Over the course of a week, my wife and I drink a bunch o’wine – almost always with food. Since I’ve always been fascinated by wine at the table with food, I thought it would be fun to recap not only the wines we’ve been drinking, but also how they pair (or don’t pair) with the foods at our table. Includes my picks for Wine of the Week; and Food and Wine Pairing of the Week for the week ended March 1, 2015.
This week’s wines include wines we enjoyed at a phenomenal Open That Bottle Night (“OTBN” – which is celebrated the last Saturday in February every year) dinner hosted by friends. There were 8 of us and we (mostly) consumed 8 bottles of wine.
A bottle of wine each…Sounds about right! Right?!
2011 JC Cellars Marsanne Stagecoach Vineyard – Retail $38
Pale gold color with tropical fruits, melon, stone fruit, butterscotch and jasmine aromas. On the palate, it’s fat with a plush texture and melon, nectarine, peach, pineapple and brown spice flavors. This is a cocktail wine. Not necessarily a “bad” thing, but not the style I prefer. We paired it with Pansit one night and roasted Asian style Perch. It was OK with each 15% alcohol. $38 retail. Very good; 86-88 pts
2008 Loring Wine Company Pinot Noir Keefer Ranch Vineyard – Retail
Medium ruby color with muted damp earth, cherry, and spice aromas. On the palate it’s medium-bodied and fruit forward with a silky texture, soft well-integrated tannins and intense ripe baked cherry, cranberry and hint of cola and spice flavors accented with some Green Valley minerality. Medium finish Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts
Delamotte Champagne Brut – Retail $35
Light lemon color with a persistent bead. Opened with aromas of toast, yellow apple, stone fruit, chalk, and hazelnut. On the palate it’s shows a delicate mousse, nice focus and apple, a flash of peach, citrus, chalk and a hint of ginger flavors. Lingering finish. Blend of 55% chardonnay, 35% pinot noir and% 10 pinot meunier. Aged 3 years and included 25% reserve wines. Very good QPR for $35! Very Good to Outstanding; 89-91 pts
Guy de Forez Champagne Rosé Les Riceys – Retail; Unknown
Very pretty deep pink color with plentiful tiny bubbles and fresh cherry, raspberry, and mineral aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, with great energy, and easy cherry, raspberry and mineral flavors. 100% Pinot Noir from 2010 vintage. 70% of 2 day semi-carbonic maceration, and 30% direct to press Pinot Noir Very good; 86-88 pts
2004 Pio Cesare Barolo – Retail $55
Dark red brick color with complex, and expressive blackberry, dried rose, tar, mushroom aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied, well-balanced and focused with a silken texture and chewy tannins with red fruit, sweet spice, and leather flavors and a bit of minerality. Long finish. The wine was aged in French oak casks (70%) and smaller French oak barrels (30%) 14% alcohol Outstanding; 92-95 pts
2003 Guardian Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Stillwater Creek Vineyard – Retail; Unknown
Medium garnet color with restrained cherry liqueur, red currant, and cedarwood aromas. On the palate, it’s medium-bodied with solid acidity cherry, subtle red currant, vanilla and spice flavors and a lingering finish. This bottle didn’t have a label because it was the first vintage ever produced by Guardian Cellars. The owner’s brother is a friend of ours and helped with the first bottling. Very good; 86-88 pts
2006 Mann Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Mannstand Vineyard – Retail $21
Garnet color with appealing black cherry, blackberry and a hint of earth aromas. On the palate it’s medium bodied with blackberry, cherry, and bit blueberry and spice flavors. Medium finish. Very good; 86-88 pts
2012 Mollydooker Shiraz Carnival of Love – Retail $97(Avg. on Winesearcher.com)
Violet color with exuberant dark fruit, white pepper, roasted meat, and hints of olive tapenade and eucalyptus aromas. On the palate, it’s full-bodied and ripe, yet elegant with very good acidity, soft well-integrated tannins, and luscious blackberry, black cherry, plum, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla and spice flavors. Long finish. 16% alcohol Aged in 100% new American oak. Approachable now, but will benefit from further aging. Outstanding; 92-95 pts
2008 Mark Ryan Long Haul – Retail; Unknown
Garnet color with black and red fruit, dried rose, cacao and spice aromas. On the palate, it medium bodied, and fresh with well-integrated tannins and blackberry,red berry, vanilla and spice flavors with a complementary minerality. Blend of 63% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, 11% Petit Verdot, and 4% Malbec from Ciel du Cheval, Klipsun, Kiona, and Hedges vineyards. Aged 20 months in French oak (81% new). Outstanding; 92-95 pts
2008 Tenuta Col d’Orcia Moscadello di Montalcino Pascena – Retail; Unknown
This late harvest wine of White Muscat was a real treat from a land known for their reds (Brunellos and Rossos) It poured a beautiful gold color with an intoxicating perfume of peach, apricot, dried orange peel, orange blossom, aromatic spice, and honey aromas. On the palate, it’s full-bodied, yet very fresh with luscious and utterly delicious, peach, apricot, honey and spice flavors. Long finish. Outstanding; 92-95 pts
Since this week’s wines included the eight wines we enjoyed for Open That Bottle Night, there is a plethora of Wine of the Week candidates! The Delamotte Brut, which is a sister Champagne house to iconic Salon was outstanding. And it’s all Grand Cru fruit. I highly recommend it! In terms of the still wines, they were served in the order of my tasting notes above. The Pio Cesare Barolo was amazing with our meal of Grilled beef with Sicilian herb sauce over wild mushroom risotto (especially the risotto!) which made it my Food and Wine Pairing of the Week. Although the dessert wine with our dessert of Tripe Chocolate Mousse Torte was also a fantastic pairing. I highly recommend the Tenuta Col d’Orcia Moscadello di Montalcino Pascena. It was my first Moscadello de Montalcino, and it’s an outstanding dessert wine.
In terms of the other wines, it’s been my experience that the empty bottles(or decanters) will tell you which wines were folk’s favorites. And there were three empty vessels at the end of the night – the Pio Cesare Barolo, the ‘08 Mark Ryan Long Haul, and the Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz (It was the Wine Spectator #2 Wine for 2014).
My Wine of the Week was 2012 Mollydooker Shiraz Carnival of Love. It’s a big, bold yet elegant, and complex wine that is flat-out delicious!
What was your Wine of the Week? Any killer Food and Wine pairings?
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Martin Redmond is a Financial Executive by day, and a certified wine geek with latent foodie tendencies the rest of the time. In addition to the wine lifestyle and food he enjoys family, fitness and traveling. He likes to get thoughts of wine off his mind by sharing experiences on his ENOFYLZ Wine blog, which features wine reviews, wine country travel, and wine and food pairings.
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