So Sunday I got my poor delayed bride at airport, and took her home for a nap before we drove to Portland ME. Our much later start meant dinner on the road, so no wine Sunday. Monday we skipped the communal dinner for a dinner for two, at 555 in Portland. We had been to a lobster shack for a late lunch, so decided to do a 3 course prix fixe vs one of the tasting menus. We were happy with the food. An amuse of swordfish “gravlax” with toasted fennel, then Betsy had a baby lettuce salad while my starter was olive oil poached halibut in a citrus/tomato broth. Then I had seared/blackened local scallops with vanilla-glazed carrots and a potato/parsnip mash; her main was truffled mac & cheese with lobster. I finished with cheese (a Maine cheddar and a Vermont brie-like soft cheese), Betsy had shortbread with blueberry-buttermilk ice cream.
I chose the 2008 de Villiaine “Les Clous” Bourgogne. Very lemony, some honeysuckle and peach blossom floral notes, bracing acids. As it warmed a bit it seemed fuller and less tart. Went well with the food. B+
Tuesday we went to the festival dinner (each night a board member or supporter does a buffet for the musicians), wonderful location in Falmouth- beautiful house, we were out on back porch above a rolling lawn looking down on a sailboat harbor in Casco Bay and an island. Pretty amazing spread- very good salmon, pork roast, chicken, 2 green salads, 3-4 other salads. I took along a Barolo but we stuck to whites and pink
2012 La Ferme Julien rose
short, but clean strawberry flavors, light, easy. B-
2011 La Ferme Julien (Coteaux des Luberon) blanc
Tart, oily, short, medicinal, not appealing. C
Short vacation! I had to miss the concerts and get back to work, so Wed took Amtrak back to NY (well, CT, as my SIL picked me up in Stamford). I’ll give a shout out to train as a civilized way to travel- lots of room, power and wifi, yahoo. Spend a bit of time with the dog, then headed to waterfront concert. No time for food (I picked up a plate from soul food vendor at concert), but I had chilled a couple bottles before I left, and others shared wine. Beautiful night (more early fall-like, cool with a breeze off Hudson), with a really nice group.
2010 Huet “Le Haut Lieu” Vouvray Sec
A little tight at first, but opens nicely. Wax, wool, and citrus peel. Just a hint of sugar. Lively acids, excellent length, B+/A-
2012 Mas de Gourgonnier (Les Baux de Provence)
Clean, classic, herbs over red fruit. B
NV Szigeti Gruner Veltliner Brut
Very crisp/tart, citrusy, not very long but clean, B-
2008 Domaine de Montcy Cour-Cheverny
Waxy, green apples, pit fruits. Nice. B
There was also a modest Bordeaux whose name I missed, but which didn’t thrill me.
Last night was ritual exchanging of keys with those that watched Lucy while I was gone and those whose dogs I’ll watch over next few days. I shared a glass of the 2012 La Clarine Farm Rose with one friend. Mostly Syrah with some Mourvedre, Semillon, & Viognier. Unfined and unfiltered label says, that’s pretty obvious looking at it, pretty cloudy. Good acids, red fruits, mineral, citrus peel, a bit of tannin. Reminds me of an orange wine more than typical rose. Good and different (but not “quaffable”). B
With dinner (grilled quail, caprese, broccoli), I opened the 2010 Baudry “Grezeaux” Chinon.
Babykiller! But what a nice baby. Superb balance of fruit, acid, tannin. Black cherry, tobacco leaf, mineral. Very good, A-
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.