I learned of this interesting sparkler on a Wine for Newbies podcast. It was suggested that Brachetto d’Acqui pairs well with chocolate, not an easy feat with wine. A rich ruby or tawny port are the usual suspects when it comes to pairing wine with chocolate.
Sue’s brother, Chris is in from New York and they have prepared their family favorite, Dobos Torte, a very rich and decadent dessert. Just looking at it raises my cholesterol 10 points!
We chilled the wine during dinner. Before dessert we popped the cork and were greeted with fragrances of roses and raspberries. The dark rosé color reminded me a little of cranberry juice, Flavors of fresh, red fruit and light acidity greeted the palette and followed up with a short, clean finish. Very refreshing! Personally I found the Brachetto d’Acqui to be a little too sweet for this dessert. I think I would prefer it as a standalone aperitif or as a partner to a darker, more bitter chocolate.
Banfi – Rosa Regale 2007 ($17)
I heard about this flavorful Riesling on a Wine for Newbies podcast and recently saw it again in the July 2009 issue of Food & Wine. The partnership between CSM and the Mosel region’s Dr. Ernst Loosen sounded interesting and the description of the wine’s fruity aromas and zesty acidity were equally intriguing.
My wife, Sue, makes a fantastic chicken dish that calls for both Riesling and Cognac! Could life be any rougher? Anyway, to make a long short, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to sample this popular Riesling. After Sue used what she needed for the chicken, I got the rest (She’s not a big Riesling fan). I’ll save the Cognac for later!
The pale straw color was what I expected of a young Riesling. The familiar aromas of green apple and grapefruit and possibly a little orange peel were quite evident from the first taste. Over the course of a few hours the flavors evolved into sweeter “appley” notes with hints of honey. The light acidity offered a creamy mouthfeel that I was not expecting. Overall, this was a very pleasant wine that should pair well with spicy seafood or Asian-inspired dishes.
2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling ($18)
- 100% Riesling
- A blend from several Washington State vineyards
- CSM Fact Sheet
I read about this grape variety just recently and the history was fascinating. Considered to be “lost Bordeaux” grape, it was thought to be extinct after the phylloxera plague that decimated European vineyards in the 1860′s. Fortunately cuttings of the vine made their way to Chile in the 19th century and have thrived there ever since. Up until the 20th century it was thought to be Merlot. Just recently was it’s true identity rediscovered.
This Carménère blend has a strong, clean red color (the root of the French word Carménère is “carmin” or “crimson”) with juicy aromas and flavors of black fruit (blackberries, plum?) and spice. Good acidity with very light tannins. Short, clean finish that reminded me a little of green, bell peppers.
Root:1 Carménère 2007 ($16)
This little Argentine beauty was a pleasant surprise. Its deep purple color revealed fruity aromas with rich juicy dark fruits and a hint of cocoa. For a minute it felt like I was smelling a German Black Forest Cherry Torte! The rich cherry and plum flavors showed an almost creamy texture (perhaps some malolactic fermentation) with well rounded tannins. Paired well with the leftover steak from Saturday! Great wine at a very affordable price. Thank you Mendoza!
Maipe Malbec 2007 ($9)
- 100% Malbec manually harvested from 35 y/o vines
- From Agrelo and Luján de Cuyo, in the foothills of the Andes Mountains
- Vineyard information
This week brings us back to the US and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. This bottle was a little cold to start so we decanted it about an hour before the first taste. I love how a decanter really enhances the aromas of a good red wine. The ruby/garnet color revealed an aromatic bouquet of dark cherries and spices. The aromas carried through in the flavors as well. A jammy combination of cherries and blackberries dominated the palette. This juicy Pinot Noir held up nicely with a long, spicy finish showcasing its mellow tannins.
On this night we paired the wine with a fantastic grilled steak with a rub of salt and crushed black pepper. I thought the Pinot Noir might be a little delicate for the bold steak flavors, but it held up wonderfully. The spicy flavors and tannic finish really complimented the black pepper in the steak.
We conclude the night next to the fire pit under clear, cool skies. The wine continued to evolve throughout the evening showing more herbal notes, but still retaining it jammy qualities. Only 1 bottle left in the cellar, hope I can find some more!
Rex Hill Pinot Noir 2006 ($20)
I first had this wonderful Italian nectar at Sala da Pranzo on Milwaukee’s East Side. This weekend I had the opportunity to indulge in another bottle of this fine wine. I opened the bottle early in the afternoon and poured off a glass to sample and give it some room to breathe. The deep garnet colors revealed aromas that were very woody with undertones of blackberry and wet vegetation. Flavors were “tight” and fruity with lots of tannins…Not what I had expected. After letting the bottle rest for a few hours I returned to an entirely different experience. The aromas had opened up revealing a pleasant peppery, blackberry bouquet. Now the dark berry flavors evolved into the spicy, raisinated texture that I remembered. The tannins had softened quite a bit now unveiling a soft sweetness on the finish. I look forward to trying another bottle after it has had a few more years to mature.
Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2005 ($19)
- 70% Corvina Veronese, 20% Rondinella, 5% Sangiovese
- From Palazzo della Torre vineyard, Fumane di Valpolicella
- Allegrini tasting notes