Thursday, June 10, 2004

Summer Drinks vol.1

The deck is stained, the vegetable garden is brimming with potential and my health seems to be back on track (without Joe Camel and his merry horde messing with my brain). So here’s a little synopsis of our recent favorites.

White Wine

Schenkenbichl Gruner Veltliner 1999, Trocken, Jurtschitsch ($48)
I’ll start with the best. There isn’t a whole lot of Gruner Veltliner on the market, in fact, Austria as a whole seems to be neglected. Shame because this was the answer to the lobster quandry. We boiled up a couple of seabugs, made the garlic butter, ripped up a baguette and landed in heaven. The Gruner, as opposed to Riesling, has a wonderful herbal quality to it... think of nettle, wheatgrass, a touch of lemon balm. But it is rich, fresh and has a length that any Grand Cru Riesling would love to call it’s own. Fabulous.

Pouilly Fuissé 2000, Juliette la Grande, Domaine Cordier ($84)
This bottle came to my attention because my daughter is a Juliet as well. However this Fuissé has an 84$ price tag, putting it in the same range as good Meursault and Chassagne-Monrachet. Feeling rich I popped for a bottle and a year later, we opened it with my first successful veal roast. The first sip hurt. The wood burned. The acidity stung. So, into the caraffe, and I brought it up to room temperature. A half hour later and it started to open up and blammo....huge Burgundy. Very little in terms of fruit, perhaps a touch of browning apples, but talk to me of butter. Each sip of thick, warmed butter lasted minutes. I bought another bottle and we’ll see in 5 or 6 years.

Red Wine

Merlot 1997, Cuvée Alexander, Casa Lapostolle ($68)magnum)
The last of my three magnums of this wonderful merlot accompanied a braised pork with fennel and ginger. A wonderful mix and the best of the three. Hervé said it could have been St. Emilion. Perhaps in a really ripe year as it still had a touch of that new world jam, but elegant with a wonderful palette of red berries and an interesting vegetative component that worked wonders with the fennel and grilled asparagus.

Hamagne, Combe d’Enfer 1999, Valais Aoc, André Roduit
An interesting Swiss wine with mixed reviews at the table. It reminded me of a Moulin a Vent, but a little flatter on the palette. Manon said it smelt like carpet glue.

No comments: