Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend - TexaCali Wine Co. Style

Had some friends (PLM's) over Sunday evening to open some mail-orders and K&L goodies then again Monday night to dig into the leftovers and sip on the finale that was not reached Sunday night! Here’s the recap of the YUM –

First Course:
Started the evening off with Italian goats and sheeps milk cheese, olives and dried salame –

Launois Pere & Fils, Blanc de Blancs, Brut Cuvee Reserve this bubbly has been my top choice for many years now, so beautiful and delicious I could bath in it actually but that’s a whole other kind of “recap”. It’s 100% Chardonnay at it’s finest, a bit of minerality but a ton of happy bubbles with rich Grand Cru fruit. From K&L. “This house is from Mesnil, the southernmost Grand Cru in Champagne and home to Salon and Krug's Clos de Mesnil. This Champagne is all chardonnay and all Grand Cru from the villages of Mesnil, Oger, Cramant and Avize... A role call of the finest crus for Chardonnay in all of Champagne and all Veritas-certified for sustainable agriculture.”

Second Course: Spinach and Red Bartlett Pear Salad – toasted honey coated pecans and goat cheese with rich Balsamic and Olive Oil dressing.

2004 Riefle Classique Pinot Blanc this little beauty from Alsace was exactly what I LOVE in a pinot blanc – very well rounded fruit and soft, only a hit of the usual Alsatian minerality. This was the first time I’ve had this and plan on keeping a good stash of it from now on. A perfect summer sipper with light salads and/or just a glass on the porch in the afternoon. Imported by Broadbent Selections.

Main Course:
Stuffed Tomatoes, Gratin potatoes with Gruyere Cheese, Filet Mingnon (marinated over 12 hours in 2000 Ridge Santa Cruz Mountains and Tuscan Herb Rub).

2004 See Smoke “Southing” Pinot Noir: “Hi how ya doing” big ass Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County! Very extracted deep fruit, but not so much that it was a turn-off. This wine leaves me with the same feeling I get when a hot guy pulls up next to me in a new car that I initially roll my eyes about, but give him a smile as I drive away. A flashy Pinot Noir that will develop more grace as the years go by.

2004 Copain Syrah – Callioux & Coccinelle Vineyards – WOW this was about as rockin' as a wine gets for me. I love Rhone varietals done well, the nose on this baby had me at first sniff! Here’s what Parker says about it “Robert Parker - 95 points: "I continue to be awestruck by the amazing complexity and potential quality of the Syrah grown on the Oregon side of Walla Walla. While most of the fruit from this site goes to Washington State’s Cayuse winery, Copain’s 2004 Syrah Cailloux-Coccinelle (75% whole clusters were used) is riveting, and nothing I have tasted from Cayuse has been as profound as this cuvee. Copious blackberry, tapenade, bacon fat, crushed rock, and flower aromas jump from the glass of this rich, full-bodied, full-throttle, amazing Syrah. The olive characteristic continues in the flavors along with roasted meat, creme de cassis, and blackberry notes. A fabulous wine with undeniable complexity and richness, it should drink well for 10-15 years. "

Desert Course: We decided to continue the meal and save the desert wine for Monday night, it was about 11pmish at this point and we were enjoying our red wines. So for sweet nibbles I pulled out some Ecuadorian chocolates and Danish almond cinnamon wafer cookies.

2002 Davis Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley: I’ve has this a few times over the past 5 months and continue to dig it more and more each sip! Guy Davis buys his cabernet from Lewelling and Stagecoach vineyard - which in my opinion is the best marriage of Napa’s blue-blooded vineyards you can count on for a lifetime of happiness together. As always this cab is crazy good, full of blackberry and cassis, layers of coco and a hint of tobacco. We decanted this mid-way into dinner and decided to cover it and place it in the fridge to keep for Monday night.

Monday Night Leftovers and such…

Salad Course: Butter lettuce with toasted almonds, pine nuts, sunflower and sesame seeds along with a touch of goat cheese and vinegar and olive oil dressing.

2005 Mapema Sauvignon Blanc – Argentina: Bright Sauvignon Blanc from Mendoza. It has to be the highest elevation Sauv Blanc produced – the grapes grow at 3900 feet in Tupungato. Killer floral notes with lemony citrus – a hit of melon on the finish.

Main Course: Herb roasted rotisserie chicken (Thanks to le Madeline on 360!), leftover tomatoes and potatoes from Sunday night.

2002 Davis Family Vineyards Cabernet – after 24 hours of decanting this was as silky smooth as I can ever recall a cabernet to be. I actually said aloud “this doesn’t taste like wine anymore – I mean not a hint of alcohol or tannins – just pure amazing fruit”. Exquisite!!

Dessert: OK this was just a very thoughtful pairing – baked polenta with gorgonzola cheese melted on top. My friends had just returned from Italy and were given this treat while in Verona. It was a perfect match for the Finale wine…

2000 MR. K, The Noble Man Viognier – Oh the nose at first, I almost dabbed a drop behind my ears! Heavenly stone fruits with flavors of sunshine drenched in honey and apricots. Just amazing and well worth drinking sober, I’m so glad we waited until Monday to sip…a very fulfilling ending to great company, food and wine over 24 hours!!

Cheers - Ali

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