+1 To Knock You Off Your Feet
Aside from the pure fun of getting blasted, last night’s wines followed a wonderful progression.
(music by Victoria Williams-Loose and John Hammond's Ode to Waits...Wicked Grin)
Riesling Spätlese 2001, Bernkasteler Badstube, MSR, Thanisch ($30…saq)
Hailing from the central portion of the Mosel region, I was shocked at how subtle the Thanisch was compared to Prum’s spatlese. It was as if the delicate pink grapefruit and apricot flavours had yet to be fully ingested by the typical Mosel minerality. But the balance between the sugar and acidity was perfect.
Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne 2002, Cuvée Bois, Dom. Du Tariquet
From the heart of France's Armagnac region, this mix of Gros Manseng, Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Semillon was the surprise of the evening. Typical of the region's whites, there were peach, apricot and other exotic aromas supported by a nice balanced acidity. Atypical were the six months of new wood which added vanilla overtones which helped create a nice contrast with the minerality of the Riesling.
(music by Lee Morgan's Search for a New Land and Grant Green's Latin Bit)
Toscana Igt 2000, Le Volte, Ornellaia (2003...$29...saq)
Classic Toscan Igt mix of Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot aged to perfection like a 45 day old carcass. Over the last 3 years, it has lost just enough acidity to the benefit of a touch chewier texture which works so well with the leathery flavors of the Sangiovese. An elegant plumminess reminiscent of Venetia Merlot added a little seductiveness.
Connawarra 2001, Cabernet-Merlot, Petaluma
A very classy unfiltered Aussie Bordeaux assemblage aged for 20 months in French oak. Plenty of cassis and cocoa were supported by a hint of peppermint which kept it fresh. As this was the bridge wine between the main and the dessert, it was drunk on its own without any food.
Le Pudding Chômeur ..Martin Picard’s recipe in March Gourmet
(music Ben Kweller's On my Way and Jeff Buckley's Grace)
Spirale 1999, André and Mireille Tissot (2001...$60...saq)
Wow, if this is not one of the world’s great sweets than I don’t know what is. The Poulsard (red) and Savignan (white) grapes are picked at optimal maturity, dried on straw mats for 5 months, and then fermented with indigenous yeasts for over a year. The yeasts puttered out at 9% leaving a phenomenal 365 grams of residual sugar. The result is a dense and unctuous wine with an aromatic complexity that blew us away. A mix of straw, wild rose, apple, cherry and strawberry with a touch of honeyed maple gave way to apricot and spice. The mix with the pudding was sublime.