We planned a last minute get together at the home of some close friends to sip some wine and eat a light meal of cheese, bread, fruit and nuts. We agreed to bring the wines. I had almost no time to think about pairings so I just grabbed some stuff that I've wanted to try for a while.
1998 La Grand Dame
Light straw with lots of tiny bubbles. The nose was a bit more muted than I had expected with some toast and almond notes. Honey and toast on the palate with a bone dry finish. Nice champagne but not as enticing as I had hoped it would be.
2010 Sea Smoke Chardonnay
Pale yellow. Big Nose of citrus and nuts. Lots of lemon on entry followed be an almost explosive second stage of apple and almonds. The oak complimented this nicely balanced wine rather than overwhelmed it. A crisp acidity tied the whole thing together. If this isn't the best CA Chard I've ever had it's definitely in the top three. Great stuff.
2040 Catena Alta Malbec
The last time I tasted this wine the tannins punched me right in the mouth to the point that I could focus on nothing else. Thanks to two years of additional age, and a four hour decant, this wine has mellowed a lot. Color was inky purple and this particular bottle threw off a lot of black sediment. Very nice nose of plowed dirt. Berries, anise, chocolate and over time some tobacco notes emerged on the palate. A very nice wine but a bit heavy for the light fare being served. This wine cries out for grilled meat.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are a small
matter compared to what lies within us" -Emerson