Tuesday, February 19, 2008

February Confrerie Event

Greetings to all who attended the February Confrerie event held at the Oswego Lake House.
We all owe a huge "thank you" to Yvonne Smith (member and Sommelier at our February venue). We tasted Chateauneuf du Pape wines from the Southern Rhone region of France.
These wines are typically a blend of Grenache, Mouvedre and Syrah. In this appellation there are 13 grapes allowed to be used in the production of the wines. My understanding is that only Chateau Beaucastel uses all 13 grapes (Vaccarèse anyone?).

This month the tasting was a bit unusual in that we were able to sample these wines with food.
As is often the case wine goes hand in hand with food and it was a nice example of how to pair food and wine. The 2003 vintage of Chateauneuf du Pape was a very warm year and the wines should be ripe. The 2005 vintage is a top notch year and definitely a vintage to stock up on wines. Though the dollar is at a 30 year low, there are some good wines to be had from CDP in 2005 at a good value.
In case you didn't bring home the tasting notes that Yvonne put together I am including the professional tasting notes (with a few of my own comments in italics).

Wines tasted

2006 Vieux Telegramme blanc: Exotic, almost tropical of orange, white peach and jasmine. Very suave and well balanced. I thought this wine was very aromatic with a hint of sweetness. This label is the "second wine" of Vieux Telegraphe. There isn't much white Chateauneuf du Pape produced and this is a very fresh and lively example.

2005 Vieux Telegramme rouge: 2005 Domaine Lucien Barrot et Fils: Fresh red berry and cherry aromas with a subtle floral quality adding complexity. This wine is also the "second label" of Vieux Telegraphe. Their View Telegraphe is 65 % Grenache with 15% Mouvedre & 10% Syrah with the remainder made up of the allowed "odd-ball" grapes of CDP. The Telegramme is 100% Grenache and is meant for immediate drinking. I picked up some tart cherry fruit along with some spice on the nose. The wine finishes with fairly rustic tannnins.

2005 Domaine Lucien Barrot et Fils: Intensely floral aromas of fresh strawberry, red currant, lavendar and exotic dried apricot. Bright, juicy, and persistent. An excellent example of traditionally styled CDP. I picked up on the floral aspect of this wine along with the concentrated fruit and a savory component. This wine also had great structure and it should age very well. This was my favorite wine of the night.

2003 Chateau La Nerthe: Spicy, jammy aromas of blackberry, cassis and exotic spices. Round and velvety with sweet berry flavors and notes of chocolate, mocha and lavendar pastille. I picked up cassis and a concentrated, full throttle cherry fruit, maybe even leaning into cherry liquor. Great mouthfeel.

2005 Chateau Perrin et Fils: This is the second label for Chateau Beaucastel. This wine exhibits greater ripeness than the 2006 but a longer and more complete mouthfeel. Terrifically concentrated and richness for what essentially is a declassified young vine Beaucastel cuvee blened with another parcel. Rich fruit, good structure, not much character.

2005 Domaine de l Cote de l'Ange: A gutsy, structured style, with lots of fig, black currant, braised chestnut, bittersweet cocoa and espresso notes carried by robust but ripe tannins. The finish is long and smoky. I picked up a dried fruit-fig fruit character to go along with rustic tannins.


-First Course-
Chevre and tomato salad

-Second Course-
Salmon mousse crepe finished with dill beurre blanc

-Third Course-
Tenderloin pork roasted w/sauteed onions and Roquefort cheese sauce

A special bonus was that Yvonne brought out a selection of Red Burgundy wines from several vintages. These wines were remaining from an earlier tasting and were a great selection of village, single vineyard and Premier Cru wines

Once again, a big thank you to Yvonne Smith and the Oswego Lake House.