Sunday, May 22, 2016

2013 L'Ecole No. 41 Apogee

Oh, happy Sunday!  I finished all of my chores, so many (whoever thought you'd have more chores as an adult than you ever had as a child?), I mowed, I planted, I changed the filters on the furnace, but now I'm done and ready for a break.  And what better break than to open a bottle of wine from one of my longtime favorite Washington producers, L'Ecole No. 41.  Tonight it's the 2013 Apogee, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (20%), Malbec (15%) and Cabernet Franc (5%) from the Pepper Bridge Vineyard in Walla Walla.

The wine is a lovely deep ruby color in the glass, the sort of color that raises your expectations of the wine. The nose presents lovely aromas of candied fruit, leather and anise.  The taste is a rush of fruit up front, cherry, blackberry and cassis that transitions without a moments hesitation to some notes of cherry cola, tobacco and a bit of coarse minerality midpalate.  The finish is just wonderful, with young, yet well developed tannins supporting the long, voluptuous and very dry finish that seems to last a minute or more.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, I've always thought the Apogee was the less pleasurable of the Apogee/Perigee blends from L'Ecole, but this vintage is starting to win me over.  This is an ideal red meat wine, and of course I'm enjoying this one first on the patio by itself, but soon it will accompany a rare grilled Angus porterhouse with some grilled organic rainbow carrots and some haricots verts almondine.  Cheers!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

2013 Domaine J. Meuret Les Chenes Pinot Noir

Happy Saturday!  I am simply exhausted!  I started the day running errands, then I planted all of my impatiens in the only flower bed I have that is devoted to annuals and mow that my back is killing me, I've decided to open a bottle of wine with dinner.  Thankfully, I received my wine club shipment from Maison Bleue on Friday, and included in the shipment were a couple bottles of 2013 Domaine J. Meuret Le Chenes Pinot Noir from the Phelps Creek Vineyard in Oregon.  The name "Lew Chenes" means "the Oaks" in French, which I can certainly relate to given the many oaks in my yard, but it was actually named for the many white oaks in the vineyard which was planted in 1990.  So let's see how this wine stacks up!

The wine is a lovely pale red color in the glass, a classic Pinot Noir.  The nose presents aromas of cherry, cassis, tobacco and cedar, certainly not your typical Oregon Pinot, but much more reminiscent of a great burgundy.  The taste is simply wonderful, with some lovely red fruit notes up front, cherry, red plum, earthy mineral notes and wonderful spice.  The tannins are very well structured and integrated, creating a long. seductive and dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, and you know I'm not a huge Pinot Noir fan!  This wine would be perfect with roast pork tenderloin, classic salmon or duck, but tonight I am enjoying this wine with a bacon wrapped Angus filet mignon, with grilled asparagus and a baked potato, and I must admit this wine was a perfect accompaniment!  Cheers!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

2012 Chateau de Landiras Graves

Happy Tuesday!  This has been a busy week so far and it doesn't look like it's going to get any better, so that means it's time to open a bottle of wine!  Tonight I've decided to open a bottle of 2012 Chateau de Landiras Graves, a blend of Merlot (75%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (25%) from the left bank of the Garonne.  I bought this wine recently in the "Cheapskate Tuesday" event at Wines 'Till Sold Out, so let's see how it is!

The wine is a beautiful deep ruby color in the glass.  The nose presents aromas of cherry, blackberry, coffee and spice.  The taste is very nice, with subtle fruit notes up front, blackberry and cherry that transition effortlessly to some lovely earthy notes of mocha and dusty limestone midpalate.  The tannins are softer and well integrated, providing for a long, smooth and exceptionally dry finish that is classic Bordeaux.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it's a nice example of the appellation and a terrific value at just $17.  This wine would pair well with a variety of hearty dishes, from steaks and chops to hearty stews, though tonight I am pairing it with leftovers!  Sante!