Saturday, March 21, 2009

A doubleshot of tasty

Yeah, Saturday night and we have two wines!  And we made fondue!  It was a good night.

First was a 2000 "L'Ermitage" Brut by Roederer Estate, sparkling wine from Anderson Valley.  This is one of Roederer's signature wines, a dry, fruity, balanced blend of 53% Chardonnay, 47% Pinot Noir, and 3.5% "aged reserve."  I don't know what "aged reserve is, nor do I know where the other .5% went to.  Hopefully my belly.  We bought this thinking we'd drink it this past New Years Eve, but did not have a chance.  About $41 from our local Pavillion's supermarket - have seen it from $38-$50 since.  Why they call it "L'Ermitage" I do not know - seems like they are trying to invoke the name of "L'Hermitage," a wine from the Northern Rhone made from the Marsanne and Rousanne grapes having nothing to do with sparking wine.  Weird.

Anyhow, it was a lovely start to our evening.  A tasty sparkly wine - very fruity and crisp and dry.  It didn't have that yeasty, creamy, biscuity character of some of the Champagnes. I must admit, I personally prefer this style.   Is it worth $40?  That could be debated, but it's pretty darn good.

Second up was a 2005 Newton Unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon.  Wow!  We had the pleasure of imbibing this about 6 months ago at Capital Grill in Seattle with Rachel's mom and "stepfather."  (They aren't married on paper, but...)  And then we got a bottle from them at Christmas!  Yay!

Well, tonight was the night to retry this and it did not disappoint.  If you care, Parker gave it a 92.  So insanely yummy.  Great big flavors countered with nice amounts of oak and leather, yet not an oak bomb.  Nice length, great balance.  Just damn good Cab from Napa.  Anyone who thinks Napa Cab is overdone and over-oaked should try this.  It's damn good.  About $40-50.

This is "unfiltered" but don't be nervous - some wine folks feel that filtering removes some wonderful flavors from the wine - there minimal to no sediment - it's just darker and more opaque than some wines.  And in the Parker review I read that "the proprietress Su Hua Newton declassified the 2003 and 2004 vintages, as she was not happy with them."  I guess she takes this wine stuff seriously.  Glad she does so I can have fun!

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