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Moillard, Fox, Caymus, Pedroncelli, Grinon.....


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Notes from my monthly wine lunch:

1998 Auvigue Pouilly Fuissé Récolte Manuelle – fair bit of colour in this wine and strangely almost no chardonnay characteristics that would have led us to a correct divination of origin. Pleasant if uncharacteristic nose and decent fruit. Ready.

We had an excellent scallop dish with this.

2003 Moillard Mercurey Prem. Cru “Clos l’Eveque’ – ahh – classic pinot noir nose sent us Burgundy-ward right away. Good bright fruit. nice varietal nose, a balance unlikely to be found in a pinot from anywhere else, and a clean smooth finish.

1987 Pedroncelli Dry Creek Cabernet – a fairly Burgundian skunky nose to start this one off was a counter-indication to cabernet, but on palate it was cab, and very French in style aside from the nose. Good punch left in this one and nice length. Good showing.

1996 Leonetti Cabernet (‘American’ designation) – spicy oak, mint and ample fruit in the nose, full bodied and with a long finish. Drinks perfectly now and will hold.

1991 Caymus Napa Cabernet – big fruit friven nose, riper than the Washington state cab, and also sweeter on palate, but with lower acidity. Interesting comparison.. This is now at peak and should be drunk in the next few years.

With a combination of bison and apricot terrine and rabbit/foie gras/prosciutto pâté.

1995 Ch. Cantenac (St. Emilion) – a reasonably priced St. Emilion, this wine was already showing a bit of fading at the edges in terms of colour, had medium body, nice weight and drinks best right now.

1986 Rainoldi Sassella Riserva – an unusual wine I had only tasted a couple of times, made in the North East of Italy up against the Swiss border, from Nebbiolo, which is called Chiavennasca locally. Medium colour, going orange at the edges, big sweet hit of fruit, then the acidity followed after to balance it nicely. The roses and tar in the nose were quite lovely.

We were eating Salt Spring Island lamb by this point.

1999 Marques de Grinon Syrah – alright, tough one here – a Syrah from Spain. Very dark wine with a tarry nose, very dry in the mouth, the tannins present but not assertive. This is produced in a quite unusual location – Dominio de Valdepusa, a single estate D.O. I would leave this wine for several more years before opening another bottle, but it shows promise.

On to cheese, and…..

1998 Fox Creek JSM – a blend of 61% shiraz, 24% cab franc, and 15% cab sauv from McLaren Vale. The dark colour and sweet vanilla nose were fast indicators of origin, though the still purple edges of the wine belied its age. Excellent flavour, cassis, blackberry, and very long finish. This wine is fairly well balanced and not a typical ‘over the top’ Aussie effort. I have a case or two fo this in the cellar (somewhere) and it may be time to start opening some.

1990 Smith Woodhouse LBV Port – what a wonderful classic way to end a meal (too bad I had to go back to the office!). This wine is still rather dark in colour, and not too hot in the nose. Smooth and enticing now, this is one LBV that will improve with age, a fact attested to by the use of a conventional cork rather than the truncated style with plastic top.

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Great notes bill.

Good to see our humble Fox Creek holding up against the rest of the world. The JSM is a constant in my 'cellar' and I only have a 3 or 4 bottles of the '98 left.

Chargrilled rib-eye basted with EVOO soaked rosemary stalks...mmmm

"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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