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Default Hoisin Lamb with Charvin, Karl Lawrence and a bunch of other Wines

Notes from a dinner at home.

1994 Bourillon d’Orleans Vouvray Sec Vielles Vignes – a bottle was
lurking in my cellar and I thought it might provide a little forensic
interest as an aperitif. Most of the honey and mandarin orange of
youth were gone, and the light amber wine had taken on a decent little
butterscotch note, was, as always, dead dry, and finishes with some
citrus, more lemon than orange in the finish.

With Shiitake hazelnut Paté (a great dish for any vegetarians, with a
nice earthy flavour from the mushrooms and nuts uplifted with a bit of

Ruinart ‘R’ Brut – this was a remnant of the several cases of bubbly I
picked up back in the early 2000’s, when our liquor board brought in
far more than they were able to sell and thereafter sold it all off at
a reduced price. As I rather like the flavour interest maturity often
brings even with NV Champagne, I was a willing customer. This one had
some colour, a nice degree of complexity on the nose, with a sort of
buttered bread dough thing happening, and citrus in the finish.

With Grand Marnier (liver) Paté – simple preparation with thyme and
nutmeg, blended with a fair bit of heavy cream to make a mousse-like
consistency that nicely highlights but doesn’t over state the orange
flavours and slight sweetness from the Grand Marnier:

Montaudon Classe ‘M’ (also labelled with ‘Celebration 2000’) – I had
happened across the right order for these, as this wine outshone the
previous one. It had some colour, great fizz, showed significantly
more complexity in the nose, and slightly higher clean acidity, and a
marvellous freshness for a non vintage wine that was probably made 15
years ago. It also went better with the paté than the previous wine
would have.

After two Champagne mini-courses, we went to a ballotine of chicken
and pistachios that carried a definite but not overdone (too easily
done) tarragon flavouring:

1993 Dom. Jean et JL Trapet Gevrey Chambertin – I had put up both of
these wines blind for the group – some modest Burgs that I thought
could use drinking up. This was fairly dark colour, had a nice clean
pure pinot nose, slightly high acidity, but all in all pretty decent.
In fact people split over which wine they preferred.

1993 Dom. du Clos Frantin (Bichot) Vosne Romanée – another little
village wine, but lighter in colour, with a faint hint of dill in an
otherwise typical Burgundian nose, made more complex by hints of spice
there and also on palate, elegant. I preferred this one.

With hoisin marinated butterflied leg of lamb, grilled, with slow
roasted cherry tomatoes and a scalloped leek and potato dish that
incorporated significant white cheddar:

2001 Karl Lawrence Napa Cabernet – lots of cocoa in the nose, a sweet
entry and middle weight wine with good stuffing and some nice
sweetness on palate, but not overly complex. easy to peg as an
American wine, but several of us thought it might have been a syrah as
it wasn’t showing much varietal typicity in the nose despite the

2004 Dom. Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape – once again, no problem pegging
this as a southern Rhone, and it took me a couple of shots to get the
vintage (thought it might have been 2001). Garrigue/herbal nose with
notable amounts of black olive, slightly closed at first, but opening
nicely with time, a nice whiff of blackberry fruit underneath, a
softly tannic entry and good length with a spicy finish. Very good.

With cheeses:

1983 Guntrum Oppenheimer Sacktrager Gewurztraminer Auslese – I had
give each couple the opportunity to contribute one bottle to be served
blind, after advising them what the food would be. To my surprise (I
had thoughts of hefting cases in the cellar to find a nice Port) the
person who chose this course opted for a white. I didn’t want to pull
almost exactly the same wine, so went for an older wine of the same
varietal even though I knew it wouldn’t show as a Gewurz. It was
slightly musty at first and had lemon but no petrol, so they weren’t
quite sure what it was or where it was from. Only medium sweet with
good acidity, it was drying out a bit and would no doubt have been
better a few years ago.

2000 Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Altenbourg Vendage Tardives – a 500
ml. bottle, this wine showed a lot of sweetness in the nose, with
lemon and quite a bit of spice, viscous feel, very nice wine.

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