Sunday, February 14, 2010

2007 Michel Schlumberger Chardonnay

More snow coming in tonight so I got together with friends this evening for a feast.  The local market managed to get a catch of fresh, king crab from the Barents sea off Norway. Several legs and knuckles came home with me.

There was a new shipment of wine from Michel Schlumberger last week, and it included the 2007 La Brume chardonnay.  I liked the previous vintage when I tasted it at the winery last October so the new vintage became the wine of the evening with dinner.

There were two parts to the meal.  First was halibut cheeks sauteed in olive oil and then finished with orange juice, garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil which all reduced down in the skillet to a glaze.   Delicious.

Next was a lemon pepper pasta loaded down with the king crab.  Shallots and tomatoes were sauteed in some olive oil, the knuckle meat was added along with some butter.  Just before the sliced leg meat went in I added a concentrated reduction of the crab shells and saffron.  The crab was warmed and spooned over the pasta.

The wine was a delight.  The nose hit one immediately with pink grapefruit and lemon and as the wine warmed a little in the glass there ws just a trace of pineapple.  There was some spice going on in the nose as well and seemed to be a light pinch of cardamon.  The taste was all about the grapefruit, reminding me of a fresh Indian River fruit from a grove in Vero Beach, Florida that arrives each January to make the winter bearable here in Ohio.  The flavor was bold, as was the depth.  There was some definite light earth in the mixture along with wonderful acidity.  The acidity and the crab were great together, but that earthiness and the saffron were even better with each other.  There was no heavy dose of oak to interfere and no residual butter taste to make me feel like I was eating buttered popcorn.  There was a good long finish that seemed to be turning toward the sweet side, but at the last minute the rest of the acid kicked in and that sweet taste never fully materialized. 

Even more surprising to me was that the acid in the wine matched up quite well with the Asian seasonings on the halibut cheeks.  That subtle hint of sweetness before the finish really matched well with the fresh ginger.

All in all the wine was very un-California.  It was not over the top in any way except being great with the food.  We saved one small glass for another person to try tomorrow, but this wine definitely looks like a re-order.  Good stuff.

As for the picture, that's the bottle sitting in a snow bank with the sunlight streaming through the glass.


Edward said...


I love the photo and the golden light through the glass.

Dan McGrew said...

It's the only positive thing about all the snow on the ground, about 24 inches and still falling here.