söndag 29 juli 2012

På plats i Beaune igen

Knappt har vi kommit hem från USA-resan, förrän det är dags för nästa semester-tur. Denna gång är det bilresa genom Europa med hela familjen, till favoritdestinationen Frankrike, som står på schemat. Efter stopp i Skåne och Wolfsburg på nedresan, anländer vi till Beaune, mitt i Bourgogne, på sen-eftermiddagen. Detta är mitt fjärde besök i denna underbara medeltidsstad. Vi bor på ett hotell precis utanför den gamla ringmuren, men det är bara några kvarter att promenera in till de centrala delarna. Vi hamnar på trevliga Brasserie Double Sens. Där avnjuter vi en utmärkt tre-rätters meny, och resans första bourgogne. Det blir 2006 Jaffelin Beaune Les Cent Vignes Premier Cru. Negociant-firman Jaffelin har förresten sin cave bara några kvarter från restaurangen, på Rue Paradis.

Första sniffen ger härliga röda bär. I munnen känns det först lite tunnt och väl syrligt. Men som så ofta med bourgogne-viner, efter några minuter i glaset så öppnar sig vinet på ett fantastiskt sätt. De röda bären, både hallon och jordgubbar, balanserar nu helt plötsligt syrligheten på ett utmärkt sätt, och eftersmaken är lång och synnerligen njutbar. Nu känner jag mig som hemma!

måndag 23 juli 2012

American Wine Purchases

OK, now you are hopefully curious to know what I actually bought at Total Wine. After several visits I decided on some bottles from a favorite supplier, J. Lohr. I found half bottles of 2010 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon, that can easily be slipped into the suitcase. I also found a rare bottle of 2009 Carol's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, which I have heard good things about.  It comes from northern Napa, in the St Helena area. Staying in Napa, the next investment was a new find that looked interesting, 2007 White Cottage Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Risa, from Howell Mountain. It has received great reviews on Cellartracker, so I look forward to trying it. An even bigger investment was 2006 Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon from Spring Mountain. This wine has an excellent reputation as high quality, long-lived Napa Cab, so the plan is to forget it in the cellar for quite a few years. To round out the American collection, I also picked an Oregon wine, 2009 Argyle Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, which I have heard good things about. All wines made it home safely to Sweden, without having to pay overweight.

onsdag 4 juli 2012

Total Wine

Now I have discovered a new wine superstore in the Atlanta area. It is called Total Wine & More, and they have one location close to Northpoint Mall in Alpharetta. This is an amazingly big place. They carry over 8000 different bottles of wine, and a full 2500 of those are exclusive to this chain of stores. Quite a few of the wines they carry are bought directly from the wineries, cutting out the middlemen, so the pricing is very competitive. I have already been there three times on this trip, and enjoyed just browsing through the well-stocked aisles. I have also filled the suitcase with a few selected bottles from here, which you will learn more about soon.

Hedges Family Estate

Now we are back in the US again, so I am switching to English, for the benefit of our American friends. After two long, but uneventful flights, we land in a very hot Atlanta. We head north in the rental car, and after about 18 hours of non-stop travel, we finally arrive at Lisa's place. Here we are of course warmly welcomed, and it does not take long until the first bottle of wine is uncorked. It is a completely new acquaintance,  2008 Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain from Washington State. Red Mountain is situated in Yakima Valley, in the eastern part of the state, and it became its own AVA (American Viticultural Area) in 2001. The wine itself is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 36%, Merlot 33%, Syrah 14%, Cabernet Franc 11% and Malbec 6%.

This is a dark wine (in color I mean) dominated by dark fruit such as blackcurrants and plums. This is complemented with a bit of lead pencil and some earthy flavors. In the mouth it is well balanced with smooth tannins and a long finish. This is a rather sophisticated wine, which goes very well with food. In a blind tasting I would probably have guessed France, not Washington State. I will definitely be looking for this wine again.