Monday's burger in a local bistro was accompanied by a forgettably sweet Rosenblum zin from the by the glass list. Tuesday Betsy was teaching a chanting class, and I grilled a rack of lamb for myself. Accompanied by green beans, salad, and a couple of glasses of the 2003 Ch. Villars (Fronsac). As I opened it, I poured a glass and then sniffed - I got the weirdest smell- then realized I had garlic all over my hands. After washing, I revisited and found a more normal, albeit overripe, Bordeaux nose. Blackberry and cassis fruit, overlaid with a bit of vanillin oak . Dense and concentrated on the palate. Big for the appelation, though the tannins are ripe and tolerable, it is a little too low-acid for my tastes. Retasted a bit later on Betsy's return, the low-acidity and surmaturite notes were more prevalent. Retasted on day 2 this was frankly a mess. This is ok as a restaurant wine with maybe rare meat, but not a rebuy for me. B-/C+
Wednesday rain was threatening, but held off. A good thing as I was trying to grill 4 lbs of Copper River salmon. Betsy's dad and nephew, David and his girlfriend, and Betsy's 81 year old friend Gaby (the kids were fascinated to hear about being a teen in wartime Berlin) joined us for dinner. In addition to the salmon, I grilled corn,and Betsy made a green bean/tomato salad with a pistou dressing. I often serve PN with salmon, but wanted something a little lighter to be served cool. So I went with the 2004 Clos de la Roilette (aka Coudert) Fleurie. When I first tried this I thought it not up to the 2002, though good. But a few months has done this a world of good. Nose of wild strawberries, cherries, and spring flowers. Clear bright palate of red fruit, a bit of flinty mineral on the finish. Nice wine for summer. B+/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.