These notes are from dinner at a friend’s house a little while back.
N.V. Domaine Tissot (André & Mireille now Stéphane) Crémant du Jura Brut. This sparkler presents a crisp aromatic profile of blanched almonds, struck match, stony minerality, copper pot, peach pit and ginger. In the mouth, it features a nice combination of toasted nut, almond, mineral, red berry, poached apple and pear flavors riding atop a little sliver of sweetness offset by a saline and graphite-infused finish. It is an interesting and refreshing way to kick off the evening.
2010 Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé. There is an intense flintiness on the nose of this wine, with shale and schist coming to mind over and again, along with more subtle notes of toasted orange peel, strawberries and canteloupe. On the palate, it has great balance and flow and goes wonderfully with the various starter foods on the counter. Flavors of strawberry, grapefruit and juniper combine with a strong mineral streak and a tart acidity to give this good energy to go with a seamless texture. It is pretty young still, but really opens up with food.
2007 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Russian River Valley. This wine has a boisterous bouquet laden with aromas of wild mixed berries, currants, smoke, anise, soft chalk, clotted cream and shaved nutmeg still showing some oak influences. In the mouth, it is again brambly berry-driven, but warm and ripe with its flavors of mulberries, cola, candy cigarettes and brown barrel spices. The structure is pretty open and there really aren’t any notable tannins to worry about, so it is smooth and easy to drink despite probably benefitting from a few more years in the cellar to better integrate some of the wood.
1998 Château Maucoil Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The color here is still a healthy dark ruby. The nose is fresh and crunchy--with a leafy, earth-driven bouquet featuring aromas of herbs de provence, lavender, forest fire, white pepper and green tobacco leaf to go along with red currant and cranberry fruit. In the mouth, it features an intriguing streak of pine sap and menthol riding atop the understated core of cassis and liquid cherry flavors. It is not heavy or rich at all, instead coming across as sinewy, controlled and old-fashioned with a finishing kick of salty minerality. I find myself really enjoying its low-key nature and subtle fruit-to-earth balance.