Sunday night Randy and Dale Kemner hosted their Grand Aioli and invited the whole motley bunch of us over to their place and stuffed us to the gills with grilled meats, veggies, the potent "garlic goo" and a down right shameful amount of wine. Putting all that wine under the noses of such wine geeks is just asking for trouble...how could we decide? Which wine should we not taste? Well we left no bottle unturned I can assure you of that and the wines that people did not get to try was only because they were too damn slow....you snooze, you lose!
I did my best to take notes and keep track of the wines we tasted but you know, as the night went on I just seemed to lose track....very strange. I'm sure I am missing a few but these are the wines I do remember either because they were early in the evening when I still had my wits/senses about me or because they really shined with the various flavors at the table.
N.V. Veuve Fourny & Fils 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs $35.99. Brought by Megan and her boyfriend this was just a great starting off point...hmmm jumping off is more like it! Tons of citrus and minerals with a clean but yeasty finish.
N.V. Veuve Fourny & Fils 1er Cru Brut Rose $39.99. Both Nancy and Merritt brought a bottle of this Champagne and I think they had planned it that way to ensure they each got a glass or two...smart women! This Rose drinks like a less sweet Jolly Rancher, watermelon flavor that is. Super vibrant fruit with tiny little bubbles and a soft gentle finish.
2006 Domaine Ott Rose $36.99. Randy had this wine waiting for us and we were all curious about how it was holding up and what the "other almost $40.00 Rose" tasted like....sadly it was tired and not as interesting as half the wines we sell at half the price.
2007 Mattes Sabran Corbieres Rose $12.99. Another wine that Randy had waiting for us and this bottle was gone within 10 minutes. Racy, full of ripe fruit and very easy to drink. (one of my favorites)
2007 Grands Boise Cotes du Rhone Rose $12.99. Plenty of ripe berry fruit with just a little spice and a crisp mineral finish. (Dale's favorite)
2007 Bastide Blanche Bandol Rose $20.99. This was Megan's favorite Rose of the evening. Very dry but with a lovely texture, nice weight and a long serious finish.
2007 Mas Champart St. Chinian Rose $15.99. Another from the Randy arsenal and seemed to me to be maybe the most delicate. Very soft fruit, some meaty notes, gentle acids a very friendly wine that let the food shine.
2007 Peyrassol Cotes du Provence Rose $15.99. This turned out to be one of Randy's favorite Roses of the evening. He said, "I have had this wine so many times but it just keeps giving me pleasure". Very gulpable wine that was wonderful with the "garlic goo".
2005 Domaine Gauby Les Calcinaires Blanc $22.99. I was so excited when I saw this wine chilling in the ice tubs out back! One of those wines that the geek in me purchased for the store and one of those wines that has been just sitting on the shelf! Made up of Macabeu, Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc and Chardonnay this is a wacky blends that makes up a truly tasty wine! Very fresh, interesting aromatics...keeps you putting your nose to the glass and one of the wines that Randy went kinda crazy for, yelling across the tables in the backyard, "Sam...Sam I really like that Gauby!"....me too Randy, me too.
2007 Bastide Blanche Bandol Blanc $27.99. Big ripe almost pear like flavors with a chalky minerality and almost herby flavor. Nice and round in the mouth with crisp acidity...was great with the food we had but made me long for a pile of mussels or clams!
2004 Mas Champart St Chinian $21.99. One of Bennett's favorite wines of the nice. Gentle in the mouth with little bits of smoke or smokey meat, stewed black fruits and grippy tannins.
2005 Trevallon Rouge $41.99. Randy decanted this wine which really helped soften the edges. There was something pretty sultry in the nose, animal almost with deep red fruit, some herbs, earth and just enough grip to keep you interested. A wine for the cellar if you can keep your hands off of it!
2001 Clos du Caillou Les Quartz Chateauneuf-du-Pape (N/A). Amy brought this from her cellar and we all thought the wine was super tasty. Lots of sappy black fruit with a creamy vanilla middle and a full but not clunky finish.
2006 Domaine du Gour de Chaule Cotes du Rhone $16.99. A Ronnie favorite that evening the wine was elegant, subtle red fruit, earth, minerals with a light to medium body, silky texture and a bright refreshing finish...bring on the grilled flesh!
1996 Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage Rouge (N/A). I brought this wine that evening but don't go thinking my cellar is full of fancy wines like Chave....Randy gave me this bottle sometime back and I could not think of another group of folks I would rather share it with. The nose alone knocked Nancy and I out, we could not stop smelling it and looking at each other. I often describe Burgundy as seductive well here is another wine that made me weak in the knees. Roasted meat, herbs, cherry like fruit stony notes and that thing....that thing we have a hard time explaining until you have had a great wine with some age on it....makes me nutty. I didn't even want to taste the wine, I was just so into the nose....wowzers!
And those are just the wines I could remember!