TN: Wines from all over (well at least US, Austria, Italy, Spain, and France)

As an apertif over 2 nights, the 2010 Billaud-Simon =93Montee de Tonnere=94= Chablis 1er from 375 ml.. A little plumper than my expectations of what I= =92ve read re 2010, but nice lemon fruit with chalk and floral notes. Good = length, nice little wine, that with a tad more zip would have been outstand= ing. B+/B
Despite a little filet at Morton=92s day before, Thursday I went for red me= at- prime ribeyes, accompanied by grilled squash, potato salad, and a brocc= oli salad. Wine was the 1997 Beringer =93Knight=92s Valley=94 Cabernet Sauv= ignon. When I first got into wine (early 90s) the Beringer KV was the US re= d I probably drank the most of (=9191-=9294 vintages). Not tried much recen= tly, but took a flyer on a case of this at a no reserve auction, and paid l= ess than current vintage. This is still a solid wine at 15- round, tannins = resolved, low acid with a sweet edge to the black plum and currant fruit th= at seems to scream California, but with a nice finish - straightforward wit= hout being charmless. B
With grilled lemon/mint chicken (with sides of eggplant and a spicy colesl= aw), the 2010 Blanco Nieva =93Pie Franco=94 Verdejo (Rueda). Full and ripe = for Rueda, sweet full peach and quince fruit, a hint of grass and honeysuck= le. This is a nice wine (and acclaimed by people I respect) but I don=92t r= eally feel excited, super old vines or not. B
With chicken cacciatore the 1998 Paolo Bea Montefalco Rosso. Quite volatile= at first, some acetone seems to blow off. Initial disappointment morphs in= to acceptance and then happiness, though it never proceeds to glee. Rich ri= pe dark fruit flavors (dried black cherry), some forest floor and mushroom,= great finish. B+
Sunday we had over 2 couples for a nice dinner before our June schedules di= verged. We started with garlic scape and basil pesto bruschetta, along with= the NV Montbourgeau Cremant de Jura. Clean, dry, fresh with a nice mineral finish and good leng= th. B/B+
At table, with asparagus on miso butter with poached eggs:
2007 Rudi Pichler Weissenkirchner Achleiten Riesling Smaragd Full, rich, nice fruit flavors of lemon, apricot and peach, with an overlay= of petrol and ginger. Big, long. Very nice. B+/A-
Main course was chicken schnitzel over an herb salad, with rice and a water= melon/feta/olive salad. We continued with the Riesling, plus:
1978 Robert Keenan Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa) Good fill, this is quite youthful. Full ripe cassis, mint and eucalyptus, a= touch of leather. Not overly complex, but good oldstyle CaliCab. Round mou= thfeel. Popular even with those who usually pine for overt young fruit when= I serve something with age.. B++
2011 Nigl Zweigelt rose What a wild color, dayglo pink, if one could print this on fabric it would= make a fine safety vest for a traffic cop. Flavors are less exuberant but = not exactly restrained. Red berry fruits, a little herb, pleasant fun littl= e wine. B
with berries and gelato,=20 2010 Calera Viognier Doux (Central Coast) Huge hit at table, though I=92d prefer more zip. Lush peach flavors (more l= ike cling peaches in heavy syrup) with a floral hint. B-/C+
Tonight I was chef while Betsy taught, once we had dinner (vegetarian fried= rice, sauteed arugula with sesame and oyster sauce, etc) we opened the 201= 0 Vigneto Saetti Rosato dell=92 Emilia. This is pink Lambrusco, frizzante, = quite floral with a red berry fruit marked by a pleasant bitter edge. B =20 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 pa= rty where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivi= ty, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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