Category Archives: Chardonnay

2011 Olivier Morin Chitry Bourgogne

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This is a regional Burgundy white wine that I was recommended at the Vin Bin a few weeks ago. A regional wine is one that uses grapes from a variety of different villages and vineyards across a region. Therefore you can have a variety of different tastes in a regional Burgundy because the grapes may be primarily from Chablis, Maconnais, Cote de Beaune or any of the other regions. However what we do know about this wine is that it is 100% Chardonnay…as are most Burgundy Whites. Regional wines are often cheaper than than a standard villages or cru wine but sometimes can offer similar quality…if you find a good one it can be a diamond in the rough. This bottle was only $18 wheres the majority of white Burgundy is $25-30+. We enjoyed this wine with pan seared salmon, green beans, and rice.

colonelgrape: 75. Completely average unoaked French Chardonnay. It wasn’t awful it wasn’t great…nothing too special about it. Had fruit nose of apple and pear and some acidity but it really just didn’t do it for me. Still trying to figure out these Chardonnays…I like the idea behind them, a firm dry white to stand up to heavier meals, but I haven’t found the one for me yet.

MobyGrape: 70. Would have named this one Chitty with a soft C.  Tasted
like crappy chardonnay to me, not quite rat piss but I didn’t really
enjoy it.  If it wasn’t for the food I would have had a hard time with
this one.

Dinner Grape Style

When we get together with AuntGrape and UncleGrape we tend to have a fantastic feast and this weekend was no different. We spent the majority of Saturday preparing the food and visiting the Wine Library. CousinGrapette and BoyfriendGrape made guest appearances as well. Here was our menu:

Appetizers: Goat and blue cheese with crackers, Gougere

Main Course: 14 rib pork crown roast with bread and pear stuffing

Sides: Twice baked potato casserole, broccoli with garlic and cheese, fresh gravy

Desert: Individual baked apple pastry

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If you’ve never had gougere you are simply missing out. A light, fluffy pastry made with gruyere cheese, they are heaven right out of the oven. I got the chance to make it myself and it’s not that complicated, Moby and I are most certainly going to be making it again when we host our next dinner.

UncleGrape was generous enough to share some of his wine with us and we were delighted to drink whites, reds, and port throughout the meal. Let’s talk wine!

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To start the evening we opened a delicious picpoul with the cheese and crackers and in my excitement I forgot to take a picture of the bottle. It was light, delicious, and inexpensive. Picpoul is a white grape grown in the Chateauneuf du Pape region of Rhone. When the gougere arrived we opened a 2006 Weinbach Gewurztraminer Cuvee Laurence from Alsace. This wine stole the show for Moby and myself. It was sweet, spicy, and coated the glass with it’s deliciousness. We wrapped up appetizers with a 2010 Dauvissat Chablis which is a chardonnay from Burgundy. It was light and fruity and a nice way to transition to the main course.

White wine rankings:

1: 2006 Weinbach Gewurztraminer Cuvee Laurence. This wine was so delicious that I’ve ordered more to have in the house. 2006 was no longer available but I was able to find 2009 and 2010. Stay tuned for a full review in the future.

2: Picpoul: I wish I had more info on this bottle but we’ll be trying another soon.

3: 2010 Dauvissat Chablis.

Onto the the reds. UncleGrape approached me and said “How about Chateauneuf’s tonight?” I smiled and nodded my head excitedly. Here’s what we had with dinner:

1998 and 2000 CdPs from Paul 1998 Font de Michelle CdP

UncleGrape didn’t let us down and served us 4 excellent CdP’s. We agreed on the first two rankings but we flip flopped on the last two…here’s how I ranked them:

1. 2000 Domaine Charvin

2. 1998 Domaine Font de Michelle Cuvee Etienne Gonnet

3. 1998 Vieux Telegraph

4. 2000 Domaine de la Janasse

All 4 wines were delicious but the Charvin was head and shoulders above the other three wines. A perfect balance of fruit, spice, and body it was the best CdP I’ve had to date…ahead of the 2007 Bosquet des Pape we rated earlier this year. I’m looking forward to trying more CdP from Domaine Charvin in the future.

While I was hard at work on the gougere Moby was slaving over the baked apples we had for desert. Each serving is half an apple stuffed with a mixture of butter, sugar, and spices and wrapped in a pastry crust. We used golden delicious apples and will 100% be making these again. They look like little bowling balls but were one of the lightest deserts I’ve ever had. They melted in your mouth and left you wanting more…serving them with vanilla ice cream made it even better.

With the apples we had a fantastic 1977 Taylors Vintage Port:

1977 Taylor's Vintage Port

UncleGrape started this decanting about 7 hours before we drank it and there was probably a solid 1-2 cups of sediment in the sink after pouring it into the decanter. However, it opened up beautifully…we were all shocked at how much life it still had left. It was ready to drink now but it could easily age longer. It had the delicious raisin taste I associate with port and was even better than the 1994 Graham’s we had earlier this year. Moby and I kept the bottle to add to our collection…maybe we’ll use it as a vase or a decoration in the future.

What a night. Family, friends, and 8 bottles of fantastic wine. We’re looking forward to our next trip already!

2010 Ghost Pines Chardonnay

So I’ve never been wowed by chardonnay, to me it always seemed like rat piss.  But here I am, with a sophisticated palate, giving it a fair shake.  Someone told me to try a “buttery chardonnay” because they normally didn’t like rat piss either, and since I’m trying to be more open, I went into the wine store, hot on the Colonel’s heels, and after he finished discussing the finer points of some french wines with a very kind gentleman who works there, I promptly embarrassed us both by proclaiming that I wanted the butteriest chardonnay he had.  I thought that would make me sound sophisticated and knowledgeable, but as it turns out I just sounded like an ass, and now I stick to being the silent partner when we’re buying wine.  We were promptly pointed to the chardonnay area and given a couple choices, we kind of grabbed this one because it wasn’t the cheapest, but it wasn’t the most expensive, and the guy at the store seemed to promote it.  I just looked something up that said chardonnay is the favorite white wine in America.  Seriously?  I must be missing something, because no one I know likes it.  Is versatile another word for bad?  If wine is made from grapes, why can’t it taste like grapes?  No one ever says “this wine tasted like a grape”.  Why do they have to try to get a bunch of other stuff in there too?  Is someone squeezing pears and lemons and apple pie and dirt into the barrel too?  I think I actually do need to learn more about the winemaking process because this is just blowing my mind tonight.  We ate it with salmon and pasta.  I have to get out of here, my head hurts.

MobyGrape:  70.  I think I understand why the vineyard is named Ghost Pines.  There was a fruity flavor up front, and then it promptly disappeared.  The more it warmed up in the glass the more buttery it smelled and tasted, so then it was sort of like buttered fruit.  As it turns out that’s not a great flavor.  But don’t worry, it still disappears quickly and it’s like you never drank it at all.  If I had to drink chardonnay again, I’d go buttery, and I’d even have this one in a pinch.  At least it was a friendly ghost.

Colonelgrape:  61.  I’ll be first to admit I am not a Chardonnay guy but I was willing to give this a chance. I made it through 1.5 glasses before giving up. The back of the bottle claims tastes of baked apple, pear, and a sweet vanilla finish. I got the pear and then nothing followed by alcohol followed by nothing. Just an empty white grape tasting vessel of nothing. We served it cold but the warmer it got in my glass the worse it tasted. I wouldn’t say it was appalling as I did make it through a glass, but it was not good. I am willing to give Chardonnay another chance but it would have to be a well documented superior bottle. I’m at the point where I can simply say Chardonnay just isn’t for me.