TNs and Photos: Jemrose Dinner @ Marche Moderne in the OC

A nice meal and time it was. Some photos, too! Thanks for reading.

The photo link>>>>> Photobucket | Make your memories fun!" onclick=";return false;

JEMROSE DINNER @ MARCHE MODERNE IN THE OC - Marche Moderne, Costa Mesa CA (10/14/2010)

Jim and Gloria Mack visited the OC this week and we were able to join them for a small group dinner at what I think is one of the best places in the OC, Marche Moderne (" onclick=“;return false;). They built for us one helluva great tasting menu that did a fine job of supporting the Jemrose wines, along with a few non-Jemrose wines. I think the world of Jim and Gloria, not only for their kindness and warmth, but their desire to build a better and better expression of what the Bennett Valley can do with rhone varietals (” onclick=";return false;). This was a tremendous evening, as you can view through the photos and the tasting notes below. You’ll note in the flights that Jim used a non-Jemrose wine as a comparison, just some hum drum stuff from France (!). Thanks to all who came, thank you Jim and Gloria for making it a great Thursday night!
Amouse Bouche with Rose

Vigonier–Jemrose Estate and Andre Perret
Tuna Crudo, carmelized onion jam, yuzu yogury spheres

  • 2007 Jemrose Viognier Egret Pond - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    This drank excellent and showcased what Jim is doing with viognier. This was the first release of the wine, and came from his library, as there is not much of it left. No perceived sweetness. Silky and spicy, with tangerine, orange blossom and an anise seed note. Nice spicy finish, along with a cool orange-sicle note. Excellent, balanced and really stood out. Alc is 14.5%.
  • 2009 Jemrose Viognier Egret Pond - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    Tasted alongside the 2007. Lifted aromatics of honeysuckle, less spicy than the 2007, as this 2009 seems more open textured, with apple and as it breathes, it picks up some stone fruit and orange notes. Jim seems to think this will evolve further and move more closer to the 2007 in time. Finish is still a bit closed/tight so more age will help. FWIW, the wine is made is done in stainless, then finished in neutral oak.
  • 2008 André Perret Condrieu Chery - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
    A toasty note starts in the aromatics, which then fades out with air. Refreshing with good acidity, structure and a bit leaner in texture than the Jemrose viogniers tasted alongside it. Some mineral but the acidity is really nice in this wine, adding a smoothness to the texture/

Grenache–Jemrose Estate and Rayas
Tarragon roasted octopus, sauce choron “N2O”, truffled pommes pont neuf

  • 2007 Jemrose Grenache Foggy Knoll - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    Tasted alongside the 2008. The 2007 is blended with 10% syrah and 10% new oak. A coffee-like aroma is present in the 2007, absent in the 2008. Dark fruited palate, mainly red fruits with a hint of black. Finishes with leather, raspberry and a riper tone than the 2008.
  • 2008 Jemrose Grenache Foggy Knoll - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    Tasted alongside the 2007. I prefer the 2008, as it seems leaner, a bit more focused and absent are some the ripe edges in the 2007. Also, this is only 5% syrah, with the same 10% new oak. Fruits are juicier in red, leather and good structure on the finish. Will need of course for time to age and in talking with Jim, whose passion is to use Rayas as a point of reference for where he wants his estate grenache to head, the 2008 is heading in the right direction.
  • 2006 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    god, without Jim Mack, I would know nothing about Rayas. Jim has now generously shared with me the 2004 and 2005 (2X) in the past year, now the 2006. This is one heluva of a wine, like the Chave Hermitage. Aromatically distinct, exhibiting some pepper, smashed rocks, spice and saddle. Then, when the wine hit my palate, the melange of strawberry, raspberry show. The balance and complexity of this young Rayas, again, amazing. We tried this alongside Jim Mack’s greanche estate, both the 2007 and 2008, which he calls Foggy Knoll. As Jim aspires to continue to craft his own expression of grenache, using Rayas as an aspiration, this is certainly a worthy goal. After now having tasted yet another Rayas, I need to open my wallet and find some, as the wine is truly an experience, as this 2006 was.

Syrah–Jemrose Estate and Chave
Perdo Jimenez roasted duck breast, crushed cauliflower, olives and dates

  • 2006 Jemrose Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    30% whole cluster, 30 % new oak, 14.5% alcohol (tasting closer to 15). Iron, a bit of heat, richer black cherry, blackberry and same iron notes in the palate. The wine is bigger boned but it’s not in the overblown syrah style.
  • 2008 Jemrose Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    Like the 2006, 30% new oak and whole cluster, with a lower alcohol here of 14.1%. Nose shows potpourri (dried flowers), lavender and is better balanced than the 2006, IMO. Good mix of richness but the balance keeps it on track. Iron, good acidity and still tight so all things said, will in my view age better and be better than the 2006. FWIW, I tasted and noted the 2007 version about 6 weeks ago, and found that wine to be drinking terrific. I think what shows is that Jim, through Michael Browne, is getting his syrah where he wants it. The progression from 2006- 2008 shows that direction.
  • 2007 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Hermitage
    What an excellent wine this was. I even doodled “WOTY?” in my notes. The unfortunate part is that unless I go beat the path to source one soon, it’s not likely I can taste it again before year’s end. The fruit shows a dark purity, a delicate/crushed sense. As it aired, becomes a bit more sauvage but retains that tremendous fruit expression and balance. I have pure underlined, too. Just so many things going on in this wine, I wish I could have drank another glass of it today and really sat and appreciated it again. IMO, this wine is certainly worth the reputation that is attached to it. Tremendous.

Merlot/Syrah–Gloria’s Jem and Pomerol
Roasted lamb ribeye, basque piperade, shishito pepper and coriander emulsion

  • 2006 Jemrose Gloria’s Gem - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    Tasted alongside the 2008. 60% syrah and 40% merlot. The syrah is done in neutral oak, the merlot in 100% Taransaud oak. This 2006 is certainly flamboyant and flashy with lots of ripe tones and oak accents. Dark chocolate, richness and dark fruit.
  • 2008 Jemrose Gloria’s Gem - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    Like the 2006, which we tasted alongside this 2008, made similarly with the syrah seeing no new wood and the merlot the reverse, seeing all new wood. 55% syrah and 45% merlot. The oak shows on the aromatics, kind of soapy at this point, a deep dark wine. Palate shows cherry and cocoa, with some milk chocolate on the finish.
  • 2000 Château Hosanna - France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
    Smells like a bdx based wine. As much as I am moving more to a french style, I still have not grown fond of the aromatics of Pomerol. Green notes, with dark cherry and herbal. The fruit tastes pretty good, actually very nice, but the pungent and herbal nature of Pomerol is something I still can’t cozy up to.

Late Harvest Viognier
Assorted fromage

  • 2008 Jemrose Viognier Late Harvest Egret Pond - USA, California, Sonoma County, Bennett Valley
    This drinks super. Only one barrel was made, and from what Jim, the labor involved to make that one barrel was significant. Delicious honey texture, orange oil, apricot, lime and apple. This was very nice and while I don’t really enjoy sweet wines all that much, this was quite good.
  • 2006 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Ayguets - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Condrieu
    Tasted next to the 2008 Jemrose late harvest, which beat this Cuilleron. Shows amber, bronze in color, did not have the complexity to me as the Jemrose. I tasted a couple times but went back to the Jemrose to complete the meal.

Posted from CellarTracker

Thanks for the photos and notes Frank. Reading those is making me quite impatient waiting for the next batch of Jemrose wines to come out. Had the chance to taste a handful of those from barrel this summer with Jim and Shane, and loved them - the 09 Viognier is really tremendous, and the reds were stunning across the board. Sounds like a really great dinner.

It was a great dinner, indeed. What I like about Jim is he measures his vision for the estate wines against these old world producers, like a Chave or Rayas. Both of these wines last night were oustanding and I can see how he is trying to work towards that end. He won’t make CdP in CA but he can infuse his BV wines with that energy and ideal. This is why I will continue to buy them and enjoy them. It’s like Wells @ Copain, who commits to an ideal and then aligns to it.

There were a handful of OCers there last night and so I hope through the weekend that a few of the impressions from them get posted.

[welldone.gif] Looks great Frank!!

I can’t find the few notes that I did take, so I will go from memory and what a memorable experience it was. Thank you Jim and Gloria Mack for all the work you put into this. It was an example of great wines paired perfectly.

The 07 Jemrose Viognier Egret Pond was singing in the glass. Was showing peaches, apricots, subtle orange, soft and smooth, floated on the palate, clean and balanced finish with minerality. I chose this as my WOTN because it struck such a positive chord for me.

In general, I was prefering the 08 Jemrose wines as this was the case with the 08 Jemrose Grenache Foggy Knoll. Blue and red berries, lush and in balance. As FCMIII mentioned 5% syrah. Had this same wine about a year ago with 10% syrah and I think the 5% is the right match.

The 06 Rayas was yet another eye opener for me provided by Jim. This wine was showing raspberry, vanilla, soft spice and great finish. Looks like my wallet will take a hit on this one too.

The 08 Jemrose Cardiac Hill Syrah was showing deep berry and pepper. Rich, but balanced. All indicators point that it will improve with age, but when it is this good now I don’t know if it will see age around me.

Next up Jemrose Gloria’s Gem. This is where I preferred the 06 bottling. Showing blue and blackberry, white pepper, smoke and chocolate. All in balance.

Lastly, the Jemrose Viognier Late Harvest Egret Pond. Really showing well. Apricots, honey, pears, but what I loved most about this wine was that the sweetness was the perfect amount, not dominating the other flavors, moreso, working with them.

Wonderful evening and great people. I enjoyed the wine, the food, and the company.

A really great evening. Marche’s food was sublime and the pairings were excellent.

Viognier is not my favorite varietal, but Jim seems to have it really dialed in in just a few short vintages. The 2007 was one of the best whites I have had this year…

The reds were all at least very good, with my soft spot being the Cardiac Hill, which I love in all versions. I am with FMIII on the Rayas, so silky.

Just a tremendous night with big thanks to Jim and Gloria.

P.S. The 2007 Chave totally sucked, Frank is just trying to be nice to Todd (jk).

Had a great time. Here are a few notes:

Amouse Bouche with Rose
Seared scallop, in what appeared to be a beef/butter reduction. Nice, and amousing. :wink:

2009 Shane Syrah Ma Fille Rosé – deep crimson color, with nose of dark cherry and raspberry. A bit of tartness and pungency in mouthfeel with a significant raspberry core of fruit.
2009 Domaine de la Mordorée Tavel Rosé La Dame Rousse – less crimson and much less depth of color, but that didn’t slow down any of the loveliness of this wine. Gorgeous, faintly buttery-floral nose, seamless palate, and silky finish.

Vigonier–Jemrose Estate and Andre Perret
Tuna Crudo, carmelized onion jam, yuzu yogury spheres. (Fascinating dish. Spheres doesn’t quite say enough here. Like tiny quail eggs, the membrane held a thickened liquid with an orange zest quality. The touches of cayenne to the plate, along with the yogurt spheres made for an explosion of flavors on the palate.)

2007 Jemrose Viognier Egret Pond – gorgeous example of what Viognier can be. A subtle melding of orange, apple and citrus in the nose, smooth across the palate, and wonderful finish. Kudos!
2009 Jemrose Viognier Egret Pond – a younger version of the ’07, this seemed to pack more obvious weight as well, and appears to be following its sibling – hopefully with the same degree of subtlety.
2008 André Perret Condrieu Chery – while I loved the aroma of this wine, the flavors and texture seemed a bit underfed. It could very well be that this just needs more time to develop greater nuances, but for now the mouthfeel just didn’t deliver for me.

Grenache–Jemrose Estate and Rayas
Tarragon roasted octopus, sauce choron “N2O”, truffled pommes pont neuf. (Another interesting dish. Not a big fan of octopus, which can be rubbery and chewy. HOWEVER, this was a revelation. Whether it was a marinade and/or the method of preparation, I can’t say, but it was firm and tender and absolutely delicious. Of course the truffles didn’t hurt anything either!)

2007 Jemrose Grenache Foggy Knoll – this was an elegant wine – which surprised me. Nose of lovely red fruit with similar flavors, nice balance and texture in mouthfeel, but I found a bit too much sweetness creeping in on the latter palate and finish, the longer it remained in the glass.
2008 Jemrose Grenache Foggy Knoll – this ’08 version seemed to be structured differently – bigger than its sibling. Sure, it was younger, so some of the perceived increase in weight was to be expected. But, this also seemed to strike off in a different path as well. It has more muscle, and nice sappy fruit in both nose and mouth, excellent balance and finish.
2006 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve – Probably not the best analogy, but this was similar to a matchup of California Pinot Noir and Burgundy. Of course this was infanticide for the Rayas, making it a little more reticent. Lots more aromas of whole cluster fermentation with the Rayas, and an earthier flavor profile. Just beautifully put together, although I do think the sweet sappy quality of most domestic Grenache is too great a contrast with Old World versions to judge either of the wines fairly. The wines also paired differently with the food. I thought the Jemrose worked better with the dish, while the Rayas’ natural earthiness seemed more exaggerated. Make no mistake, the Rayas is a killer bottle of wine. It’s just that giving it a trident and a net and sending it into an arena to go gladiator with California fruit is a hard thing to watch…uhh…taste.

Syrah–Jemrose Estate and Chave
Perdo Jimenez roasted duck breast, crushed cauliflower, olives and dates. (I thought the dates pushed the sweetness of the dish a little too much.)

2006 Jemrose Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley – very nice, slightly bright red fruit in the nose, with some crushed herbs and dark fruit on the palate. More elegant in structure than I expected, and everything seemed in harmony. Nice!
2008 Jemrose Syrah Cardiac Hill Bennett Valley – interesting – all the elegance of the ’06, with a sappier core of fruit. Intense on the palate, yet not at all big or overblown. Very nice!
2007 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage – again, infanticide seemed to keep this wine somewhat in check. Dark fruit, faintly bretty with lots of other light background notes of herb and leather. As with the Rayas, it’s tough to expect a great showing from such a young wine.

Merlot/Syrah–Gloria’s Jem and Pomerol
Roasted lamb ribeye, basque piperade, shishito pepper and coriander emulsion. (Very nice!)

2006 Jemrose Gloria’s Gem – a Syrah/Merlot blend that showed dark fruit, herbs, and a touch of vanilla. Nice fruit and balance. Although the wine had a hint of herbal qualities, it seemed a bit too sweet and/or ripe on the palate.
2008 Jemrose Gloria’s Gem – a similar Syrah/Merlot blend, this wine was larger framed, with aromas of dark cherry and talc. Very Cab Franc-like on the palate.
2000 Château Hosanna – this was bound to be a tough matchup, even with a little bottle age on this Pomerol blend of Merlot and Cab Franc. Unfortunately, the earthiness just jumped out of the glass after trying the previous blends. After spending a little time with the wine (and not going back and forth with the Gloria’s Gem), the Pomerol seemed much more inviting. The nose was fabulous, with dark fruit, tobacco, and slight floral notes. Lovely texture in the mouthfeel, with smooth fine-grained tannins and mouth-filling finish. IF you’re a Bordeaux fan, this was gorgeous.

Late Harvest Viognier
Assorted fromage (As Frank’s picture shows, the cheese was a little lonely.)

2008 Jemrose Viognier Late Harvest Egret Pond – lots of floral and apple notes in both nose and mouth. Elegant and refined, and absolutely delicious.
2006 Domaine Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Ayguets – significantly darker than the Jemrose, there was a sense of oxidation in the caramel and pecan nose. On the palate, this toastiness gave way to dried stone fruits, excellent balance and finish.

Overall: the food from Marche Moderne was amazing, as always. The Jemrose wines were all excellent and worked exceptionally well with the food, even better in some cases than the Old World examples. The Viognier is terrific.

Eric, good to see you posting TNs again, make me almost want to cry with joy. [drinkers.gif]. Steve, I already went over to Francais 3000’s house and removed the Chave this morning on my way down to Laguna. I’ll drink another one tonight. And Sean, for the short time you’ve been knocking down these dinners and breaking open bottles, you’ve come far, man. Good to see you offering your point of view on things and sharing it–keep going. [thumbs-up.gif]

An outstanding dinner! Thank you to Jim & Gloria, and FMIII, for allowing me to share an incredible evening with them and their delicious wines. As I mentioned to Jim before the dinner, I had yet to try a Jemrose, even though I’ve been on the list since the first release. After this dinner I’ve realized it was a mistake to wait, but heretofore, count me as a future buyer and a fan.

It became apparent throughout the dinner that Jim has a clear vision for the style of his wines, and he certainly sets a high standard in looking to producers like Rayas and Chave. Although his wines clearly show their CA/Bennett Valley origins, they have an old-world subtlety. Moving through each flight, I felt the Jemrose wines held their own against their French prototypes.

Further, the Jemrose wines opened my eyes to two grapes I typically ignore: Grenache and Viognier. I never get excited about these varieties in CA, although I enjoy a CdP here/there, but I woke up the next day craving me some Grenache and Viognier.

The highlight for me was the 06 Rayas, which was simply amazing. Velvety, spicy, raspberry, chocolaty heaven. I’m typically not a fan of CA Grenache, but I found both Jemrose Grenaches to be smooth and restrained, and even if not in the same class as the Rayas, they’re clearly inspired by it. Nothing for Jemrose to be ashamed of in this race. I’ll definitely watch for the next Jemrose Grenache release.
The 2008 Cardiac Hill Syrah held it’s own against the mighty Chave Hermitage. Certainly the Chave was holding something back, but I kept hitting the Jemrose without apology. I’ll watch for this one next spring.

As others have mentioned, the 2007 Viognier was excellent, with a striking nose and a spicy/fruity texture, and it surpassed the neighboring Condrieu. Unfortunately, I had to taper down at the end of the night, so I couldn’t dig into the Jemrose Late Harvest Viognier proper, but what little I tasted was certainly memorable.

Although I foolishly missed the past couple of years, I look forward to following Jim and Jemrose moving forward. With producers like Jim, Wells Guthrie, Kevin Harvey et al who aren’t ashamed to look to the old world for inspiration, the future of CA wine is promising and exciting.

Thanks again to Jim & Gloria for their time and generosity.

On the subject of Jim’s wines being compared with old world benchmarks… a few years ago Jim opened a number of fantastic wines at a Rhone/Jemrose-focused dinner in Chicago. We had two flights of Viogniers - one with some top Condrieus from the likes of Perret, Guigal, etc; the second with most of the big Cali Viogniers plus the Jemrose Egret Pond. Consensus for a lot of folks was that the Jemrose Viognier would have fit better with the lighter, more elegant Condrieus and ranked alongside the best of them - and other bottles I’ve had of Jim’s Viognier since have only reinforced that.

I couldn’t agree more. I’m sure the SS ferment to neutral oak helped, but from Jim’s prologue about them, it sounded as though it ain’t an easy task to deliver that kind of elegance.

Thanks to all who attended the dinner at Marche Moderne. It was a great evening of food and wine. I thought all the food pairings for the wines were excellent and the staff did a wonderful job of pacing the food and wine.

I wanted to post my impressions of the French wines we had that evening:

2009 Domaine de la Mordoree Tavel Rose La Reine des Bois

I felt this bottle showed very nicely compared to a bottle I had sampled three weeks ago. Deep aromas of cherry and strawberry with some spice. Rich almost sappy flavors of cherry and raspberry with some crisp acidity to balance the finish. This is not a wine I would necessarily want on a hot day sitting outside but it tasted fine at the cold temperature it was served that evening.

2008 Andre Perret Condrieu Chery

This is one of my favorite producers of Condrieu. This wine is fermented in stainless steel and neutral oak barrels. Fifty year old vines. The 2006 version of this wine was stellar. This bottle not quite up to the same level but quite good.

Beautiful aromas of white peach, honeysuckle, apricot and orange blossom. Nice creamy texture and solid midpalate with some minerality on the finish. I did feel the flavors dropped off quite a bit on the finish which I found consistent with a bottle I had earlier. A very good example of a first class Condrieu from a top producer but this wine has performed better in other vintages.

2006 Chateau Rayas CNdP Rouge

Wow! This has always been one of my favorite CNdP wines and this wine is the reason why. Light red in color looking more like a red burgundy. Beautifully complex nose of strawberries, raspberries, spices and flowers. Could just smell this wine all night. Silky smooth texture in the mouth with deep rich flavors of berries, anise, and spice. This wine delivers deep rich flavors that penetrate the palate but yet so delicate and persistent in the finish. I had a 1996 of this wine earlier in the year that was even lighter in color but dould have easily passed for a grand cru Burgundy in its aromatics, weight and structure. To me one of the truely great expressions of the Grenache grape made anywhere in the world.

2007 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge

As others at the dinner noted this is a baby but all the components are in place and coming togehter in what should be a classic Chave Hermitage. The nose on this wine is already providing a complex array of dark berries, floral notes, spices, licorice, smoke meats and tar. Great mid weight texture with deep flavors of berries, meats. minerals and a long finish with refined tannins. This is a great wine already and should be outstanding with some bottle time.

2000 Hosanna- Pomerol Rouge

I had not previously tried this wine and in fact have only had two other vintages of Hossana in the past. The wine had a classic Bordeaux nose of cassis, chocolate, tobacco, tea and graphite along with some lingering earthiness. There was a strong herbal tone initially but this blew off as the wine began to open up. Deep rich flavors of plum, cherry, cocoa and some oak. The wine while rich in flavor did show nice balance and the finish had well integarted tannins. A very good example of Pomerol. My understanding it is 70% Merlot and 30% Cab Franc. My guess is a lot of expensive new oak used in aging.

2006 Yves Cuilleron Condrieu Aygeut

I wanted to like this wine more than I did but it fell a bit short in the end. The color was a deep gold getting close to amber color. The nose showed some apricot, honey,dried fruits and caramel. Creamy texture with good balance but the finish falls flat . We had the 2004 vinatge of this wine a couple of years ago and it was already a dark amber color. Not sure why these wines have such a dark color so early in their life.

An overall splendid evening of wine, food and wonderful people!