Dinner Notes (all French)

Notes from last night's dinner:
1998 Domaine Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris Clos Windsbuhl - a rich peach/apricot
nose, excellent balance and length. We discussed whether or not there was a
small amount of residual sugar present, but it was impossible to tell. It went
beautifully with seared foie gras on a bed of tiny fresh chanterelle mushrooms.
Excellent wine!
1983 Ch. La Lagune - the best feature of this wine by far was the delicious
nose of cigarbox and fruit, quite bright, and in the mouth, at peak, still
showing some soft tannins, but given the levels of fruit I feel that this wine
will not get any better than it is now, and in fact might have been a tad
better balanced a couple of years ago. Nice with cold terrine of foie gras and
duck rillettes.
1992 Mas de Daumas Gassac - a nice bit of cedar, leather and plums in the warm
nose. Dark wine with firm structure although drinking well now. Good length.
This vintage had mediocre reviews on release. Pshaw! Went beautifully with beef
tenderloin, bleu, and lamb loin coated with toasted almond and garlic paste, as
well as with soft blue cheese afterward.
Reply to
Bill Spohn
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Salut/Hi Bill Spohn,
You disappoint me.
-
almond and garlic paste, as
Hey!!! You missed out the foie gras! You could have done Tournedos Rossini and lamb wellington
Reply to
Ian Hoare
Reads like a good evening. 8-)
Because of your post, I've had a peek to see what Daumas Gassac I had stashed away. I see I have some 93 and some 95 but no notes. Anyone have any idea of optimum times for drinking? In the absence of any other information to hand, I'd guess at now or the near future for both of them - but informed advice would be welcome. Regards, John
Reply to
Sojourner
I hear some of the older vintages of red are good. My experience with the 95 was very disappointing, and with just about every year since that.
Having said that, I do like Daumas Gassac whites, 2000 tasted recently was very good. Not the best in Languedoc, but very good. I say that despite the fact that most people I know here in France despise Daumas Gassac. Never mind the self-importance of the owner and the arrogant claims in his primeur offers, I cannot help liking his white. But the reds are WAY overrated, even badly crafted. IMHO.
Mike
Reply to
Mike Tommasi
Salut/Hi Mike Tommasi,
-
when I was at Vinexpo a couple of years ago I went to the stand and tasted my way through their wines. Like you, I've seen a lot of negative comments from some of the French contributors to frbv. I agree with you that their whites are very interesting. However, I feel it my duty to say that I did quite like their reds. I wouldn't say they lived up to the excellence that the owner claims for them, but frankly no wine could!
Reading between the lines, I sometimes get the feeling in frbv that the negative comments are more in reaction to the exaggerated claims than to the actual quality of the wine itself.
Just my tuppence worth after a shattering day which started with breakfast for our guests, continued with shopping first in Argentat for meat and then in Brive (Market, supermarket and trade supplier), continued with making plum jam from 11 lbs plums, (and lunch) and stuffed peppers for 15 (mainly for canning for later) and then finished with preparing the meats for two terrines to marinate overnight, which between them will serve 120 people or so. The evening ended with a chines-ey meal (no wine as usual) just for the two of us, and sogging in front of the TV, doing a stupid quiz. Tomorrow is another day as we compose and cook the 6/7 terrines, as well as cook supper for two of our guests. (I think we'll give them stuffed peppers).
Then on Monday, we're off to Montignac to conduct a tutored tasting of Bergerac wines - which reminds me that I have to print out the tasting sheet and notes. It's good to be retired and take life easy!!!!
Reply to
Ian Hoare
If true, Ian, they have no one to blame but themselves. If one will proclaim oneself the "first growth of the Languedoc," then one should be willing to bide by the negative comparisons with frist growth Bordeaux. Having said that, I will freely admit to hearing the hype but never tasting the wine. ..
Note to self: put to rest the fantasy of retiring to run a Gite in rural France... ;-)
Indeed, Ian, but who has ever accused you of being retiring? Will we get notes from this foray?
Mark Lipton
Reply to
Mark Lipton
Salut/Hi Mark Lipton,
-
Exactly. You make my point perfectly. The reactions are due to these ludicrous claims. I sometimes wonder whether winemakers ever really consider what effect that kind of bombast really has. I suppose there must be some gullible souls who taste the label rather than the wine, but being pretty cynical by nature, I read such claims with the same lack of belief as I do those of generals who claim "our victorious troops have advanced a further 200 kms into enemy territory without sustaining a single casualty". Yeah... So I can then get down to tasting the wine. And I found it very good. But on the basis of pretty deep ignorance on good wines of the area. If only Vinisud (or whatever it's called) took place at a time that was remotely possible for us, I'd like to discover more.
Chortle. Largely self inflicted! The terrines are going to be the starter for the new season dinner of a sort of club I belong to. The stuffed peppers were because we had them from the greenhouse, together with the tomatoes, and buying a whole shoulder of pork brings the price down, and the quantities were just perfect for both the terrines and the peppers. The jam was a last minute addition - when we were shopping in the market, we saw they were ready. The problem with seasonal produce is that once you've missed them it's too late till the next year, and having had neither raspberry nor blackberry, we were short of jams for the next season. But any normal person would have resisted personfully and waited till later.
Not many people. I don't often rub shoulders with the insane.
No point really. A friend of mine runs the Dordogne walks for an American holiday company called "Country Walkers". Five or six times a year, a group of from 8 to 16 of your compatriots - theoretically all able to walk 10-20 miles a day, arrives here to be looked after hand and foot (not a pleasant job when you've just walked 20 miles!) for a week. They pay large sums of money, and if they were a trifle optimistic about their ability (weighing 300 lbs and aged 65) to walk up hill and down dale for a week, they get ferried with far better grace than I could ever muster. On the Monday after their arrival I conduct a "tutored wine tasting" of Bergerac wines, which appears to be quite popular, especially amongst the non-teetotallers. In effect, what it does is to help to create a sense of unity and camaraderie amngst people who hadn't known each-other two days ago. I couldn't pretend that the event is particularly rigorous, though. We can have all levels of wine tasting experience with expertise from zero to top level. I try to explain things that they are unlikely to have been taught in the States, and regard my job as being mainly to give them the confidence in their own abilities to taste so that they can express their thoughts and opinions.
We have 4 dry whites around which I explain a little about the major differences between US and French approaches to wine making, as I've picked them up here and elsewhere, and so on. We then taste the wines, and I try to encourage them to say what THEY think about them, rather than listen to what I have to say. That takes an hour and a half, and we then pass to the table with one of the whites, to see how it changes when drunk with food. The tasting then continues on a slightly different level with two reds being served with the meat course, (and drunk as well as tasted) and then we serve a sweet wine with the cheese (shocked the hotel at first, until they tasted the combination!!) for those who want to compare the match of cheeses with red wines and with sweet wines, and that will carry over to the dessert.
I provide a sort of tasting grid, giving a few suggestions as to vocabulary often used to describe wines, and perfunctory notes on the producers whose wines we are drinking, and more general notes on the region and on Monbazillac.
It's all quite fun and without wanting to brag, they always say they have learnt something - even the more experienced. But the most important thing about it is that Jacquie and I get an afternoon away, AND an excellent free meal.
Reply to
Ian Hoare
We also are afflicted with the seasonal produce problem. Having just grown a peck or two of heirloom tomatoes, we now find ourselves scrambling to use them, as they are just too damn good fresh for us to want to cook any. And of course there's the extra bushel of non-heirloom tomatoes for that. Several different salsa frescas later, we are finally nearly caught up (though with still a dozen green zebras awaiting consumption). Later on, when the cabbage-y things (bok choy, savoy, broccoli) come in, we'll be faced with another glut. Oh, the trials and tribulations of gardening! ;-)
It does sound like quite a nice event. I do wonder what the teetotalers make of it all, though...
Mark Lipton
Reply to
Mark Lipton
Salut/Hi Mark Lipton,
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Well there was one (AA) TT person, and he was very nostalgic. But I do my best to de-mystify wine tastingh, and so most seem to take to it OK. They were a lovely bunch this last lot.
Reply to
Ian Hoare

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