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Old 28-11-2005, 10:52 PM posted to
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Default TN: Thanksgiving Round II -- Champagne, Kabinett, Régnié, Muscat de B-d-V

THANKSGIVING ROUND II - Home (11/26/2005)

Since I had to work on Thursday, we had our home cooked Thanksgiving
meal on Saturday. Jonathan, Samantha and the kids joined us for:

Hors d'oeuvres of (1) smoked duck breast with sour plum sauce and green
tea sembei and (2) napoleans of momen-tofu and black sesame paste with
a sauce of dengaku-style white miso and green onion with water

A spinach, onion and cream cheese soup.

Roast turkey with lemons and a cinnamon/cumin/pepper spice rub, green
beans with almonds and basil, and cornbread stuffing (plus gravy,
sauces, etc.).

Banana caramel cake and pumpkin pie.

*N.V. Philippe Gonet Roy Soleil Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru - France,
Champagne, Le Mesnil Sur Oger*

Vigorous tight mousse charging through a very bright, light colored and
young looking wine. Tight lemon spritz nose backed up by chalky mineral
and nuts. Absolutely dancing on the palate with lemon-soaked apple
fruit and a palate-scrubbingly pervasive effervescence. Great zippy
texture and tight fruit, but very austere. Must be very low dosage.
With food, this rounds out a bit and provides a lovely lift and cleanse
against rich and smoky hors d'oeuvres. Despite the delightfully pure
flavors, I don't think I'd want this as a cocktail wine without
food. But oh what a great match!

*2002 Egon Müller Schärzhofberger Riesling Kabinett - Germany, Mosel
Saar Ruwer, Saar*

Glistening but extremely pale color of white straw. Still in its
primary youthful vigor, the nose shows lovely ripe peach and bright
kaffir lime powder, with essence of powdered stone and cold
springwater. This is a very intense nose. Immediate impression on the
palate is of supreme balance among sweetness, acid, and fruit
intensity. Only after it has passed through the mouth and the finish is
lingering does one realize just how much heft the palate has. Don't
know what the Oechsle actually was, but this certainly feels like it
has Spätlese strength. Given the relatively low alcohol level, it is
carrying a lot of sugar very gracefully. Served in a very difficult
match with a cream cheese/spinach soup, the slight oiliness of the
riesling comes out beautifully to help it hold its own. As an
indication of how seamlessly this worked with the soup, one of our
guests asked what the lime flavor in the soup was! This just did an
amazing job of carrying sweetness, intense fruit, and bracing acid with
a feeling of weightlessness - kind of like a linebacker playing
around with antigravity. The next day, a half glass that had been
sitting on the counter overnight was still fresh and clean, but had
picked up an intriguing smoky element on the palate and a bit of flower
on the nose. I'm locking a bunch of these away for ten years.

*2002 Domaine des Souzons (Famille Jambon) Régnié Cuvée Vieilles
Vignes - France, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Régnié*

Slightly darkish cherry red. Nose of dark sour cherries and a little
raspberry. With a little time, a bit of warm granite and the tiniest
pretty floral element comes out. On the palate, an upfront shot of
cherry and berry fruit that dies away a little in the mid-palate, where
the acid takes over and a bit of tannin scrapes the cheeks as well.
Brief finish has a nice touch of earth and a hint of bitter chocolate
along with more of the sour cherry fruit. Lightly textured throughout,
it still managed somehow to be a tad clumsy. This was a fair match with
the turkey and fixin's, but I would have been happier to keep
drinking the riesling. I like cru Beaujolais; I like acid; I like
rustic; and I like 2002. But this lacked the gentle prettiness that I
look for from the lighter crus like Régnié.

*2000 Domaine de Coyeaux Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise - France, Rhône,
Southern Rhône, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise*

Bright orange and visibly syrupy. Nose is immediate and obvious, but no
less delicious for that with candied orange zest, a mixed bouquet of
floral scents, some baking spice, and a slightly spirity grapiness. On
the palate, this is rich and sweet, with a dominant impression of
orange liqueur. Additionally, there is a little honey but it's really
just a pretty simple and sweet mouthful. Finish is of medium length,
but eventually just blends into the sweetness of the next sip. A small
glass is a nice sweet finish to the meal. Anything more becomes

Thanks to Sam for the green beans and the desserts. She really is the
best baker I know in Tokyo. Thanks to all for great company during this
holiday far from home.


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Old 29-11-2005, 02:07 PM posted to
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Default TN: Thanksgiving Round II -- Champagne, Kabinett, Régnié, Muscat de B-d-V

Nice report. I love how you mixed traditional American, European, and
Japanese influences into the food seamlessly.

Too bad about the Regnie. There's a lot of great 2002 Beaujolais, but
the sad fact is there's still way too much underachieving wines. I'll
avoid this producer.

As to Muscat BdV- I used to buy the Durban or Jaboulet, but I've
decided this is a category I just don't really appreciate, and have
removed from buying list.

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Old 30-11-2005, 10:52 PM posted to
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Default TN: Thanksgiving Round II -- Champagne, Kabinett, R?ni? Muscat de B-d-V

Thanks Dale.

The Régnié wasn't bad, just less pretty than I might have liked. I
was able to find out almost nothing about the producer. And, just to
avoid confusion, this is NOT the same as Domaine Souchons.

I tend to agree with you on Muscat BdV. I don't buy it, but someone
gave me a couple of half bottles recently.

Funny...answering this post made me reread my Régnié note and realize
how it was almost an exact copy of today's Morgon note -- at least in
terms of nose and palate flavors. But in looking back, the differences
in texture and balance and such could not be greater.


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