We had seven middle-of-the-road wine geek friends for Christmas Eve Eve dinner last night, with six tonight and five tomorrow night.
We toasted with Lenoble Rose Millesime. The blend is 85% Chardonnay Grand Cru and 15% Pinot Noir Premier Cru vinified as a red wine. Very light on the sweet side, the salmon-pink wine is full and round, with a lively mousse. Fresh red fruit dominates. I bought a case and am pleased now at the purchase. Everyone enjoyed the wine -- no descents.
We enjoyed a host of appetizers with a 2001 Scharzhofberger M-S-R Spatlese. This is a lovely Riesling, correctly made, but somehow doesn't grab your interest and hold it. It cut through the French goose liver pate well though. I bought six and am glad it was not a case.
Next came a delicious broccoli soup which was accompanied by another German Riesling which did grab your attention and shake your senses -- the 2001 Tyrell Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg Riesling Spatlese. Loaded with delightful fruit and slate/petrol notes, this was the hands down favorite of the two Rieslings. It is a stunning Spatlese. Bought a case; wish I'd bought three.
Next came the main course -- dry-aged prime rib. Unfortunately everyone wanted medium or medium well (YIKES!), so I got the rarest piece of the rib roast I could find, which was leaning towards medium. I served two reds with the meat, and the results were not what I expected. The first wine was the 1995 Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac. Seeming fully mature, the tannins were very soft on the entry. Black currants, berries and cedary notes prevailed. It went very well with the meal. The second wine was from the same vintage but from the New World -- 1995 Quilceda Creek, Washington. Fully mature right now, the wine has developed better than expected. The oak is integrated and the flavors are just delightful. Hands down this was the favorite of the crowd. I would have taken bets on the favorite of the two wines and lost -- a pleasant surprise.
Carole served her yule log for dessert, which was accompanied by a 1992 Baumard Quarts de Chaume. Always a delight, the sweetness and acidity lends itself well to almost any dessert. It is still drinking very well, with lovely complexity.
Overall, lovely food, wine and friends -- you can't ask for much more.