This past spring and fall, Iâ€›ve sampled close to 1500 wines and spirits at supplier tradeSHOWS. Tough job, but SOMEBODYâ€›S got to do it! There were a lot of great wines, especially the EXPENSIVE ones. Only the wines offering the best price-quality relationships make it through to the Village Corner stock lists. The best of the rest have a chance at appearing in our monthly â€›Newly Availableâ€› posting..
For this dinner event, I've made eight selections that not only represent great price-quality ratios but also diversity, as well as fascinating subject matter. Get ready for both education and entertainment. Here is the wine list, which Iâ€›ve forwarded to Brandon with annotations so he can get to work quickly on a complementary menu.
Here's the wine list AND Tasting Notes. Sally will post the menu and email a notice when it's received from Chef/Proprietor Brandon Johns.
THE MENU AND WINE LIST
AperitifThis has dazzled since spring, never more than at a fall sparkling wine trade show including many Champagnes. 'Agulla' means 'needle' and refers to the pin-prick feel of its tiny bubbles. Wonderful aroma, crisp acidity, and overall levity. Boy, will this start you salivating for the courses to follow!
2018 AVINYO VI D'AGULLA PETILLANT CAVA
Ham and Parsley TerrinePinot noir first, pinot gris second. Then pinot blanc, chardonnay, and riesling. These are, in order, Oregon's commanding varieties. Chardonnay's been around a long time, seemingly little noticed. It's attracting more attention these days. What's important is that winemakers don't overdo the oak. Stoller's is one of the finest unoaked Chardonnays in the world.
2018 STOLLER ESTATE WILLAMETTE VALLEY CHARDONNAY
Seafood Choucroute GarnieBasic to Alsace winemakers' range is 'Edelzwicker', made from a mixture of its noble grapes varieties according to personal choice. I sold a lot of edelzwicker (noble mixture) in the old days, but the jawbreaker name fell out of fashion. Some have tried to revive an American market for the category under the name 'Gentil'. Kuentz-Bas smartly calls its cuvee simply 'Blanc'. 65% sylvaner, 15% muscat, 10% pinot gris, 10% gewurztraminer; 100% goodness
2018 ALSACE BLANC, KUENTZ-BAS
Morrocan Spiced DuckA 10 year old Loire Gamay? You've got to be kidding, Dick! One of the sleepers of the year. Taste it, and believe it. Cases sold, to repeat buyers.
2009 FRANCAIS GAMAY CUVEE GIGOU'T, VINS GIGOUT
Grilled Lamb, Garlic PotatoesIn Tuscany's southernmost DOC, sangiovese is called morellino. Thanks to the latitude, there's certain warmth and robustness to Scansano's morellinos. None better than from this prestigious Chianti Classico estate with a Scansano satellite vineyard.
MORELLINO DI SCANSANO SPIAGGIOLE, ROCCA DI CASTAGNOLI
When I tasted this at a trade show just a couple of weeks back, it put me in a quandary. I had never tasted a pure Portuguese take on this grape variety native to Dao and the upper Douro. Though knowing how California winegrowing can magnify varietal character, I was sure I was tasting as explicit an example as could be found. By a specialist in below-the-radar grapes growing in the Sierra foothills.
2016 FORLORN HOPE SILVER SPOON VINEYARD ALTA MESA ALVARELHAO
Dessert Honey Almond TartThis Chateau used to belong to relatives of one of our area wine importers. It's since been sold, but, based on the quality and style of what I tasted this fall, nothing's changed. Sainte Croix du Mont lies across the Gironde from Sauternes and likewise specializes in botrytised dessert wines based on semillon and sauvignon. I'm hoping Brandon will prepare a delightful fruit dessert to complement this
2016 CHATEAU DU PAVILLON, SAINTE CROIX DU MONT
Post PrandialI knew Guy Tesseron years back as a legendary broker of Cognac's brandies. His son, Alfred, is now in command of the firm, as well as its Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux Chateaux Pontet Canet and Lafon Rochet. Alfred has launched a Tesseron Cognac brand to accompany the brokerage business. Composition is formed of cognacs distilled and aged when Alfred joined the firm many years back. Exquisite; the spirits highlight of the fall SHOWS.
COGNAC TESSERON COMPOSITION FINE CHAMPAGNE COGNAC