Monday made lamb cooked with minty orzo, some leftover Roc de Cambes was ok, but a white matched better with the mint. I had gotten the 2004 Domaine de la Borne Muscadet for two reasons, good internet reviews and the fact that the ever-dependable Chambers Street Wines carried it. It wasn't bad at all, with a chalky typicity, but it lacks the freshness/vivacity of the Pepiere regular, the structure of the Pepiere Briords, or the individuality of the Ecu Expression de Granit.A nice Muscadet with good acidity and clear mineral notes, but I wouldn't buy again in the current sea of great 2004 Muscadet choices. In a lesser enviroment I'd be rushing back for more. B
Tuesday was date night, and Betsy decided on the Freelance Cafe & Wine Bar across the river in Piermont. This is the more casual branch of the fantastic Xavier's, we got there early to beat the rush (no reservations). Betsy chose to go with 3 small plates (absolutely fantastic fennel/bacon soup, very good mushroom ravioli with truffle oil, and a endive/apple/blue cheese salad that was merely ok in my opinion, but Betsy liked more). I had an extraordinary casserole of Prince Edward Island mussels to start, then Stone Church Farm chicken stuffed with brie and served with very good braised greens. I thought the brie actually detracted a bit from the otherwise stellar chicken, but overall food was very very good.
Nice wine list, but with our varied dishes (and drive home), we just shared three glasses of wine:
2005 Hope Estate Verdelho (Hunter Valley)
Just a tad off-dry, apple and tropical (mango) fruit. No sign of oak, good crisp acidity. Develops a more floral nose with time, and a touch of canteloupe. Might be a fun summer wine. B
2004 Heitz Cellars Chardonnay (Napa)Pear and melon fruit. This one does show some oak, though not overwhelming by CalChard standards. Crisper than average, too, my objection is that it seems a bit big and clumsy. B/B-
2003 Hedges CMS (Columbia Valley)Simple easy red, not complicated, but acceptable. B-
The company was better than the wine, but with Betsy that's always the case.
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.