The following wines were tasted and (mostly) enjoyed with our good friends Anne Keller and Brian Klumpp before and during a delightful dinner of lamb ribs and afterwords, during two rounds of euchre, neither of which went well for Kim and me (we got our butts kicked). All four wines are imported by Vineyard Brands, Inc., Birmingham, AL. As usual, we started things out with a couple of whites, but the star of the night was a lovely Collioure rouge from the Parcé family.
2009 Mohua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, 13% alc.: Pale-to-medium color, with flavors and aromas reminiscent of grapefruit and gooseberry, shaded with boxwood and a hint of pine. Medium bodied, with good acidity and intensity; not terribly complex, but nice for what’s here. Named for one of the rarest birds in New Zealand, Mohua is the second label of the Peregrine Winery. Find this wine
2005 JC & Christophe Pichot Vouvray Domaine le Peu de la Moriette, 12% alc.: Medium straw color, with mineral, red apple and peach characteristics; medium bodied, slightly sweet, with just enough acidity to make it work. I enjoyed the ’07 version of this a few months ago, and as one might expect, this is very much in the same mold, only with a few years in bottle to mellow. Kim finds it to be “very rich.” From the Vineyard Brands tech sheet: “Domaine le Peu de la Moriette has expanded over the years from thirty to nearly fifty-two acres of hillside vineyard, cultivated without chemical pesticides. Planted entirely with Chenin Blanc, the vines vary in age from twenty to fifty-five years. These steep and chalky vineyards produce only 25 hectoliters per hectare, an astonishingly low yield for white grapes anywhere. The grapes are hand-harvested and carefully sorted. Fermentation progresses slowly in the naturally cool environment environment of the caves in 450-liter oak barrels. New wood is never used for Pichot’s Vouvray. The wine is aged in oak for six months prior to light filtration and bottling, which occurs in March and April.” Find this wine
The following wine is simply one of the best I’ve tasted and enjoyed this year. Better known for their Banyuls, the Parce family also make excellent red and white wines.
2005 Domaine du Mas Blanc – Parcé Collioure Junquets, 13% alc.: Deep and dark in color, with a nose that could be straight out of the Rhone, only a little riper; earthy and a little funky in a really good way, with black currant, berry, plum and olive flavors and aromas, slightly tart and astringent on the finish. Anne added an impression of “dry straw.” Rich and well structured, yet very smooth, this can age and improve for several years, if you can keep your hands off of it now. Big yumms for this one! From the Vineyard Brands tech sheet: “The traditional grape varieties of Southern France are used – Mourvèdre, Syrah, Grenache and Counoise for the red wines, and Muscat and Grenache Blanc for the white. The age of the vines ranges from 30 years for the Collioure appellations to 40 for the Banyuls, but some of the vines of the Rancio appellation are more than 70 years old. The grapes are farmed following organic methods, and the wines are bottled without fining or filtering.” Find this wine
2008 Spice Route Chakalaka, 51% Syrah, 16% Carignan, 11% Mourvedre, 11% Souzou, 8% Grenache, 2% Tannat, 1% Petite Sirah, 14.5% alc: Named after a spicy South African relish, this is deeply, darkly colored, with an obviously heavy char to the oak, reminiscent of Boekenhoutskloof’s Wolftrap and Chocolate Block bottlings. There’s a solid core of deep, dark black fruit here, full bodied and with excellent structure, but the heavy char just ruins it for me. Will some years in the bottle tone that characteristic down? Mourvedre matured in 50% American and 50% French oak, with the remainder going to French, 25% new and the rest 2nd and 3rd fill. Find this wine
Reporting from Day-twah,