Saturday Betsy was working both performances, left to fend for myself I grabbed D'Artagnan venison/pork sausage and some beans. There were a load of creminis that needed to be used, so I sauteed them along with some reconstituted porcini and whatever species those big dried Chinese mushrooms are. Needed some wine for the 'shroom recipe, used some leftover Macon and a bit of the 2002 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc (Paso Robles) from a 375ml. I've said several times I'm not the biggest fan of Southern Rhone whites, and one would think that might extent to those grape varieties grown elsewhere. But I actually really like this. Nose of flowers and spice, rich palate of pears and apricots with a long finish. Good acidity, some flintly notes. Nice wine! A-/B+
When I realized the sausage had cherry in it, my Rhone thoughts turned to Burgundy (especially with the mushrooms). So I opened a 375 of the 1998 Faiveley "Clos des Myglands" Mercurey 1er. I had liked this before, but this bottle disappointed. Cherry fruit somewhat reticent, acidity a tad unintegrated, and some spiky hard tannins remaining. It smoothed out a bit over time but this never really grabbed me. B-/C+
Sunday night some strip steaks, grilled striped Italian eggplant, salad, and more of the mushrooms (I made a lot). Wine was the 2001 Rocher Bellevue Figeac (St Emilion). Nice rich sweet red fruit with some chocolately notes. Not especially Bordeaux, nor very complex. But for a $13 bottle of Merlot a decent showing. B
Over both nights, some sips out of a 375ml of the 1998 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese. A little sulphury on first opening,with bright acidity and sweet pear and apple fruit, mineral finish. Sweet without quite being dessert level. On the second night (while watching the very good "Rabbit Proof Fence") it had really smoothed out, with the matchstick aromas gone and the slate background much more evident. Just a hint of petrol. Nice now, I would guess better in a while. Leave alone. 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.
edited for spelling