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TN: Xmas Week wines - Champagne, Burg, Loire, German, Beaujolais, etc

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Dec 27, 2023, 9:51:35 AM12/27/23
While shopping Friday for fresh rice noodles ran into cheap lobster, just got one to split as an appetizer. Lobster with leftover Assyrtiko, then with beef and Chinese broccoli stirfry with fresh rice noodles, the 2009 Clos de la Roilette Cuvee Tardive Fleurie. Killer Gamay - taut black cherry fruit with coffee, loam, and an almost curry-like spice note. Complex and long. A-

Saturday some oysters with the 2014 Pepiere Clos des Briords Muscadet, bright, seashell and saltwater notes over pear and citrus, with snappy (in a good way) acids and long mineral finish. A-

Dinner was roast chicken, with root vegetables and salad, wine was the 2012 Remi Jeanniard Morey St Denis Vieilles Vignes. I checked the label to make sure this wasn’t 2011- big green streak, with a piney note. Gets better with air, some red and black cherry fruit with a touch of cedar, but not really my thing. C+/B-

I wasn’t working Christmas Eve, so we hosted several couples for the Feast of the Seven Fishes (after embarrassing email fail on my part). More than 7 fishes, actually. As people arrived we had paddlefish caviar (creme fraiche, blinis, potato chips), beet-cured gravlax with a horseradish crema, and garlic rosemary sourdough with a goat butter and Bordier yuzu butter (thanks Jay)

2007 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne
You don’t hear much about ‘07, sandwiched between ‘06 and 08, but this is lovely.Pear, citrus, lemon pastry, with long elegant finish. Refined and balanced. A-

2012 Marguet Ambonnay Rose Champagne
Cherries, white nectarine, rye bread. Distinctive and different, I quite like. A-/B+
(and it went well later with the slightly spicy salmon/radish soup)

Then to table for a succession of courses:
lobster/tarragon salad (me)
salmon Jorim (Korean radish soup (me)
Baked cod croquettes with curry aioli (me, and for me the only disappointing course- next time back to frying)
Fritto Misto (squid and shrimp) (Betsy)
Crab Cakes (Ron)
Pasta with clams (Betsy)
Black sea Bass with mushrooms and broccoli with colatura di alici
Almond Cake and pecan pie (both Jay)

With lots of courses, some who prefer red, one who only drinks low abv Riesling, I didn’t try to match wines (except for myself). Some wines didn’t get opened, but we did have a few:

2005 JJ Prum Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese
Rich, sweet, peach and citrus, honied, powerful. B+

2013 Schloss Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Spatlese
Wow, elegant and refined, with grapefruit, lime, and honey notes, complex nose with fennel pollen and peach blossoms. Gorgeous. Why do I not buy more Lieser? Thanks Jay. A-

2011 Rollin “Sous Fretille” Pernand-Vergelesses 1er
Premox rears its head. It’s not undrinkable, but it’s advanced, and clearly not what wine should be. C+ for this bottle, would love to try another.

2008 Fevre Montee de Tonnere Chablis 1er
Brisk acids, crisp green apple and lemon fruit, wet rocks and sea spray on finish. B+/A-

1993 Drouhin Clos des Mouches Beaune 1er
Lovely and balanced, black cherry with smoke and sandalwood, long finish. A-/B+

2004 Giovanni Rosso Serralunga Barolo (mag)
Raspberries and rose petals, some tannic structure but fairly friendly, lots of life left in this format. B+/B

Christmas Day I picked up MIL at assisted living and we all converged at SIL’s house. Dinner was cedar plank maple salmon, potatoes, Brussels sprouts.

2022 Yves Martin Chavignol Sancerre
Lemon with a little fresh mowed grass, nice acids, good finish. B/B+

1999 Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir
More mature and less lively than a recent bottle, modest black cherry fruit, black coffee, resolved tannins, a little tired on the finish. B-

Then a quiet night at home. I grilled Eric Kim’s pork chops in jalapeno/cilantro marinade, with pepper/onion relish, rice, and spinach. With yet another bottle of 2022 Tiberio Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo. The borderline between a red and a rose, sweet red cherry, herby, balanced. B/B+

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C drinkable. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

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