2004 François Pinon Vouvray Cuvée Tradition - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray (6/7/2006)
This bottle had a pine resin note to the nose I hadn't noticed before. Not as floral smelling as a bottle about 6 weeks ago. Apple, pear and quince fruit, good acidity and verve. This seems weightier and with more complexity than previous bottles. Very enjoyable.
2004 Chinook Wines Cabernet Franc - USA, Washington, Yakima Valley (6/6/2006)
With the recent discussion on WA Roses, I found a bottle of this to try and on a day with perfect Rose weather I opened it. It was from last year's release but it still was fresh and vibrant. Pretty coral red color with a little orange at the rim. Nose of red fruits and watermelon. Fresh strawberries in the mouth, with enough acidity to balance and keep things moving. This had enough flavor and body to match well with grilled Copper River King salmon (very rich fish, too). Great Cab Franc Rose, way to go Chinook. I need to find some of the 05 for this summer.
2002 François Cazin (Le Petit Chambord) Cour-Cheverny Cuvée Renaissance - France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Cour-Cheverny (6/3/2006)
Amazing wine. The nose is starting to close a bit from the last bottle. Still, very nice aromas of wet stones, lemon, and this bottle tonight showed a hint of smoke that maybe portends the petrol aromas the 1996 has developed. Mouth puckering acids, thankfully with a little RS to balance. Very focused, with a hint of red raspberry fruit that is very appealing, lengthy finish. One of the most kinetic wines I've tasted recently.
2004 Champalou Vouvray - France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray (6/2/2006)
Just about pleasant. Pretty light bodied chenin. Quince and lemon blossom nose. A little soft in the mouth, with mostly apple cider flavors. Good QPR, but not special. For the price I liked the 04 Pichot Vouvray better. Hard core Vouvray fans might be disappointed with this.
2004 Domaine de la Pepiere (Marc Ollivier) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie - France, Loire Valley, Pays Nantais, Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine (6/1/2006)
This wine doesn't really need another tasting note. I would have to say I enjoyed this bottle the best of the 11 I've drank so far, and with only one left from the case, the 05 release is right on time. Pale color, lemon stony nose, great acidity but not sharp, more saline minerally than fruit. This only took about an hour to show well, and the leftovers drank well the next day.
2004 Dönnhoff Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Spätlese Germany, Nahe (5/19/06)
We brought this bottle to the Nimbus restaurant to see how the new chef was doing. The Nimbus is on the top floor of the tallest building in Bellingham and has a stellar view of the bay and San Juan Islands to the west. The menu is creative and they seem to have very fresh high quality ingrediants, but on this night the execution was lacking on a few dishes. The potato and poblano empanada appetizer had great flavor and just the right amount of kick from the chile, but one side of the empanada was over charred and black. The excellent piece of fresh Alaskan King salmon was cooked perfectly with a crispy pan sear outside with the fish still very moist. Unfortunately the salmon was way over salted. MJ's artichoke agnolotti was wonderful, with the pasta cooked perfectly al dente and combined with their home made ricotta was a great dish.
The wine was stellar. It has that exquisite dreamy balance between the primary fruit and sweetness and structure. There is some slate and apple, red cherry, and other fruits, but it is the combination of the flavors and lightness without being thin in anyway that is the most memorable thing for me. The only downside to the wine is how fast the bottle disappears.