Sunday, July 11, 2010

California and Oregon

The heat finally broke with some rain and Saturday was a much better day.

There was an abundance of Nushagak River king salmon at the market and despite the fact that the previous Saturday was all about salmon there wasn't any need not to make this Saturday the same.  A center cut portion was tossed on the grill and served with a mango and tomato salsa on the side.

There were two wines, a 2006 Hahn SRH (Santa Rita Hills) chardonnay from California and a 2007 Penner Ash pinot noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

The Hahn was a 14.5% alcohol wine that actually showed some restraint.  There was a tropical blossom aspect to the nose but the taste was mostly ripe apricots and crisp apple with just a hint of pineapple and mango peeking through.  There was good acid to the wine, though I would have preferred a bit more.  The finish was luxurious and approached being over the top, but never quite did so.  Nice effort and one I wouldn't turn down if the chance arose to drink again.

The Penner Ash pinot noir was a good comparison to last weekend's outstanding wine, the 2005 Lemelson Stermer Vineyard effort from the Willamette Valley.  The Penner Ash was younger and a little lighter.  The nose and taste were dark red cherries and the deep woods.  There was a suggestion of raspberries going on in the wine as well.  Good amount of tannin and a hint of vanilla, but nothing out of balance.  Nice dry finish that ended with fruit.  Nice pairing with the salmon.

The photo is the hibiscus in front of the house with the remnants of the rain still clinging to it, a visual reference to match the tropical flavor in the Hahn chardonnay.

The smoked salt discussed below was crushed and used to finish the salmon and it did put in some smoky taste to the fish, and that smoke went well with the pinot.

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