Monday, April 27, 2015

Lemelson Jerome Pinot Noir

To go along with the grilled chicken and pasta with the morels mentioned in the post below this one I opened a 2008 Lemelson Vineyards Jerome Reserve pinot noir from Oregon's Willamette Valley.  2008 was an outstanding year for pinot in Oregon.  Fruit, earth and smoke in the nose led into a deep cherry flavor with earthy overtones and some spice.  Nothing shy about this wine in the flavor department but it seemed too acidic.  The fruit also faded quickly and the wine was almost bitter.  That said it was good with the richness of the food.  Two thirds of the bottle were left so it got a vacuum pump and put aside.

On day two there was a glass with a small piece of salmon.  The fruit was coming back and the acid seemed to have faded a bit, but the wine as still a mouthful.  The vacuum went back in again.

The third day and the last glass were wonderful.  Finally I could get excited about this wine.  Wonderful flavors, balanced and delicious with some crackers and a bit of cheese.  The fruit was there, the acid was in check and the bitterness was gone.

In the end I have mixed feelings about this wine.  I am certain that I don't want all of my wines to finally come together on the third day.  If I had purchased this wine at a restaurant I probably would have asked that it be taken back.  I should also add that on the first two days the wine went into a very large glass and passed through an aerator.  It had plenty of breathing time.  On the third day I was sad that there wasn't another bottle. 

For technical junkies there is a very good spec sheet here.

2008 Lemelson Vineyards Jerome Reserve pinot noir.  14% alcohol and $55. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pheasant's Back

Ms. Birdie, the resident canine, and I were out for a long walk along the Great Miami River this morning. At one point she stopped to thoroughly sniff something on the ground when I happened to glance up ten or more feet.  Growing on the side of an upright but totally dead tree on a very steep bank  was an enormous  Pheasant's Back or Dryad's Saddle mushroom.  True to its name it looked like the back of a pheasant or a saddle a wood nymph might use.  While I have seen very small version of this in this area I had never seen one quite this large. 

Not only is walking good for the health and the soul but it can make one hungry.  Suddenly I was craving mushrooms.

There will be mushrooms for dinner tonight and an Oregon Pinot Noir.  Since there was no way to reach the ones in the picture I stopped by a local market and came home with a large handful of morels.  Dinner will be very good tonight.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


In this case there is no accent grave so the title is not about wine, but flowers.  There was the last of the Protocolo rose' from below that drank very well on the second day with bread, cheese and salami for lunch.  No fading at all and just as pleasant and happy as the day it was opened.

Cleaning out old storage areas sometimes leads to surprises.  That was recently the case here as several thousand 35mm color slides were discovered stashed away.  Lots of old family pictures, dog event pictures, and motor racing pictures from as far back as 1955 turned up.  Some were ones that I took but most were pictures my father took dating back to before I knew anything about cameras.  

I have been converting a number of them to digital format and sharing with relatives.  This one jumped out at me.  The date on this pictures that he took of two roses from my mother's garden was dated 1960.  It has some non-removable dust particles but it does provoke some memories and has survived very well. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spanish Rose'

It is better to have bread left over than to run short of wine.....    Spanish Proverb
Salmon again - this  time a small piece with the added benefit of an even smaller piece of Walleye and both cooked over alder. Some angel hair pasta with fresh pesto completed the meal.

The wine was a 2014 Protocolo, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla in La Mancha.  It is a blend of 50% Tempranillo and 50% Bobal.    The color was a cross between orange and pink and it smelled of raspberries and citrus.  Light, refreshing, slightly tart, bold fruit flavors that managed to finish totally dry.   This was an incredibly easy wine to drink and at $8 a bottle it is an incredible bargain.  With its low alcohol it's also one that was gone before the bread.

2014 Protocolo, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla.  12.5% alcohol and $8.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sweet Woodruff

There is a spot up against the house that only gets sunshine in the early spring before the leaves on the birch tree develop.  It is planted with sweet woodruff.  Not only is it pretty but it has a fresh, grassy and clean scent.  Drying accentuates the aromas.

It is the flavor agent in a spring time beverage in Germany, May wine.  Local white wine is infused with woodruff.  It's also used in beer making.

After blooming in the spring it turns a much darker green color and thrives in this spot because it gets only a hour or so of low sun during the day. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Northwest Bounty

There was a definite northwest USA dinner earlier this week here in Ohio featuring a Columbia River Valley rose' wine and a filet of Columbia river king salmon cooked over an alder wood fire.  

The wine was a 2014 Barnard Griffin rose' of Sangiovese.  Bright red colors when poured into a glass the wine was just full of the flavor of tart, red cherries and herbs.  It's just loaded with sweet fruit and more than enough acidity to balance out that sweetness.  This is not a shy or subtle rose', but it is a flavorful and bold wine. 

The salmon was from the first wild catch of the year to appear in the market.  It was clean and pure and very rich with fat.  The alder wood smoke gave it nice edge of earthiness and the smell of the smoke drew a couple of the neighbors out of the house. 

The side dishes were inconsequential.  All that was important here was a bit of fish and a sip of wine repeated over and over.  Both the wine and the fish were as bold as the colors in the photo.

Barnard Griffin Columbia Valley Rose' of Sangiovese.  12.9% alcohol and $13.  A bargain.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Still Spring

The world is exploding in emerald, sage, and lusty chartreuse - neon green with so much yellow in it. It is an explosive green that, if one could watch it moment by moment throughout the day, would grow in every dimension.............  Amy Seidl, Early Spring
There's also some red from the Hustle rye pale ale.  And then there's being able to sit on the patio in the sunshine and drink it. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

National Beer Day

On April 7, 1933 a long, national nightmare ended when the Cullen–Harrison Act went into effect after being signed by President Franklin Roosevelt on March 22.    Americans were once again allowed to buy, sell and drink beer as long as it was less than 4% alcohol. 

It is estimated that 1.5 million barrels were consumed on this day in 1933.  We may have been in a depression, but at least there was beer again!

Pictured is a can of Rhinegeist Hustle, a rye pale ale from Cincinnati.  Yesterday was the opening day of baseball season for the Cincinnati Reds and this rye based, and very red, ale was part of the celebration.

Party responsibly today!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter

Formal portrait of the Chateau Trians rose' discussed in the post below this one.   The last glass on the second day and still a happy wine.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Early Spring Rose'

There are blue skies and sunshine here and the the wine stores are receiving the new vintages of rose' wines, and they are discounting the last of the previous vintage.  I snatched up several to get a jump on even warmer weather.

Let's start with Chateau Trians from Coteaux Varois en Provence.  This is a mixture of 60% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 10% Syrah.  It was opened just a short time ago because a half cup was needed for a marinade for a thick slab of ham that will go on the grill tonight.  This wine just screams "Spring" at the top of its lungs.  There was a blast of fruit salad aromas in the glass and a wonderful flavor of ripe strawberries and cherries.  The color in the glass was faded copper or pale salmon.  The acidity was in perfect harmony and there was just enough tannin to liven things up.  This is going to be a very happy wine with dinner tonight.

2013 Chateau Trians Rose'.  13.5% alcohol and $13.