GROSSOT CHABLIS, BURGUNDY 2003. $23, Andrea Immer Wine Club. 13% alcohol.
Light yellow color, clear hue, restrained aroma of apples and lemons, restrained taste of lemons and peaches, medium mouth feel, light acidity, long, interesting finish, actually more interesting than either the aroma or the palate. Very nice match with lightly sauteed scallops and steamed vegetables, cut into tiny dice. 4*.
This is the fourth wine in Andrea Immer's choices for June and July, 2006. I like this wine, but disagree with Immer on a couple of counts. First, this wine is ripe and delicious now -- as she writes -- but it really needs time to develop some complexity. And, really, a wine has to have not only lemons but some additional acidity to work well with fish -- she hints at the restrained acidity with "Meyers Lemons", but a bit more punch would help. Second, I got what Jancis Robinson calls the taste of "wet stones" in this Chablis -- but boy the waves had washed away a great deal of the excitement. At least in my opinion.
Here's Andrea's version of reality:
So many of you have emailed me about your summer seafood traditions that I just couldn’t wait to share this wine with you. Whether it’s east coast crabs and clams, west coast oysters, Atlantic grouper or po’ boys, or New England lobster rolls, you cannot go wrong with this light-as-a-feather wine. Chablis, which by law is always made from 100% Chardonnay, is one of those French appellations that I am careful about because, like Pouilly-Fuisse, it depends on the producer as to whether it delivers the true style and terroir of the place.
Grossot has been one of my favorite producers for years because year in and year out theirs is truly classic Chablis that’s also affordable. Normally I would tell you to age your Chablis for a bit, because the good ones develop a nutty, creamy character with age. This one will definitely develop nicely for up to five years, but it is very delicious now, due to the vintage. You may remember hearing that 2003 was so hot in France, and the harvest so early, that many vintners were not yet back home from their August vacances (vacations) when the grapes needed picking. Due to the heat, this Chablis shows an extra ripeness and tenderness of fruit that makes it juicy and “ready” now, for summer sipping. The scent is classic Chablis, with a twist: crisp Golden Delicious apple, chamomile tea, lemon yogurt and chalk, with an exotic floral note due to the ripeness of the vintage. On the palate it is juicy Meyer lemon and white peach, with a creamy-almond-y flavor on the finish. My mouth waters just thinking about it! There is no oak at all, and the alcohol is light – absolutely the perfect weight for summer.
“Simply Ming” SESAME–SEAFOOD TEMPURA Serves 4-6
I made this recipe when I appeared on the Simply Ming show on PBS. He liked my version better than his! I made it with clams but the batter works for shrimp, oysters, fish fillets, etc.
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 1/3 cups cold club soda, approximately
2 cups rice flour, plus more if needed
24 large clams, shucked
In a dry skillet on medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring and tossing occasionally, until golden brown. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl slowly whisk the club soda into the rice flour, adding the club soda gradually until the mixture is the consistency of pancake batter. Whisk in the sesame seeds. Fill a medium stock pot 1/3 full with canola oil and heat it to 350°F. Add half the clams to the tempura batter, mix them gently to coat and then lift them out with a slotted spoon into the oil. Fry until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes, and remove to a paper towellined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining clams, sprinkling each batch with salt while hot.
As you can see, I had this Chablis with scallops, which were the clear choice of the field at our fishmongers. I added sesame seeds as a side dish -- just 'cause I respect Andrea so much. Dipped half in the side of sesame seeds -- okay but no cigar here.