TN: Choucroute wines (Alsace and more)

Alex invited us for Sunday lunch, a Choucroute Alsacienne in memory of
his grandfather. One invitation I'd never turn down (Alex is a great
cook, and I love choucroute!), we showed up eagerly.
NV Lucas Carton "Lancel" Champagne Brut
Over last couple years I've had this several times, it's always been
on the yeasty/big side, now it's really showing as oxidative. Drink
up! C+/C
2008 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose
Pleasant, red berry fruits, a hint of herb, could use a bit more
acidic zip, but nice enough. B-
2007 Chapoutier "Belleruche" Cotes du Rhone
Jammy Grenache fruit, some tannins, a little vanilla. Simple and not
very compelling. B-/C+
All the guests finally arrived, the kids had lunch outside, and the
adults sat down. First course was leeks with a vinaigrette, then the
choucroute (meats included brats, franks, weisswursts, and more-
mostly German as he shopped at Schaller and Weber) with potatoes, etc.
1998 Trimbach "Cuvee Frederic Emile" Riesling
Drinking surprisingly well, I need to move these up in the queue.
Citrus and petrol on the nose, full-bodied, solid fruit base enhanced
by plenty of stony mineral notes on finish. Excellent length, quite
open, nice wine. A-
2005 Binner "Kaefferkopf" Gewurztraminer
I believe this is "natural" wine. Apples and litchis, floral musky
nose, good acidity for Gewurtz, good length. Not as good a match with
the choucroute as the CFE for me, but very nice. B+
2007 Selbach Riesling (fish label)
Light, just a tad off dry, simple but certainly drinkable. B-/B
2007 Drouhin St Veran
This was after the choucroute,l I've done tons of notes on this, just
beautiful clean straightforward Chardonnay. B+/B
2008 Crossroads Sauvignon Blanc
Citrus, a bit of grass, some jalapeno notes. Medium acids, good though
finish is a tad short. B/B-
2005 Weinbach "Cuvee Laurence" Altenbourg Gewurztraminer (375)
I had brought this to go with a nicely ripe Muenster I had picked up
in honor of Alex's granddad. Great combo, the wine's moderate
sweetness provided the perfect backdrop to the pungent cheese.
Slightly oily texture, litchis, Mandarin orange, and pineapple
flavors. Good length, earthy finish. B+
Quite a meal. Afterwards we went for a long walk (kids on bikes) on
Aqueduct. By the time we got home it was time to start thinking about
dinner. Betsy went out to get shrimp and scallops while I thawed some
lobster and fishhead broths; then she put together a seafood risotto
and some excellent spinach. Cooking/drinking wine was the 2008 Cantos
Rodados Verdejo (Tierra de Castillo). Crisp, light, grassy, could pass
for a lighter styled Touraine SB. Nothing exciting here,but ok for
$8-9. B-
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an
excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I
wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I
offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of
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