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JC (NC)

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WTN: Notes from a French wine dinner

by JC (NC) » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:50 pm

I kept my note-taking to a minimum to avoid being rude to others at my table (and because the conversation was engaging) so may have a few mistakes in the following:

In honor of the Monet in Normandy exhibit at NC Museum of Art, Raleigh, Zely & Ritz Restaurant had a wine dinner last night with French wines. Mr. Roland Herrmann from Roederer was the guest speaker. Roederer is known for its Champagne but has branched out into other wines as well.
We started with 2005 Domaine Ott, Les Domaniers de Puit Mouret, Cotes du Provence, a blush or rose wine from Mourvedre and Grenache grapes. It was a soft wine with some rose petal and cranberry notes but not very exciting.

With a delicious prawn, fennel, black apple salad (prawns grown in a local pond in Orange County, NC) we had a 2002 Marc Bredif Vouvray. Unlike many Vouvrays, this one sees 6 months of sur lie aging and, thankfully, uses only stainless steel. Others at my table were more thrilled with this wine than I was, but it was pleasant.

My favorite wine of the evening was the 2004 Schlumberger Gewurztraminer, Fleur from Alsace served with sauteed frog's legs deglazed with local honey, root vegetables and lemon sauce. (My first frog's legs--not bad, especially with the sauce) The Gewurz put out a big, powerful bouquet with a slight spiciness that I like in Gewurztraminer but don't always find. It was made with very little residual sugar but came across to one diner as sweet because of the fruit. I signed up to purchase two bottles ($25 each) to be picked up later.

Pheasant with Oregon Chanterelle and Shitake mushrooms and organic baby fingerling potatoes with mushroom sauce was a good match for the 2003 Chateau de Pez, St. Estephe from Bordeaux. I believe Mr. Herrmann said that this had 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 44% Merlot. Whether due to the hot 2003 season in Europe or the percentage of Merlot, it was not a harsh or tannic wine. It was my second favorite of the evening after the Gewurztraminer.

I could only eat about half of the next entree of antelope or elk medallions with creamy risotto. Served with this course was a 2003 Napanook Bordeaux Style Cabernet Sauvigon from Napa Valley. This vintage contained no Merlot--91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec. This is from the Yountville area and is owned by Christian Moueix, the owner of Chateau Petrus. Dominus Estate is from the winery now called Napanook. This wine was also very well matched with the meat but will probably improve with some extra age.

Dessert was a citrus brioche bread pudding with small scoop of ginger and apple ice cream. Loved the dessert. Served with Roederer Champagne Brut, 2/3 Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay. Sur lie aging for 3 years (requirement is 15 months.) Rated 98 out of 100 by a French council (?)

Roederer is the largest privately owned Champagne house (most of the big Champagne firms are owned by corporations, not families). They own 80% of the vineyards whose grapes go into the house Champagne unlike other Champagne houses which buy from many vineyards.
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Rahsaan

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Re: WTN: Notes from a French wine dinner

by Rahsaan » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:02 pm

2005 Domaine Ott, Les Domaniers de Puit Mouret, Cotes du Provence...not very exciting.


Ah yes, but it is expensive and highly sought after. Isn't it.

black apple salad


What is a black apple? Is it literally black? Sour?

2002 Marc Bredif Vouvray. Unlike many Vouvrays, this one sees 6 months of sur lie aging and, thankfully, uses only stainless steel


Why do you say thankfully only stainless steel? If I remember correctly Huet uses only stainless, but old wood is obviously the more traditional way, in Muscadet as well where they have plenty of months of sur lie aging. I'm trying to imagine the rich yeasty notes and the crisp stainless notes. Interesting at least.
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Re: WTN: Notes from a French wine dinner

by Jenise » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:08 pm

JC, nice notes. Totally agree with you and Rahsaan about the Ott--I cannot for the life of me understand that wine's appeal, especially at the price.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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JC (NC)

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Re: WTN: Notes from a French wine dinner

by JC (NC) » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:53 am

To Rahsaan,
The black apple is originally associated with Benton County, Arkansas. Here is a description from apples of New York from S.A. Beach:

At A Glance
name: Arkansas Black
origin: Benton County, Arkansas
date: 1870
parentage: probably Winesap seedling
harvest: October
season: December-April


Historical:
"According to Stinson the Arkansas Black originated in Benton county Arkansas, and bore its first fruit about 1870. The first description of it which I find, is that given by Van Deman in 1886...

Fruit:
"Fruit as grown here is medium or below, rarely large, pretty uniform in size and shape. Form nearly round. Stem medium. Cavity acute, rather small, sometimes lipped, not deep, partly russeted. Calyx rather small, closed.
"Skin smooth, somewhat waxy; yellow covered with a lively red deepening to purplish-red or almost black on the exposed side. Dots small, inconspicuous. Prevailing effect bright very dark red.
"Calyx tube conical, approaching funnel-form. Stamens marginal.
"Core medium to small, abaxile, closed or partly open; core lines clasping. Carpels concave, roundish, emarginate. Seeds plump, rather short, obtuse, moderately dark brown.
"Flesh decidedly tinged with yellow, very firm, rather fine-grained, crisp, moderately juicy, sprightly subacid, good to very good.
"Season December to April or later. In cold storage it keeps well through the storage season.”

Apparently the skin on the exposed side is purplish-red to almost black (sounds like some Australian Shiraz). The flavor in the salad was more crisp apple than sour.

I prefer Chenin Blanc (and Sauvignon Blanc) without oak treatment. Leave the wood barrels for powerful white Burgundies, etc. and then use a mixture of old and new wood.

I didn't know the Domain Ott wine was expensive and highly sought after. I didn't really look at the prices of the wines for sale other than the Gewurztraminer which I wanted to buy.
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Rahsaan

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Re: WTN: Notes from a French wine dinner

by Rahsaan » Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:40 pm

Apparently the skin on the exposed side is purplish-red to almost black (sounds like some Australian Shiraz). The flavor in the salad was more crisp apple than sour.


Interesting. Thanks.
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: WTN: Notes from a French wine dinner

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Nov 18, 2006 10:54 am

Rahsaan, think you might wanna see this piece on Vouvray/Poniatowski.....!!

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/loire/poniatowski.shtml

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