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Monday, January 9, 2012

Two Recent Favorites

I'd learned a few things (and more) in my last two wine classes.
  1. I always like the most expensive wines.
  2. I do like (a good) chenin blanc.
  3. South Africa makes some (good) wines that I like.
(although I already kind of knew the last one)

Last week's class was "whites." (unseasonably so--it was very cold that evening) I didn't come away from the class with much of an impression except: I left with the knowledge of a new white. (to me)

a 'winter white'

Our sixth tasting was of a chenin blanc, "Clos de la Bergerie (Nicolas Joly)," from Savennières Roche aux Moines, 2005, in the Loire Valley. My notes were brief: some tannin... skin maceration... not summer... rich... later in the meal... winter white... $50. But I do remember it being one of the most interesting (still) whites I'd had in a while.

peppery 'Z'!

And from my second class in 'Advanced Wine Essentials,' I came away loving the Stellenbosch (S. Africa) "Z" (perhaps pronounced "zed" there) by De Toren, 2008. This wine was a blend of merlot (45%), cabernet sauvignon (27%), malbec (15%), cabernet franc (7%) and petit verdot (6%). On the nose, a very interesting vegetable and green pepper... carrying with it a vegetable-y taste. From the press:

... full and rich in the mouth... framed by a lush, but firm structure and balanced acidity... long finish with a peppery back note. 
... savory, firm-edged tannins. Very much in a Right Bank style, unusual for a Bordeaux blend in South Africa. 
Ripe and focused... laced with hints of herb and dark licorice... supple, lengthy finish... well put together... Drink now.

$38. Try it with a steak au poivre with green peppercorns for an experience you won't soon forget. Next week's class: sparklings!
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