Bon Appétit: December Holiday party wines
December 4, 2009 with Michael Paré of L'Eft Bank Wine Company
NV Adami Prosecco Garbel 13, Conegliano-Valdobbiadene, Italy
In the ancient local dialect, garbèl, when referring to wine, means dry and crisp, pleasantly tart. Our Garbèl is a highly esteemed sparkling wine produced from vineyards in the Colli Trevigiani that yield grapes which long experience has destined exclusively for outstanding wines. The area, which includes the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene zone, lies close to the high mountains; it enjoys warm but not humid summers, and the significant diurnal temperature differences are very favourable during the grape ripening period. The nose releases crisp-edged, complex notes of fruit, and the palate is full-flavoured, with a crisp acidity. Garbèl is a wonderfully versatile sparkler: its 13 grams of residual sugar place it between the Brut and Extra Dry styles and suit it admirably for wine bars and for enjoying apart from a meal. Serve at 7-8°C.
2007 Catena Chardonnay, Mendoza, Argentina
From Argentina’s most famous and best wine-producing family, comes this rich, full-bodied Chardonnay. Catena, founded in 1902, moved viticulture literally to the heavens when in 1981 they started planting experimental vineyards at elevations never used before, from 3,000 feet to over 5,000 feet. At this altitude, vines experience longer growing cycles as well as the extremes of the Mendoza dessert sun during the day and the cool Andes temperatures at night. The Chardonnay is all hand harvested. Aged 9 months in French oak, the wine shows some hints of oak, a rich palate of tropical fruits and the great acidity from grapes grown at high elevations.
For the Main Courses
2008 Chateau Bianca Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
A delicious juicy flavor with dark fruit flavors such as blackberry,fig, and dates. The aroma contains hints of cinnamon and very pleasant flavors of cocoa, coffee, and spice round out the finish. Very stylish and elegant with abundant fruit, soft tannins, and the allure of chocolate before the finish.
2006 Catena Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina
The grapes for the Catena wines are sourced from several vineyard sites and then blended together in the final product. For 20 years, Nicolas Catena and his winemaking team have planted countless numbers of varietals and clones throughout their mountainous vineyard sites. Each vineyard site enjoys its own soil variations and microclimates. Nicolas and his team have carefully studied the effects of these microclimates on the grapes from each vineyard. They discovered that the same varietal, and even the same clone, presents truly distinct aromatic and flavor characteristics when grown in different microclimates. Implementing the age-old "art of assemblage," Nicolas found that by blending different lots of the same varietal, he could create a more intense and complex wine. As great artists tap their creative spirit to mix and match colors for a final work of art, the team at Bodega Catena Zapata use their creativity in the intricate process of blending grapes in order to craft the final wine.
NV Hana Hou Hou Shu, Okayama, Japan
This delightful rosé is sparkling sake is probably the only pink sparkling sake in the US market. It is medium dry and light bodied. Wonderful as an aperitif or dessert wine, it compliments desserts and spicy foods. Serve chilled and garnished if desired.