Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dolcetto d'Alba

Every summer has to have a place for a Dolcetto d'Alba, especially when there is prime steak involved.  The wine was a Giacomo Borgogno Dolcetto d'Alba from the 2012 vintage.  The wine was somewhat unusual as it was more of a deep ruby color than a deep purple shade.  The nose was full of dark cherries and strawberries and that sense of Italian dirt.  This is a very fruity wine with with lightness and great acid to give that lightness an extra boost.  The tannins are there in proper proportion and give just enough of a sense of drying to keep this wine rolling along.  The finish is deep and sweet but the tannin keeps it in balance.  Great sense of earthiness. 

I don't eat nearly as much beef as I used to eat, but when I do eat a steak it has to be a good one, and with the price of beef skyrocketing it helps to find a sale.  Everything came together last weekend and the the result is pictured below.  Grilled to the rare side of medium rare over coconut shell charcoal it lived up to all of its possibilities.  It also made for leftovers for two more meals.

2012 Giacomo Borgogno & Figli Dolcetto d'Alba.  13.5% alcohol and $20.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Other Summer Love

I've been so busy this summer drinking rose' wines that I realized I had ignored my other summer love in the wine world, Riesling.  This despite an excellent article in the NY Times about the dry versions.  That article was in a series where Eric Asimov picks three wines and asks readers to buy them, drink them and then discuss them in the comments section for the next month.  You can find the link here, but be certain to open the comments and read a few - and there are very many.

I was surprised that I did not have look far for one of his three recommended wines - no farther than my wine cellar.  The wine was a 2012 Leitz Eins Zwei Dry from the Rheingau region.  The wine is very dry with aromas of fresh lime zest a tiny bit of freshly cut spring hay - young and happy.  The taste was austere and tart suggesting white peaches just before they are full ripe.  There was a small bit of earthiness in the finish that really appealed to me. The wine helped wash down a thick pork chop from the grill and some mustard potato salad.  It did an excellent job. 

2012 Leitz Eins Zwei Dry, Rheingau Riesling Trocken.  11.5% alcohol and $19.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Spring

For the Independence Day party and fireworks there had to be an American wine so I opted for a 2007 Spring Napa Valley Red Wine from the Bunter Spring Winery, an extremely small winery.  The wine is a blend of 34% Petit Verdot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot.

With that much Petit Verdot I was expecting big flavors and that is exactly what was in the bottle; it was full of dark plum and deep, black cherry flavors.  The Cabernet Sauvignon added some red fruit to the mix and also some leanness to the structure.  The Merlot was juicy and happy and tossed in a few blueberries to the mixture.  The tannin was well integrated here and it retained enough acid to hold everything together.

This was a full flavored wine that never went over the edge in to the range of being over extracted.  It was a big wine with balance and even a bit of elegance to it.  The more it breathed the better it got.  I wasn't the only one who liked this wine and for that reason  it disappeared quickly - very quickly.

2007 Spring, Napa Valley Red Wine.  13.7% alcohol.  Price is unknown since it was part of an auction basket I purchased over a year ago. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Summer


Very ripe, local, red tomatoes, some halved yellow cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and some fresh basil. Party time.  Olive oil and sea salt were added at the last minute.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hemingway Inspired


The running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain has begun and already there has been several injuries including a goring.  They were discussing this on the radio early this afternoon and that got me to thinking about Ernest Hemingway.

Above is a version of one of his favorite drinks, a Floridita.  It's white rum, lime juice, grapefruit juice and sugar.  The final ingredient is supposed to be half an ounce of a maraschino liqueur, but since that wasn't on hand the drink got one drop of juice from a fresh black cherry.  Shake over ice and strain  into a glass.  To keep it Caribbean add a small flamingo to the side.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Provence Meets Alaska

There are still so many rose's and so little time to get through all of them by the end of the summer, but I'm trying.  This time it was the 2013 Aime' Roquesante Cotes de Provence Cuvee Reservee.  The color was a pale salmon pink, best represented by the coloration off to the side of the bottle in the picture above.  The aromas were dry and earthy while the initial flavors were white peaches with a bit of strawberry.  Crisp and tart and a beautiful wine for a beautiful day.

Alaska was present in the form of Coho salmon that was fresh out of the stream and just off the airplane.  It was portioned, painted with a Pacific northwest barbecue sauce and grilled with some smoke from Alder.  The rich and fatty flavors from the salmon were a great counterpoint to the crisp and sharp flavor of the wine.  They played off each other very nicely.

A second wine for the evening was a 2008 Saintsbury Pinot Noir from the Carneros region of Napa Valley.  The wine had good fruit flavors but tasted a bit over the hill.  It opened up somewhat with some swirling and was acceptable, but this was a wine past its prime. 

2013 Aime' Roquesante Cotes de Provence Cuvee Reservee.  13% alcohol and $12.

2008 Saintsbury Pinot Noir Carneros.  13.6% alcohol and $18 on closeout.