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Old 30-05-2012, 03:07 PM posted to
Bill S. Bill S. is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2006
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Default Southern Theme Wine Dinner

Dinner chez Jenise notes – every guest was given the task of bringing
one wine to serve blind alongside the host’s wine for each course
(except the bubble and final wines, which were provided by the host).

Bruno Paillard Brut Rose Champagne Premiere Cuvee – this was marked as
disgorged in May 2009 and was an NV blend that contains 85% pinot
(information available after interminable wait on the winery’s
annoying flash-ridden website). Given 3 years in bottle before
disgorgement, that means that the wine was a 2006 on average, with up
to 15% older vintage content. A yellow/peach colour, and some nice
apple in the mouth, and elegant smooth finish. Very nice.

Gosset Brut Excellence – lean lemony bubble with good middle weight
and medium length. I like this and drink it quite a bit, but in this
instance, in comparison with the very good Paillard, it seemed to come
out second place.

We had these with cold peanut and sweet potato soup on the deck, then
moved inside for:

2005 Dom. Laroche Chablis Grand Cru Les Blanchots – interesting for me
coming off a recent Chablis and spot prawn event. This showed
uncharacteristically big and buttery in the middle, pale yellow, with
the obligatory sulphur in the nose that usually puts most people off
less than it does me, and good length. Good showing.

2006 Martin Ray Chardonnay Reserve (Santa Cruz Mountain) – while more
reticent to show us much in the nose, except some lime hints, I
thought this was a lovely clean chard with some coconut notes coming
in late on palate.

Served with shrimp and grits (southern theme menu) and excellent large
shrimp they were, too.

Next up, with a ham and mustard green terrine (a sort of deconstructed
or mutated jambon persille, that worked beautifully) with salad and
pickled tomato accompaniments:

2005 Grgich Dry Sauvignon Blanc – very good sauv blanc nose, but of
the passion fruit rather than grassy bent, and, oddly, I thought, what
seemed like significant RS, balanced by good terminal acidity. Lots of
lemon and melon in the middle.

2004 Dom. Serene Pinot Noir Yamhill Cuvee – this was the switch-over
course from white to red and this Oregon offering worked equally as
well as the white with the food. A nice spicy pinot nose, not overly
sweet, followed by a sweet entry, and some fairly rich cherry fruit in
midpalate, ending with medium length.

The main course was outstanding – a Flannery 45 day prime rib cap,
perfectly cooked (by which I mean rare) with red eye gravy, creamed
collard greens and okra fritters.

I had the task of coming up with a wine to suit this and had no idea
what Jenise might pull out, so I opted for classic elegance with:

1994 Ch. Pichon Lalande (Pauillac) – an under rated vintage that has
shown well in recent tastings and this was one of the wines of the
vintage. Good colour with the edges lightening a bit, and a nose that
was classic – currant and spice and vanilla that made it impossible to
pretend that this was anything but Bordeaux. Still some softening
tannin, good structure and a commendably long finish, this should
coast along for many years yet, and may not be at peak for a few more

2000 Woodward Canyon Cabernet Dedication Series #20 – almost black in
the glass and showing a nose more redolent of syrah notes (incl. some
bacon) than cabernet, this one fooled us. Juicy and long with a big
middle presence there is no rush on this one.

With dessert:

1990 Ch. de Fargues Sauternes – now a darkening amber colour, the nose
was coconut and orange peel, and the wine showed sweet but balanced.

I’lll tack on another wine we opened sitting around after the others
had left for the night –

2005 Arcadian Sleepy Hollow Syrah – these Santa Barbera syrahs are
some of the most reliably interesting California wine of the type.
This one showed a remarkably Rhonish nose with a little poopiness and
sweet fruit, but not so much as to be peggable as overtly New World,
Excellent concentration and very good length, this would make a great
ringer for a blind Syrah tasting as it could be mistaken for a
Northern Rhone.

Great experience and thanks to the chef!