Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Rare Treat

It was a good meal.

The plane arrived earlier in the day from the northeast and some totally fresh day boat scallops were part of its cargo. They were only a day out of the water, and for the US Midwest it doesn't get any fresher than that. Something that good deserved a great wine so we went to the very top shelf.

If I could have only one chardonnay based wine there is no question that it would be a Chablis. There are some other great ones, but Chablis is simply my favorite. I purchased a couple bottles of the Domaine Laroche Chablis Grand Cru "Les Blanchots" 2000 several years ago. One was drunk almost immediately and this bottle was stashed away.

Greenish gold in color, the nose immediately had that flinty or mineral smell that I love about Chablis. Tart, but ripe apples, a bit of pineapple and some lemon zest were in full force on the taste. The wine was a tad understated and was "asking more questions than it answered" when sipped before the meal.

The scallops were pan seared in a little butter and olive oil and tossed at the very end with lemon juice and a scattering of chopped lemon thyme fresh from the herb garden. Every question the wine asked by itself was answered with the food. The deep ocean flavor of the scallops was perfect with the understated wine. They refreshed and totally complimented each other. A stronger wine would have over powered the scallops, and the understatement in the wine became an asset. The wine was perfectly mature and I don't think it will get much better with any more age. At the very end there was a small bit of oxidation that just reaffirmed that it was the perfect time to drink it.

The Chablis will get full consideration in in December for my wine of the year. The 1996 Staglin Cabernet and the 1998 Luciano Sandrone Barolo will give it some stiff competition. I love these three choices.

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