Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tasting Notes: European Cellars at JavaMonkey

Yes, I'm actually blogging about wine this week! I have to do that every once in a while so y'all don't think I'm knocked up. On the other hand, a recent comment addressing me as "sir" on a post from three years ago tells me that people still think I'm a guy.

I was supposed to go to novel critique group this past Thursday night, but Hubby and I have been crazy busy with our jobs, so we haven't had the chance to spend much time together. All Jess (also a woman) at JavaMonkey had to say at a previous tasting was two magic words: Eric Solomon. He's an importer who focuses on "place over process," and I've rarely had a wine of his I didn't like. With a nod to a recent post by my awesome blogger friend Joe (not a woman), I'll try not to be too pretentious in my descriptions.

2009 Giachino Altesse (Savoie, France): 100% Altesse.
I love tasting grapes I've never had before. This one, originally called Roussette, which I've also never had, was originally from Cyprus, but apparently the soil next to the Alps is a little bit different. Instead of being sticky, this one has a little citrus and stone fruit with some muskiness and a lot of floral notes on the palate. It's also really dry and would likely be better with food. Hubby and I think that a seafood pesto dish would be just about perfect with it.
Rating: Good

2009 Bergerie de l'Hortus Cuvee Classique Blanc (Montferrand, France): 30% Chardonnay, 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Viognier, 10% Roussane
The guy who started this winery was walking in the hills and found the ruins of what may have been a Roman farm growing the "Mediterranean three" of wheat, olives, and grapes. He cleaned it up and started growing wine there. This one has an apricot-jasmine nose with a little honey and stone fruit on the palate.
Rating: Good to Very Good

2008 Rhône by Roger Sabon (Côtes du Rhône, France): 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Cinsault
This winery has been in the family since 1576 and currently has three generations working on it. They must drink a lot. My favorite of the evening, this one is a nice, smooth, dry red with some earthiness. It's not heavy at all and would be a great summer sipper with light grilled food or on its own.
Rating: Very Good

2009 La Madone (Loire Valley, France): 100% Gamay
One of my table mates asked Jess, "Are you trying to get rid of the leftover Beaujolais Nouveau in disguise?" This one's not a nice Gamay. My notes say moldy strawberries and very tart.
Rating: Meh

2008 La Granacha (Côtes du Rhône, France): 100% Grenache from 80-year-old vines
A little acetone-chemical on the nose with some raisin. Big and chewy with high alcohol, it wants steak or barbecue.
Rating: Okay, got better as it opened

2009 Château Pesquie Terrasses (Côtes du Ventoux, France): 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah
If you've been following our adventures for a while, you know that Hubby and I are always on the lookout for good wines from the Côtes du Ventoux region after we had a particularly good one in Belgium. Yes, I just commented elsewhere that I think the term "barnyard funk" is a funny one to use with wine, but there are some French syrahs that have that aspect on the nose. This one had smooth fruit with a hint of caramel and really became lovely after it was open a while with the funkiness all but disappearing and just leaving the fruit.
Rating: Good to Very Good

Oh, and in exciting news, the Emory Commons Publix now has a cheese counter and cheese minions!

I was irked when they decided to rearrange the whole freaking grocery store, but I can live with it if it means I can get cheesy goodness. Alon's is still my first choice, but in a pinch, this will do.

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