We had friends over for dinner both Friday and Saturday nights. Friday we started off with Betsy’s guacamole (with roast tomatillos) and the 2002 Huet Vouvray Petillant Brut. I opened this to check on reports of some advanced bottles. Not here! There’s a light note that could be a bit oxidative dancing around, but it doesn’t actually strike me as advanced at all- just a wooliness that is Chenin in all its funkiness. Pretty apple fruit, toast, lemon zest, good acids, long, retaste following night is fine. A-/B+
Then we moved out to the patio (lovely spring night) for skirt steak with a herb butter, asparagus risotto, & a kale salad. A few wines as well
2011 Berger Gruner Veltliner
Fresh, fruity, sweet peas and sweet apples, just a great value liter bottle. . B
2011 Gonon St. Joseph
I was worried this might be closing down, but seemed pretty open. As good as I hoped- rich bright dark berry fruits, white pepper, roasted meat aromas. Good balance, good length, supple tannins. A-
2011 Iche “Les Heretiques”
When a couple of dinner guests are ministers, one must have a heretical wine! This is to me the perennial red counterpart to the Berger GV- simple and straightforward (that is not a criticism), crowd-friendly, great value. Ripe, easy, fun. B
Saturday’s dinner was a bit of a last minute invite, we started simply with olives, marinated mushrooms, and bocconcini, wine was the NV Francois Montand Blanc de Blancs. A little coarse, sweet appley edge, others liked more than I did. B-/C+
Betsy made chicken schnitzel on an herb salad, potatoes, and a shiitake/asparagus stirfry.
2007 Ella Valley Vineyard Chardonnay (Israel)
Fairly substantial, oak and a little butter. pear fruit, not really my style but wellmade. B-
2008 H. Weimer Dry Riesling
Granny Smith, citrus, and a bit of petrol. Good acids, clean finish. B
2012 Stift Gottweig Messwein Rose
Strawberries, lime zest, nice acidic framework, clean flavors, balanced. B/B+
Tonight I made chorizo/mussels over pasta, with broccoli, watercress, and leftover whites from previous couple nights. The Berger showed well, the Weimer a step behind, the Ella Valley seemed hot (though only 14%).
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.