Thursday, December 13, 2012

I Love Tuesdays!

I was never one to plan good food and wine on a 'special' day...or only on a Saturday. Why not drink fine wines on a Tuesday.? Friend Volker decided to cook...and I said I would supply the wines. Wine Merchant Robert was also there...and well as Volker's wife Steffi...

A starter of cold octopus salad...followed by warm octopus in a tomato sauce (and a good dose of garlic)

F.X.Pichler Grüner Veltliner M 2004
Wachau, Austria
Opened 3 hours in advance...nose was instantly glossy...had this maybe lost it's zip?. Quite full-bodied...honey notes...and then the lift of minerals...lovely balance...not for the long haul...just about right now...and maybe paired better with the second course.
Points 17.25
As usually happens...Robert brought along a bottle covered up. He said it was 2011. We tried it...and he asked me for a tip. I thought...and something made me think...Nahe. goes...'Nahe...Dönnhoff'...and followed that with a vineyard 'Hermannshöhle'. The answer was ...'you are half correct...and half false!. Now...although the feeling must be a Riesling...I never mentioned that grape in my 'guess'. Laugh...we had to laugh...because as the label was revealed...I saw 'Dönnhoff!'....of course...I had not got 6 in the Lottery...maybe only 4...because it turned out to be a mineraly 'Weißburgunder'. Robert was adamant I had said Riesling...which I had 'indirectly' in naming a Riesling vineyard. I then jokingly claimed they had maybe planted a few Weißburgunder vines in that was just so funny.
This paired well with the cold octopus salad.

The main course was a leg of lamb...

My 'theme' for the evening's red wines...was to remain vintage 2004.

Both reds were served blind...
Markus Molitor Brauneberger Klostergarten
Spätburgunder ** 2004
Mosel, Germany

This is a fairly' heavy' bottle...which would add to the mystery with the Au Bon Climat bottle weighing 3 times a Bordeaux bottle! You can't give your wine-drinking friends too much help!
This was an instant delight for all...still lively...delicate gentle vanilla aroma...and a palate that showed a soft earthiness...which started the guys thinking Pfalz. They then tried for New Zealand...then Baden...I won't list the rest...but we were by 14 before they gave in. To be fair...the Mosel is not the hotbed of red wine...but the quality of this begs to ask why not. It will, it must come...with the changes in temperature. A wine for wine-lovers...not one that would impress young 'punch you on the nose' drinkers.
Points 17.5

Au Bon Climat Isabelle Morgan
Pinot Noir 2004
California, U.S.A.

Still fairly chunky...will develope over the next five years...the oak receded with airing...although it had now been opened 4 hours. Dried the Mosel headed this at the post.
Points 17.25

Warre Vintage Port 1966
Douro, Portugal was always Port at Christmas...but I needed no excuse to open one of my old bottles.
1963 and 1966 were the top vintages...and this was at it's peak. My bottle's label had suffered over the 30 years in the you get an extra photo of how it maybe looked in it's youth.
I had decanted 12 hours in advance...and as it had been stood up for 3 days...all the sediment remained where it should have. No way you can use a cork-screw on these wines...the trusty waiter's friend does the job perfectly.
No sign of cherry and liquorice...gorgeous fruit...smooth and elegant...and although one thinks 'heavy' with Port...this had a beautiful lightness in weight. Perfect Vintage Port
Points 19

I love Tuesdays!!!


Alex said...

Port is still a somewhat dark matter to me. I only have one bottle in my cellar, a 1996 LBV by Niepoort, and I have no clue when to open it. Maybe you have a tip for me. Also, surprised you gave it a 12h decant, is this the way to go?

I oppened a bottle of "South African Port" for Christmas, Allesverloren Syrah, just taking sips from time to time, but it doesn't come through to me. Want to try it with Roquefort cheed tonight..

Cheers, Alex

Barry said...

Hi Alex...
LBV is Late Bottled Vintage...a completely different animal to Vintage Port...and Niepoort is not a TOP house in Portugal. They are more available on the German market.
South African Port...can't comment there...but maybe more a Tawny Port in style...spending more time in oak.
As to the 12 hour decant...with the great vintages...absolutely no problem. These wine even hold up well over a few days. I still have a few gems in the cellar...hint hint.

Alex said...

Well I guess I have to try a vintage port once in my life. Maybe I already did when I visited the Port wine Institute in Lisbon once, but I can't remember. Have you seen Wein am Limit, the episode with Charles Schumann, a collector of Ports