Chateau Greysac – 2009 Medoc

greysacSometimes getting your first choice of something is good.  Sometimes getting your second choice is even better.  I was out with friends the other night when our second choice turned out to be perfectly delicious.

This wine is a deep and rich Bordeaux blend, roughly half Merlot, and balanced out with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.  On the nose were dark fruits with leathery undertones.  Slight hints of violet and char were also noticeable.  The flavors stayed fresh and juicy.  The tannins were fairly well structured and restrained, with nicely balanced acidity, resulting in a lush mouthfeel.  The flavors opened up a little more after a few minutes, so decanting is an option.  The finish had a light spice and was moderate in length.  With an alcohol level of 14%, the wine was enjoyable with no unpleasant alcohol heat.

This wine paired particularly well with grilled filet mignon and haricot verts.  This wine is a great value and worth exploring for yourself.

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Willm – NV Brut Prestige Crémant d’Alsace

willmThe cold, snowy months of this winter have certainly left many, including me, feeling blah.  But today was just what the doctor ordered – sunny and warmer, with a promise of spring in the air.  What better way to celebrate than to pop open a bottle of bubbly!  So pop I did!  I picked up this value with a day like today in mind.  Something to drink to celebrate just being happy.  This sparkling wine is a blend of Chardonnay (80%), Pinot Noir (15%) and Riesling (5%).  As soon as the bubbles hit the flute I just knew I was in for something special.  The bubbles were plentiful and as each one popped the aromas of crisp apple and pear floated up to my nose.  A hit of light citrus and honey were also mixed in.  The fruit-forward flavor was quite nice, and as the bubbles eased, the flavor of peach made its way to the top.  Very nice.  The acidity was very well-balanced, and the finish was clean.  And what could be better to pair this with than fresh strawberries with Brillat-Savarin Frais.  Delightful!

Louis Bouillot – Cremant de Bourgogne Perle d’Aurore Brut Rose

Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Rose

Every New Year celebration demands a delightful bottle of bubbly, and this sparkling wine is just that!  This pale salmon sparkling rose makes the perfect start to the New Year, and any other celebration.  Made from Pinot Noir and Gamay, the aromas of light red fruit abound – cherry, strawberry, and just a bit of red raspberry, dancing with the slightest hint of green apple.  The taste is crisp and refreshing, with extra fine bubbles that make this wine especially nice.  Balanced acidity, but still creamy.  The finish expresses a light minerality, and lasts for some time.  It pairs elegantly with champagne cheese and dried fruit.  I’ll be picking up more of this delicious sparkling rose for the fun times this New Year will undoubtedly bring.  Cheers!

Famille Perrin – 2012 Luberon

Luberon

There are few wines that can truly be described with one word, but this wine is the exception to the rule.  The word?  Pears…sweet, delicious pears… If you’re like me, and love the smell of fresh, sweet, aromatic pears, you may find yourself lingering in the aroma for quite a while.   The flavor of this dry white is a perfect match to its aromas – delicious pear, touched with a slight grassiness.  Ugni Blanc and Clairette are blended with Chardonnay to create this wine.  The acidity is balanced and the finish is modest.  Smooth and beautiful, this wine is a perfect accompaniment to light appetizers like a white bean dip with a crusty baguette, but will easily go with a meal of poultry or fish.  I suggest that you even use any leftover wine (leftover?  really?) as a poaching liquid for pears to make an amazing dessert.

I would like to offer a special “Thank You!” to Mary Watson at Cookology (www.cookologyonline.com) in Sterling, VA, for introducing me to this lovely wine.

Domaine Joseph Drouhin – 2010 Laforêt Bourgogne Chardonnay

Spring is the perfect time to begin enjoying dry, crisp, fruity white wines, and this one certainly fits the bill.  Clear, clean and light lemon yellow, the color alone is inviting.  The aromas are very nice, with lemon dancing in the air with stone fruit, and just a hint of flowers.  The flavors held true to citrus and stone fruit, softened with the tiniest bit of oak, The acidity was well balanced, and the finish was modest and clean.  This wine is such a great value, and makes a great accompaniment to light fare.

Bouchard Aine & Fils – 2006 Bourgogne Pinot Noir

There are no hard and fast rules about when to decant a wine, and my tasting experience this time taught me a valuable lesson about that.  I opened this Pinot Noir with expectations about that “typical” pinot noir experience.  The aromas of red fruits were everywhere – cherry and currants mostly, and yet there were noticeable bursts of herb and eucalyptus.  I swirled the jewel red wine a few times and took a sip, and found the wine to be spicy and even “hot”, despite modest alcohol.  I was a bit surprised by the flavors, and decided that perhaps decanting would help.  I was so glad I did.  After an hour of so, I tasted the wine again, and to my delight I discovered beautiful smoothness in the wine.  The spiciness toned down, and I was able to enjoy the fruits and fairly long finish.  No heat, no edge.  This wine paired very well with a juicy burger.