Sunday, February 13, 2005

Winecology: Valentine's Dinner

Maya and I had some goodies yesterday celebrating an early Valentine's day at Spring.

Veuve Clicquot "Yellow Label" - Champagne, France - NV
This classic sparkler was a delicious apertif before dinner. Something about those fine bubbles set the mood just right. In the glass lots of tiny bubbles set in dark gold and light orange colors. The nose gave toasty yeast and notes of tree fruit. On the palette this wine was well balanced showing plenty of zip and fruits - apples and pears. Concentrated, full flavors with a clean finish of moderate length.
Rating - 8.5/9.0 out of 10
Price - $29

Palmina "Bianca" - Santa Barbara County, California - 2002
Palmina is having much success with indigenous Italian varietals in California. We enjoyed this unique blend of five white grapes - 35% Traminer, 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Tocai Friulano, 15% Malvasia Bianca and 5% Pinot Grigio. It was a crisp, floral wine that paired great with the Oysters. Light straw, almost clear colors. An aromatic and heavily floral nose (a natural, upon reflection, since all five grapes utilized are floral at their core). In the mouth a racy and lively body. Very gewruz in nature. Plenty of white fruit and lychees. A substantial finish.
Rating - 8.5/9.0 out of 10
Price - $28 (retail price, $10 / glass at the restaurant)

Fonthill "Dust of Ages" - McLaren Vale, Australia - 2002
This 100% grenache, from Fonthill down under, was our main course wine. The wine had dark ruby colors that faded to a very light, nearly clear, pink on the rim. The aromatic nose breathed oodles of ripe strawberries and spice. On the palette is was luscious, round and had an ultra-velvety texture. Flavors of dark, red fruits at its core were very reminiscent of pinot noir. Secondary flavors of subtle earth and spice reminded me of typical Rhone valley wines. In one word, smooth. A best of both worlds wine that will have me seeking out more 100% Grenache.
Rating - 9.0 out of 10
Price - $24 (retail price, $65 / bottle at the restaurant)