Saturday, January 08, 2011

Thank You Cheval Blanc

Out with friends to Restaurant Ambiente...where the Patron is Ricardo Re, who I have known many years. He is starting a new venture which opens in March...Alte Oberf├Ârsterei in Kelsterbach...and will finally give up the present premises in 2 years.
The reason for the visit...was a wine I had sold on Ebay. I had decided to relieve my cellar of a bottle of Chateau Cheval Blanc 1982. I would have shared it with my wine when it was sold I invited them out for dinner. The first glass of white we drank was raised and we toasted 'Cheval Blanc '82'. It was a wonderful evening...the food has 'grown' over the years and you feel the kitchen has matured. I took along four wines the previous day with instruction that the whites be open at 5pm...and I would open and decant the reds on arrival. The round table by the window was where Steffi, Volker, Robert, my wife Eva and myself sat and chose the food. I opened the two reds and gave them a good 'airing' into the decanters.
We ordered a thin Pizza to share out while we chose. The majority went for the Octopus but my wife likes the Carpaccio.
The main courses were four Steinbuttfilet...I opted for the Lamb.
I had covered up the wines...and the first white was served.

As Sortes 2006
Valdeorras, Spain
This is 100% Godello...and...with a touch of mischief...I said to my guests they could name me 20 different white grapes and they wouldn't find the right one. I was right...hardly surprising it is rare. Quite complex aroma...citrus...zesty minerals...spicy...delightfully light on the palate...and reminds me very much of a White Burgundy on the finish.
Points 17

The second white knocked us out!
Wieninger Chardonnay Grand Select 2007
Vienna, Austria
What an aroma...Coconut, Nougat Toffee...the oak very much in the background...we were scared to taste in case it disappointed. It didn't...and was not the heavyweight we thought it might be. Creamy texture...complete harmony...lemon flavoured...and a complete success. Not cheap this wine...but a must-buy again. Fascinating...
Points 18

When choosing the reds at home I had been uncertain about the next red. Having had younger recent vintages I was not sure how this 2002 had matured.

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Isabelle Morgan 2002
California, U.S.A.
Meaty was my first impression...and the wine seems bigger than younger vintages. Did Jim Clenenden change his style to ensure younger drinking...or is this top year just a little stubborn?.
Nose seems backward...not the intensity that I usually get from ABC. This is built for a longer life...the food helped and the biting tannins needed the Lamb. a good description....not something I use with red wines...hard work...and if you have a bottle...leave it corked for 5 years.
Points 16.5

The last wine is regularly voted the top Red in Germany. I had the 2007 on our last visit to Rebstock. The Sankt Paul and Kammerberg have also passed my lips whenever possible.
This had been on Ebay...and a chance to catch a mature version was not to be missed.
Friedrich Becker Pinot Noir 2004
Pfalz, Germany
Eucalyptus, liquorice and spicy cherry fruit. Smooth...and here lies maybe why I would prefer many other top reds. I prefer just a touch of bite even when Pinot is enticingly soft.
Hedonistic...a very fine wine indeed...and with fine acidity to see it through a few years yet. Would I buy it again?...I doubt for the price I can buy 2-3 bottles that would please me as much. a wine freak... I 'sacrificed' myself for my readers. My guests were not complaining either.
Points 17.5

We shared a dessert and drank coffee. Ricardo joined us and we chatted about the new venture. I wish him well.


Edward said...

Being a gentleman, I won't ask how much you sold the bottle for. . .
Curious about the last red. Do they have eucaluptus in Germany ;)

Barry said...

Ed...being a gentleman I will tell you
It was the second time on Ebay...the first someone offered 800,-- but never paid.
Eucaluptus in idea...but these grapes grow partly in France...I blame them for the smells!