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Old 05-06-2012, 02:58 PM posted to
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Default TN: Wines from all over (well at least US, Austria, Italy, Spain,and France)

As an apertif over 2 nights, the 2010 Billaud-Simon “Montee de Tonnere” Chablis 1er from 375 ml.. A little plumper than my expectations of what I’ve read re 2010, but nice lemon fruit with chalk and floral notes. Good length, nice little wine, that with a tad more zip would have been outstanding. B+/B

Despite a little filet at Morton’s day before, Thursday I went for red meat- prime ribeyes, accompanied by grilled squash, potato salad, and a broccoli salad. Wine was the 1997 Beringer “Knight’s Valley” Cabernet Sauvignon. When I first got into wine (early 90s) the Beringer KV was the US red I probably drank the most of (‘91-’94 vintages). Not tried much recently, but took a flyer on a case of this at a no reserve auction, and paid less than current vintage. This is still a solid wine at 15- round, tannins resolved, low acid with a sweet edge to the black plum and currant fruit that seems to scream California, but with a nice finish - straightforward without being charmless. B

With grilled lemon/mint chicken (with sides of eggplant and a spicy coleslaw), the 2010 Blanco Nieva “Pie Franco” Verdejo (Rueda). Full and ripe for Rueda, sweet full peach and quince fruit, a hint of grass and honeysuckle. This is a nice wine (and acclaimed by people I respect) but I don’t really feel excited, super old vines or not. B

With chicken cacciatore the 1998 Paolo Bea Montefalco Rosso. Quite volatile at first, some acetone seems to blow off. Initial disappointment morphs into acceptance and then happiness, though it never proceeds to glee. Rich ripe dark fruit flavors (dried black cherry), some forest floor and mushroom, great finish. B+

Sunday we had over 2 couples for a nice dinner before our June schedules diverged. We started with garlic scape and basil pesto bruschetta, along with the NV Montbourgeau
Cremant de Jura. Clean, dry, fresh with a nice mineral finish and good length. B/B+

At table, with asparagus on miso butter with poached eggs:

2007 Rudi Pichler Weissenkirchner Achleiten Riesling Smaragd
Full, rich, nice fruit flavors of lemon, apricot and peach, with an overlay of petrol and ginger. Big, long. Very nice. B+/A-

Main course was chicken schnitzel over an herb salad, with rice and a watermelon/feta/olive salad. We continued with the Riesling, plus:

1978 Robert Keenan Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa)
Good fill, this is quite youthful. Full ripe cassis, mint and eucalyptus, a touch of leather. Not overly complex, but good oldstyle CaliCab. Round mouthfeel. Popular even with those who usually pine for overt young fruit when I serve something with age.. B++

2011 Nigl Zweigelt rose
What a wild color, dayglo pink, if one could print this on fabric it would make a fine safety vest for a traffic cop. Flavors are less exuberant but not exactly restrained. Red berry fruits, a little herb, pleasant fun little wine. B

with berries and gelato,
2010 Calera Viognier Doux (Central Coast)
Huge hit at table, though I’d prefer more zip. Lush peach flavors (more like cling peaches in heavy syrup) with a floral hint. B-/C+

Tonight I was chef while Betsy taught, once we had dinner (vegetarian fried rice, sauteed arugula with sesame and oyster sauce, etc) we opened the 2010 Vigneto Saetti Rosato dell’ Emilia. This is pink Lambrusco, frizzante, quite floral with a red berry fruit marked by a pleasant bitter edge. B

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

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