TN: Dinner with Friends (Beaucastel, Keller, McPrice, Saxum, ++)


Last night, my wife and I had two other couples over for dinner. It was a great chance to open some wines in the cellar that I don’t normally drink. It was a typical night of good food and wine with great conversation. As for the wines:
With Lemon Feta cheese, Roasted vegetable spread, and various fruits and cheeses (courtesy of our guests):

  • NV Moutard Père et Fils Champagne Brut Rosé - France, Champagne
    Deep rose color. The nose is nice but lacks some intensity. Strawberries, some hay. On the palate, this is again nice but short of outstanding. Nothing wrong, just nothing to go crazy over. Nice froth. Good balance. Very food friendly. A very nice Champagne the perhaps was a bit under expectations. (89 pts.)

White wine
With Kale and Bean Minestrone:

  • 2004 Weingut Keller Riesling Spätlese Trocken ‘‘S’’ - Germany, Rheinhessen
    My first “Lyle” wine that I opened. Pop and pour. The nose is nice with lemons and slight petrol. With air, the petrol comes out a bit more, but never onerous or to the point of distraction. Nice texture. Round, but enough acidity to work well with food. This is dry although the fruit is perceptible on the palate giving it a feeling that it might have rs. Nice finish. All in all, a nice and very interesting wine at decent value. (91 pts.)

Lighter red:
With Asparagus Salad with Dried Cherries:

  • 2010 Luna Beberide Bierzo Art - Spain, Castilla y León, Bierzo
    Very nice showing and the crowd was a fan. Made from Mencia. Purple in color. The nose is earthy with the slightest barnyard. Also dark cherries and cherries. On the palate, this has a full bodied texture. Nice acidity. Cherries and dark cherries. Long finish. Its a bigger wine, but still worked well with an asparagus and dried cherry salad, no easy task. Every time I drink Mencia, I think I need to buy more and this was no different. (91 pts.)

Rhone blends:
With Ginger-Garlic Eggplant over rice with Naan:

  • 2009 McPrice Myers Altas Vinas - USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
    The crowd seemed more mixed on this, with some liking it more than I. It is quite good, but I hoped for a bit more complexity. Perhaps a few more years brings that out. I believe this is a GSM blend although I am not sure. Purple/ruby in color. The nose has black raspberries, raspberries, black licorice and charred oak. On the palate, the raspberries and black raspberries dominate. Nice texture. Still seems young. Food friendly. (90 pts.)
  • 2001 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Decanted for sediment and served. Got better all night so perhaps a bit more air would be right. This is clean with no barnyard. The nose is powerful with black raspberries, plums, spice and violets. Full bodied with a nice balanced acidity. Lots of black raspberries, black cherries and depth on the palate. Layered tightly, it unwinds in the glass. No hurry on these, but in a nice place. I think a few more years until peak though. Lovely. (93 pts.)

Almond Torte with Berries:

  • 2005 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume - France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Quarts de Chaume
    Screw capped. Always a crowd pleaser. This is slowly evolving with years left in it. It did not seem quite as sweet as I remember, but there is a depth with layers of complexity starting to emerge. A nose of honey, sea air and caramelized pears. Full bodied. Sweet, not overtly nor cloying. Nice acidity. Great match to the cake. Very nice. (93 pts.)

Just one more:

  • 2010 Saxum Paderewski Vineyard - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Seemed liked we needed a bit more wine, so I went down and opened this. Still young, of course, but drinking well. Big nose of black raspberries, leather, bramble, some chocolate and damp earth. Great lush texture. Lots of black raspberry fruit on the palate, some milk chocolate. Delicious. This is big, and upfront. Some depth and complexity but that’s not what this is about. Nice finish. (94 pts.)

Thanks Chris and Renee, Gary and Joyce, we look forward to seeing you again.
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