N/V Marques de Monistrol, Cava Brut Reserva:
Bone dry, steady bead, clean and mineral driven Cava that more than delivers as a fine accompaniment to appetizers. $9.
Dinner was gruyere gratin, asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon and sautéed mushrooms:
2006 Paolo Bea, Santa Chiara:
A white wine blend that is fermented and aged on its lees; bronze color but not even a hint of oxidation; tannic, concentrated, textural wine with some naturally sweet fruit elements among a profile that is mostly earthy, peppery and mineral driven; intense, almost thick with a presence is arresting and an ethereal slant that is hard to describe. Fabulous with the gratin.
2003 Radikon, Ribolla Gialla (500 ml):
The same color as the foregoing wine and another skin-contact white wine; aggressively dry in the mouth with high acidity and a thick, layered, deep series of flavors and textures that are as hard to describe as they are to isolate. Opens over the course of two hours and matches with the asparagus and salmon the best.
1992 Belle, Hermitage:
Showing very well with mostly game, decay and complex fruit notes on both the nose and palate with excellent balance, a precise structure and lots of length. A fine wine at its peak.