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What I’ve Been Drinking… Week 41

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Wine opportunities were plentiful over the last couple of weeks.  While drinking some wines, I went deep. Others were just a passing glass. But if I drank it, you will hear about it and see a picture of the bottle. Crazy, but I also now understand why it took me so long to love white wine. It is a “duh” moment when I think about it… but hey, live and learn.

But before we go any further…

Sonoma and Napa and the rest of California are in our hearts as they battle some of the worst wildfires in decades.
May the winds calm and the rains come.


Why I Thought I Did Not Like White Wine

I used to think that I did not like all white wine. I would grab a taste of what Gary or my sister was drinking, make an “ugly face” and order or pour a glass of Pinot Noir. This has been going on for years.  My sister drinks California Chardonnay.  The rotation may include Napa Cellars, Steele, Rodney Strong and Mer Soleil Silver but its always Chardonnay. Recently, when I poured her a glass; I also took a sip…. {UGLY FACE}, there we go again. What is the deal?

drinking wine

Then it dawned on me as I recalled what I was told at a wine tasting in France a few years back. It is true that I have not liked many or any of the white wines I had tasted up to that point, but that only meant that I had yet not found the white wines I like. On that day, I loved one of the whites that she poured (Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc).  At $42.00 a bottle, I have been drinking it whenever the budget allows.

The Ah ha! Moment!

Ok, that was a very long set up but why have I been having such a hard time finding white wines I liked? The answer is simple. I have only been tasting the white wines that others around me are drinking, and these people have very different tasting preferences than me. CRAZY that I never thought about that before. I like big, fruit forward, velvety red wine with medium to low tannins. Gary prefers what I call an”ODB” or “old dusty Bordeaux.” Yes, he will drink others more similar to my style, but when left unhindered he will always go with an ODB.

So think about it. I would pretty much only try white wines that Gary liked because he was free to pick his style preference only. And just as his red wine preferences are different, so are his white wine preferences. Honestly, it never dawned on me.

So now we have to consider both of our preferences and find wines that please us both. A whole new world of white wine is waiting for me, and I look forward to the journey.

And this is where a great wine store comes into play. These stores know what they are selling and are always ready to assist you to make a selection. They have probably tasted the wine. So go in and tell them about the wines you like and see what is out there for you.


What Am I Drinking?

 

drinking now

Domaine de la Cras Coteaux de Dijon
Bourgogne Blanc 2015
Chardonnay

In an effort to slow suburban sprawl, in 2013 the regional government for the greater Dijon metropolitan area purchased close to 400 acres of land. The land is to be used for agricultural purposes. On the land were a winery and 19 acres of vineyards (both red – Pinot Noir and white – Chardonnay). The area was classified Burgundy AOC.

An open call for proposals was to determine who would take over the winemaking. The primary criteria were that the vineyards had to be farmed organically, the winner had to be a young winemaker with no existing family vineyards, and be interested in opening the Domaine to the public for educational visits.

Marc Soyard was chosen and was given free reign to live on-site at the Domaine, tend to the vineyards, and produce and sell his own wines. The only condition is that he pay a yearly “rent” of 2000 bottles of wine per year to the city of Dijon.  While Marc is not from a winemaking family, he worked for six years at Domaine Bizot in Vosne Romanée, as chef de culture (vineyard manager), and also working in the cellar closely with Jean-Yves Bizot to learn the winemaking process.

The Tasting

The first note is… I loved it. This wine is right up my alley. This 100% Chardonnay is a restrained medium-bodied wine with medium acid. The balance was perfect for me.  We tasted starfruit and pineapple right up front. As it lingered in our mouths on the mid-palate came yellow apple. The finish is more minerally. Gary said slate, but I will just say minerals.   This wine is going to be a hard to find due to its limited production. Last I checked it was still available at Monarch Wine Merchants for $29.99 a bottle. Justin will ship upon request.

drinking wine

Perception Russian River Chardonnay 2009

This wine has musical roots. Dean Felber, the bassist for Hootie and the Blowfish, is one of three partners in this winemaking venture. Passionate about wine, Dean sought out Mark Ray one of the countries top sommeliers who also lived in Charleston to learn as much as he could. A friendship ensued and shortly after that along with Shane MacNicholas, Perception Wines was born. Perception focuses on small-lot, handcrafted, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel wines primarily from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, California.

Our friend Steven invited Gary and me over for wine and pizza last week. This is our cocktail wine. We had a red blend with the pizza which I will share another time.

The Tasting

This is a big, round, mouthy Chardonnay and I am a huge fan. This wine is a mouth hugger as it lingers long after you swallow. Gary says lots of butter with restrained oak.  It is a bright yellow straw color with notes of savory vanilla and hint of white pepper in the finish.  I loved it and could have stuck with that wine all night.  Gary enjoyed the wine but said he prefers a brighter more acidic wine.

These wines are primarily available direct from the winery via a mailing list allocation. (About the mailing list) This is not a wine club. When you are first added to the list, you will be offered an allocation which you can purchase if you like. There is no fee to be added to the list, and you are under no obligation to purchase your entire allocation. A newsletter goes out twice a year followed by a release of wines. This happens each Spring and again in the Fall. Vintages that do not sell out appear to be available for purchase in two tiers, mailing list members, and the general public. There is a significant saving to be on the list.

This wine currently sells for  $30.00 a bottle for mailing list members and $38.00 for non-members. Perception Wines.com


Our Next Wine Tasting is on the books

There is a Facebook Invite to which you can RSVP. Or just show up and be ready for some great wines and incredible cheeses.

That is all for now. I look forward to drinking wine with those that can attend.


Cheers,

 

rick

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