list of wines consumed over the Fourth of July weekend at the R family estate. By the way, I took pictures of all the bottles beforehand, and thus didn't have to take extensive notes on the wine labels. Sometimes people get impatient if you're writing down a ton of information from a French or German wine label and their glass hasn't been filled yet. Also, these notes aren't incredibly detailed, because I was busy cooking, clearing dishes, and talking to everyone as well.

2002 Brau De Bot Vi Jove Blanc. Catalonia, Spain. No online information found, but it's 90% Macabeu and 10% Chardonnay. A nice earthy nose, light acids, full body, and pleasant flavor and finish. Drunk as a cool sipper while hanging out in the afternoon.

2004 Forefathers Sauvignon Blanc. Marlborough, New Zealand. Good and crisp, light lemon flavors. Clean with an even finish. Another sipper.

2004 Vidanueva Rosado. Rueda, Spain. I reviewed this back in June and wasn't impressed, but someone convinced me to try it again. It's pure Tempranillo with some light berry flavors. I enjoyed it better this time around, I think it needed to warm up from the chill at the tasting. Reaction to the wine was mixed, but I'm glad everyone tried it. Part of my continuing rosé ministry.

(Funny thing: at this point in my wine notes, I've got a page with a listing of how everyone wanted their rib roast cooked Friday night for dinner. The following four Bordeaux wines were served with the prime rib and mostly finished after dinner.)

2000 Château D'escurac Médoc Cru Bourgeois. Bordeaux, France. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. My favorite of the evening and perhaps of the weekend. Lovely vegetal nose, with those classic Medoc tomato leaf smells. (I'm intimately familiar with tomato leaves these days, and often finish up in the garden with tomato blossom pollen all over me.) Great dark intense flavor.

2000 L de La Louvière Grand Vin de Graves. Bordeaux, France. 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. If you don't mind reading in French, here's some more detailed information. This was more tannic than the Medoc, but had a nice and smooth finish. Excellent claret-style flavor. Would that I had taken the time to note all the complexities at work here.

2002 Château Maucaillou Moulis. Bordeaux, France. The name Maucaillou means "bad stones". The link will take you to the official website, but it's one of those annoying Flash jobs. If you want more detailed information--once again en français--you know what to do. This one is 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot. Lighter than the previous two Bordeaux selections, this had great fruit flavors, light tannins, and was a very easy drinker.

1997 Château Mayne Lalande Listrac-Médoc. Bordeaux, France. 45% Cabernet Sauvignon; 45% Merlot; 5% Cabernet Franc; 5% Petit Verdot. Good and peppery, very well balanced. Beautifully aged. Always a pleasure to drink a wine that's been well cared-for.

Fitz-Ritter Riesling Spätlese. Pfalz, Germany. The link takes you to the official website, but you won't find this particular wine there. It was custom made in a limited run for the 1st Battalion, ___th Aviation Regiment of the US Army. (Again, details left out to spare the innocent.) This is a Halbtrocken wine, meaning that it's half dry... or half sweet, depending on your perspective. Clear and crisp, and the light sweetness made this an incredible afternoon sipper.

2004 Pierre Sparr Gewürztraminer. Alsace, France. Lightly sweet, with good spice characteristics. This was served with the root vegetable soup, if I remember correctly.

2004 Black Swan Chardonnay. South Eastern Australia. A standard Chardonnay, with a touch of Verdelho. Used to make the aforementioned soup.

2003 Georges Dubœuf Fleurie. Beaujolais, France. The main site doesn't have much information, but you can always read elsewhere. Fleurie is a wonderful wine, and I smile everytime I drink a higher-end Beaujolais. Very light and dry. A touch of the famous banana aroma, but there are hints of strawberry and cherry. Slightly drying tannins, but those are necessary for aging. Served with the bacon-wrapped scallops and affiliated side dishes.

(Note: the remaining wines were drunk with the pork tenderloin and acorn squash.)

2002 Croix du Mayne Cahors. Cahors, France. 85% Malbec and 15% Merlot. A kind gift from Tom, who knows my love of Malbec and inability to get any French Malbec (pretty much confined to Cahors) here in Memphis. The first Cahors he got me was oxidized, but this bottle was a winner. Light plum flavors, mild tannins, deep dark color. Fantastic structure. If I ever make it to France, I'm going to try to spend a weekend in this region and see what they eat with this style of wine.

2002 Joseph Drouhin Chorey les Beaune. Burgundy, France. Light and mellow, black cherry flavors were prominent. Firm, drying tannins.

2004 Iris Hills Pinot Noir. Willamette Valley, Oregon. Full bodied, strawberry aromas and flavors dominate. I'd suggested Pinot Noir for the pork, and between this and the Burgundy I think we were well covered. If I had unlimited funds, I think I'd drink a lot more Oregon wine than I do right now. So much of it is made in small production runs on small, independent vineyards. Naturally it's more expensive that way, but I love the stuff.

One final wine before we switched to the Ports described in the previous post...

1996 Königshof Riesling Auslese Bopparder Hamm Feuerlay. Mittelrhein, Germany. Couldn't find any solid information on this wine, and I spent fifteen minutes reading in German. Light and crisp, with honey and lemon flavors. Not too sweet. Some apple flavors became present on the finish. It was a lovely color, though I recall that the Riesling experts suggested that it needed some more time on the rack.

That does it for the Fourth of July roundup... With luck we can all get together sometime next year. If not, I'm sure we'll be toasting each other for the next few bottles we all open separately.

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