An invite for dinner at the house of Volker & Steffi.. Volker is a very good cook..in the 'south of
France' style..fresh ingredients...the use of herbs..and a love of food.
The plan....Volker would supply a white wine starter...and Robert would bring a red.
I was asked to bring along a white and a red.
Only the supplier knew the wine..the others had to guess...
Eichholz Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Jenins, Graubünden, Switzerland
I had last tried this 5 months ago..and was impressed. Man..this HAS improved.
My first guess was Loire..may a top Sancerre....then I remembered the style and thought of the Eichholz. How it has changed!!! Lychees and melons on the nose. VERY exotic..but undoubtably Sauvignon Blanc. A lovely juicy...prickly flavour on the tongue..and a soft smokey finish. The first course had a touch of spice..and this married beautifully with the wine.
As always..there is friendly banter when we meet..and as is the nature of the animal..I generally give more than I get..but the white wine meant I got some stick...hah..I will live it down.
Dagueneau Pur Sang 1995
Pouilly-Fume, Loire, France
Something different was my thought as searched my cellar...I had last tried this over 5 years ago..and it
needed time. I checked the net for notes..and 95% were very positive. The bottle was opened and tried....first impression..oxidised....then it developed various aromas..but still that unattractive smell of 'bad Sherry'.
To be fair..it tried hard to appeal...but no-one at the table was convinced..and the bottle was left ...and I had to take all the jokes like...'How deep in the cellar did you go?'. A strange development..and I couldn't check with the grower..as he tragically passed away a few months ago.
St. Innocent Shea Vineyard Pinot Noir 2006
Guessing wines is sometimes easy...but if the owner of this bottle (Robert) thinks you are getting close..watch what you say. Pinot Noir I thought..and New World..and without thinking I said California. No..was the answer..which is correct..
I know..there are other areas in the U.S.A....so perhaps I should have waited for the reply..'which area'?..next time Robert..next time. Anyway..how was the wine?
Lots of marzipan..dark sweet fruit..spices..soft tobacco(pipe)..raspberries?...the wine is fruit driven...fleshy... There are wines with 14.5 % alcohol that hit your head..and others..like this one...that are so well made..you just never notice it. Ready...and a real pleasure now...but could be laid down for 5 years..but why would you? It is concentrated and quite complex and earns
While down in my cellar..I decided that it was about time to open 'The Gaja'..I say 'THE' as it is the only one I have!!! I don't remember what it cost me when purchased..but it costs a whole lot more now....ah..but good friends are worth it. The only 'downside' of everyone bringing bottles and blind tasting is...the order the wines are to be served. The Shea was a gem..and the Barolo maybe suffered...
Gaja Barolo Sperss 1989
The longest cork I have seen for ages...Medium colour with brown rim...complex nose..it developed in the glass..I had decided to give it a short decant. Cherry and marzipan..soft chewy tannins...roses..very true to it's area...some menthol..perfectly put together..and long. Drink it now....by itself..on it's own...ah..how hindsight is a blessing.
Due to the Pur Sang remaining in the bottle...Volker disappeared into his cellar..
Roda 1 Reserva 2004
Velvet glove of a wine...30 year-old vines..and it shows...this is 100% Tempranillo..dark coloured..cherries and vanilla..and violets..lovely weight on the palate..the 14.5% alcohol is nowhere to be seen ...dark fruits..minerals..and very drinkable. You hear about this wine needing years....and its down to personal tastes..but I'd happily drink this daily........any offers?