The Kesslers completed their run of three cassoulet dinners and here's the wines we had at our evening.Pieropan La Rocca Soave 2010
, understated, soft, flexible with the foods; not as taut and structured as I’ve had from La Rocca in the past, but quietly delicious.Pichler Riesling Loibner Steinertal Smaragd 2007
from the Wachau in Austria. Silky-smooth, with the fatness of smaragd almost disguising the stony acidity, refreshing, bracing in the mouth, and a perfect companion to the lime and scallop ceviche!Eric Texier’s Cotes-du-Rhone Brezeme Roussanne 2000
. Would it hold? Yes, it would. The high aromatics of youth were toned down a bit, of course, but the trade was a ripe fleshiness, a juicy, peachy-floral character with a bit of melon muskiness. I love Roussanne, and of the Rhone triumvirate I much prefer it over Marsanne and Viognier, although the three are usually best when blended. This one stands just fine on its own and it holds its age quite nicely; it was a lovely surprise having a fully matured and not at all tired Roussanne from Eric.Huet Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec 2002
, wondering if it had avoided the deadly plague of premox. It was drinkable, but not all that lively and without the electricity that Huet usually brings. Plenty of acidity, of course, but lacking a succulence of fruit and that pleasing contrast of sweet-sour that the demi-sec does so well.2012 Cow Horn Spiral 36
white blend from the Applegate Valley in Oregon. Whoo! Lively florality, waxy and reeking of lily of the valley, plush fruit, touch of spice---a really gorgeous blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne, voluptuous, dry but fat, Lime citrus, peach, but also a distinct honeyed note. A hit; a palpable hit!
The Beaucastel 1998
was shy and bashful at first, despite having been opened hours earlier, and hesitant to reveal all its charms of aromatic complexity and black-fruit density, and it kept emerging until it was all gone. It was simply elegant with the cassoulet, stepping up admirably when called on, handling the richness, the salt, the fat.2001 Le Vieux Donjon
. Altogether different; lush, and blowsy and fruit-drenched, with some Rhone funk-spice (technical term) that made it indulgent, although I think the tightwound nerviness of the Beaucastel was better with the cassoulet.Rudi Pichler Wösendorfer Hochrain Grüner Veltliner Smaragd 2001
, that rare example of a well-aged Grüner at full resolution. Discussion ensued about the smaragd-ness of the wine, that Austrian combination of fat texture and dryness (Steve declared at least .04 or lower and no one disputed him) that made it tightly structured but soft and pillowy. It was luxurious and deceptively unctuous…until the fruit, and herbs and minerality registered. The pairing with the cheeses was perfect, and occasioned great comment.
If you're interested in the Full Meal Deal, the full writeup is here:http://violentfermentation.blogspot.com/2014/03/that-time-of-year-cassoulet-at-kesslers.html