Sunday, February 26, 2017
This year was an adjustment of sorts, as the 2001 Enzo Boglietti Case Nere (black case) Barolo was a substitute bottle. Two of the guests had to cancel the day before, and they had been looking forward to the first choice wine, a 1995 Luciano Sandrone Canubi Boschis. I decided to hold that bottle for next year as the other folks would be thrilled with any good wine.
I opened the Boglietti about two hours before dinner and decanted it. One sip was all it took to realize I should have opened it sooner. It was tight, acidic, tannic and closed with little hint of fruit. Half an hour later some cherries began appearing and the acidic assault lessened. At just past an hour the wine began to bloom and the nose of flowers and just a bit of tar began to emerge. It was at that point that I returned backup bottle #2 to the cellar.
Two and a half hours after opening the bottle the lamb was finally ready and so was the wine. It smelled like clean earth and flowers. The tart cherry flavors were there, but so were some red plums. The tannins had softened from an overbuilt body builder to a finely tuned athlete. The length of flavor was wonderful and there was enough acid to cut through the richness of the lamb - roasted with Dijon mustard, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme. Great combination.
Of course, at the end of the meal the last glass was the best. Everything this wine had came together. The best news is that there is a second bottle in the cellar and it has a few years more before starting to go downhill.
2001 Enzo Boglietti Case Nere Barolo. 14% alcohol and $70 when purchased ten years ago.
Friday, February 24, 2017
This was the shrimp concoction that we ate with the 2105 Chablis discussed below. The shrimp were peeled and deveined and then lightly brined in a salt, sugar and water solution for fifteen minutes. The shells were used to make a quick shrimp stock with white wine. Finally the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and lemongrass were sauteed in some oil until fragrant, and the shrimp stock was added along with the shrimp. The shrimp were removed and the sauce finished with some butter, parsley and lemon juice before the shrimp were returned to the pan. The basmati rice was lightly flavored with a tiny bit of fresh turmeric while it cooked.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
The 2016 vintage in Chablis was horrendous with hail destroying a number of the vines. I made the decision to stock up on the 2015 vintage that are just now coming to market. I added four bottles of this wine.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Heavy, heavy fog rolled into this area overnight but the resident canine and I went to for our walk along the Great Miami River anyway. We were the only somewhat domesticated creatures around. Everyone else stayed home.
Nonetheless a good walk and a peaceful way to start one's day.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Nature has many scenes to exhibit, and constantly draws a curtain over this part or that. She is constantly repainting the landscape and all surfaces, dressing up some scene for our entertainment. Lately we had a leafy wilderness; now bare twigs begin to prevail, and soon she will surprise us with a mantle of snow. Some green she thinks so good for our eyes that, like blue, she never banishes it entirely from our eyes, but has created evergreens. ~Henry David Thoreau
Friday, February 10, 2017
The above bottle recently came to my doorstep - a Springbank 10 year old malt from Campbeltown in the extreme southwest of Scotland. It is not a Diageo brand. It will probably be followed by a Lagavulin of either 8, 12 or 16 years of age, which is a Diageo whisky. Full details in a future post.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Not only is the label on the wine colorful, but the meal was also. Both were delicious as well, though no picture of the meal exists because it was eaten without the thought of photography.
The wine in question was a 2011 Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese from the Mosel region of Germany. The Merkelbach brothers (Rolf is also credited on the label) make some of my favorite, affordable Rieslings and this one is certainly no exception.
First there was a hint of kerosene, but that blew off quickly. Next was citrus aromas and a definite suggestion of spring flowers in bloom. Citrus and crisp apple flavors were primary, but there was an underlying sense of minerality that moved this beyond the ordinary. There was a bit a sweetness on the finish but the acid in this wine kept it from being the primary feature.
Dinner was stir fried lamb, asparagus and red peppers all flavored with dried chilies, garlic and ginger and finished in a sauce of mostly hoisin sauce. Simple, easy, colorful and delicious.
The bit of sweetness in the wine was just about perfect for the heat from the dried chilies. Each gave the other some balance. Wonderful stuff. One more in the cellar.
2011 Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese. 9.5% alcohol and $21
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
It was exactly as I expected - full of earthy fruit and sharp acid that cut through the richness of the steak which was grilled over an oak fire. The fruit in the wine was a good match with the oak from the steak. There was nothing serious about this wine, it just said 'drink me and enjoy.' We did.
2014 Franco Sera Barbera D'Alba. 13% alcohol and $12.