Wednesday we went to our village's park concert down by the river where we had some jazz friends playing. Gorgeous night with good music, food, and wine. Lucy the Basset got to meet your friend Dolores's new 9-week Dachshund "Burger" (get it?). With our steak salad we had the 2005 Ch. d'Oupia Minervois Rosé. Wild strawberries and flowers on the nose, a bit darker palate- black cherries with a hint of bitterness offsetting the sweet fruit. A rosé with structure, I quite enjoyed this, excellent QPR. B+
Friday Betsy and I were both too pooped to cook, we headed to Yonkers to the excellent Bistro Chartreuse. Betsy had a very good French onion soup followed by duck breast, I had a duck proscuitto salad and then a grilled pork loin special. I had carried a backup bottle in case the 1990 Mongeard-Mugneret "Les Narbantons" Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er was past it, but the backup stayed in the bag. The Savigny was ripe but without the overripe notes found in some '90s. A little simple at first, all red cherry fruit without complexity or depth, but this wine picked up weight throughout the evening. More black fruits towards the end, with forest floor and mushroom aromas. A little mineral note to the tangy finish. Ideally this could have used just a touch more acidic zip for me, but it wasn't flabby for a 1990. Overall a most enjoyable "little" wine. B+/A-
Saturday we went to friends for a pre-4th party. Jim had made gazpacho and grilled Cornish game hen and corn, Betsy brought a tuna & garbanzo salad, and others brought carrot salad, asparagus, and a strawberry tart. A variety of wines were out:
NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne
I've found this a relative QPR in past,but this didn't really appeal (batch or vintage variation?). Fine mousse, but rather dilute flavors and little of the yeasty breadiness I look for in Champagne. B-
2004 Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet
My contribution. Zippy, mineral, what haven't I said before? B+
2004 Michael Sullberg California Cabernet Sauvignon
Sweet and short, flabby and fruitdriven, backboneless and boring.
2003 Rodney Strong Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma)
An improvement over the Sullberg, some decent black plum and currant fruit and a little hint of herbs. Not really beefy enough for my tastes for CalCabs, but not bad. B/B-
2004 Fairview Goats Do Roam In Villages
A decent CdR standin, some Provencal herbs and earth over a solid body of round red fruit. B
Sunday evening Betsy prepared scallops in a miso-citrus marinade with portobellos. Ming had suggested a California Chard, I didn't feel like digging and instead opened the 2001 Anglada-Deleger "Blanchot Dessus" Chassagne 1er. There's a little nutty note here that makes me think of slight oxidation, though not the severe air spoilage of my previous bottle. A medium-bodied Chassagne with some apple-pie fruit and light vanilla notes, it's a tad dilute and I won't be buying more. 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.