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.

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.

Wine Wonderings – A Perfect Blend

Earlier this spring a friend invited me to go with her to Doukenie Winery, in Purcellville, Virginia, to attend a fun afternoon of personal wine blending.  We arrived a little early, but had no trouble filling the extra time with wine tasting and fabulous conversation with other “blenders”.   When the time for blending arrived, we were escorted downstairs by Doukenie winemaker, Sebastien Marquet.

Sebastien, who grew up in France, knew very early in his life that we wanted to be a winemaker.  He learned winemaking in the Burgundy region of France, and brought his talent and love of wine to the Caribbean, of all places, and then the US.  How fortunate Doukenie is to have Sebastien as their winemaker!

The room was filled with the chatter of excited winemakers-for-a-day.  Bottles filled with unknown wines sat before us in the center of each table, alongside beakers and mixing rods.  Each of us had a collection of glasses in front of us, begging to be filled with new blends of wine.

We started with a tasting – it was Doukenie’s 2010 Vintner’s Reserve.  Ah, and just like I like ’em – deep, red and rich…so perfect for that chilly spring day.  This was a moderately leggy wine, with an almost velvety look to it.  Dark red and black fruits were strong, with dried currant and raisin.  There was a modest oakiness, with an almost cedar characteristic.  Acids were still lively, and the tannins were very strong.  The finish was long as well.  This is a wine that will likely be very nice after resting in the cellar for a while longer.

So our task?  Make the newest Vintner’s reserve!

My very newest friends and I popped open the bottles on the table, sampling each one, and taking notes on the flavors and aromas we were experiencing.  And then the blending began!  At first we carefully mixed and measured….and of course, sampled.  After we lost track of which glasses contained which blends, we decided that perhaps the best blend on the table was the blend of new friends, laughter, and the experience of loving wine, talking about wine, sampling wine and living life with the joy of wine.

When the blending was proclaimed to be over, we made our way back up to the tasting room, where the conversation and fun continued.

What a wonderful day… yes, a perfectly blended day!

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.