Bacchic Reflections

Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.

Life itself is the proper binge.

                                                                           Julia Child


         "....eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart..."   
                                                                         King Solomon,

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Reds worth cellaring...Cabs, Pinots, Other
                            B.E.'s Cellar Notes

Special Aged Wines:   B.E.'s Discoveries

Virginia/North Carolina:   B.E.'s Discoveries

Interesting Links:   see  Other Interests

Wine Books for Wine Lovers
             see B.E.'s Wine Tips

Articles by B.E.   see  B.E. in print
      Starting a Wine Cellar:   B.E.'s  Wine Tips
       Wines for aging:  see B.E. Cellar Notes
B.E. on organic and biodynamic wines
                  see  article

Dry Creek Vineyard 2017 Sauvignon Blanc   Dry Creek Valley***
$17-20, and well worth it--one of the tastiest Sauvignons I've had recently, due perhaps to 13.5% musqué in the blend which lends spicy accents to the zest of tangerine and the creaminess of lemon curd. Very well-balanced, youthful and fresh, an excellent choice for seafood and shellfish (also beet and goat cheese salad).

Wine In The News:   Interesting images of the recent meeting between China and North Korea, whose leaders appear to enjoy fine wine--goblets of red adorned the round table in Beijing--a fine Burgundy or Rhône perhaps?--while the North Korean sipped a white wine (Riesling?)  In the last decade or so China has played an increasingly active role on the world wine stage--Hong Kong boasts multi-million dollar wine auctions and is the key market in Asia for fine wine; China is rapidly expanding its own young wine industry. On Kim Jung Il's last train trip to China in 2011 one of the armored cars, according to news reports, was loaded with cases of fine wine, including Bordeaux and Burgundy. It appears that he may have passed along his taste for fine wine to his son.
   Update: Ooops! China just slapped a 15% tariff on American wines (among other items).

Dry Creek Heritage Vines Zinfandel 2016   Dry Creek Valley   $16-19**+
  One of the best values in quality Zins--black fruit flavors of ripe berries (think black raspberry), hints of black pepper, lively and well-balanced, juicy and vibrant.  Excellent value.
Rodney Strong Vyds Upshot Red Blend 2015   Sonoma    $18-22**  Fruit-driven red dominated by Zinfandel, so lots of ripe-berry flavors. Sturdy, meaty red recommended for roast or grilled meats and savory cheese dishes. Very drinkable now but will develop further with 3-5 years.
Paris Valley Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  California  $12.99**+  Hard to find a young Cabernet with character and flavor but not overwhelmed by tannin- I strongly recommend this one--with fruit sourced from the warm Paso Robles region of the central coast it teems with  generous ripe-berry flavors.  Very drinkable.  Great value!
Terrazas de los Andes Malbec 2015   Argentina     $15-18**+  Succulent black fruit flavors make this a smacking good red. Warm and generous; excellent value.
Domaine Guy Farges 2014 Saint-Joseph   Rhône Valley   $23-29**+   Among my favorite  Rhône reds--some go for much more but this one, with its lovely rich berry flavors, is an excellent value; well-balanced and elegant, and quite drinkable now.  An excellent choice for roast or grilled meats. Check it out at A Southern Season--the 2015 should be in market soon.

PINOT NOIR: Often my first pick for roast fowl--chicken, turkey, quail, game hens.  Lighter ones rather than big tannic ones are the best choices, and among appellations to look for are these:  Sonoma Coast, Burgundy's Chorey-les-Beaune, Santenay and Côte Haute-de Beaune offer affordable choices. 
More full-bodied Pinots will also work with roast fowl, such as Pommard, Volnay, Chambolle Musigny from Burgundy--especially good choices for roast duck or goose. Your wallet can decide this, since Burgundies are expensive, but it's hard to beat their warmth of flavor and character.  Meantime:

Choice Whites

Fento Bico da Ran Albariño 2016  Rias Baxias, Spain    $15-18***  Hard to find, but surely the best Albariño I've tasted recently--dry, enticingly crisp and flavorful, with bright notes of citrus and a hint of spice. Available on line.
Mount Eden Chardonnay 2015  Edna Valley   $23-34***+  Don't say you don't like Chardonnay until you've tasted this one! Rich, intense flavors of toasted nuts, buttery apples, lemon zest, very nicely balanced with a deft touch of oak. Lingering finish very appealing--lovely with the likes of turbot or halibut with butter-sauteed mushrooms.   
Hugel Classic Riesling 2015  Alsace***   $19-23     If you want to know what a classic, pure dry Riesling is, buy this wine! Aromatic, with hints of floral and mineral, superbly balanced, with an acidity that gives it great verve, and fruit that is enticing.
Château Graville-Lacoste 2015   Bordeaux   $15***  An excellent white Bordeaux, balanced and graceful; this blend of sauvignon blanc and sémillon has a broader flavor profile of stony citrus, very clean, a superb choice for fish and seafood. 
Steininger Gruner Veltliner 2015   Austria   $14-17***
  Very nicely balanced and flavorful--crisp, dry, a hint of mineral, excellent length.
King Estate Pinot Gris 2015   Oregon  $15-18**  Dry with some richness of honeyed pear flavors--a very affordable choice for roast turkey, also game hens.
Le Paradou Viognier 2016  Languedoc-Rousillon $15**  Appealing floral fragrance, nice and fresh crispness. An excellent aperitif.

Bubbles.........I always have one on ice, just in case. And a great way to launch a fine dinner: 
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs   Carneros  $18-24**+  Bright and charming, with a long creamy finish that is very appealing. Excellent with smoked salmon.
Gloria Ferrer Brut Rosé   Carneros **+ $20-29  This sparkler--the flaming color of sunset--is lively and crisp with bright berryish accents. Made from pinot noir, a grape that excels in the cool Carneros region of Sonoma County.  A charmer.
Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs NV, California, $18-22**+  Tiny bubbles, bright, clean fruit, dry and quite delicious. Keep this sparkler on hand  as a great aperitif, year-round.  I've tasted this wine several times with great pleasure. An excellent value, too.
Mumm Brut Prestige  Napa Valley  $19**+  It's dry but the bright hints of peach and vibrant citrus whet the appetite with effervescent appeal. Also excellent value.

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                                                                                                          ©Barbara Ensrud