A couple al fresco meals:
2005 Mas de Gourgonnier Rosé (Baux de Provence)
With a grilled dish of turkey stuffed with spinach and feta, salad, and asparagus, this old rosé favorite. Nice strawberry and bitter cherry fruit, reasonably crisp, but this is a disappointment to me based on earlier vintages. Decent rosé for $12, but there are other rosés out there I like better (Il Mimo), are as good but cheaper (Chivite), or the combo- better and cheaper (Ch. d'Oupia). Still, not bad. B
2005 Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet
With a seafood salad (grilled squid, shrimp, tomatos, etc) & grilled corn. I'd heard very positive reports (well, rumors) on this, hints it might even surpass the 2004. As I'm sipping, I decide to disagree. Nice enough Muscadet, with good acidity, ligt mineral notes, a rather creamy texture. But I think I definitely prefer the 2004. I'm explaining this to Betsy (who listens patiently to my wine opinions, even if I'm boring her) as I refill my glass again. Wait a damn minute. The acidity is there, the creaminess is there, but now the light mineral notes are more a seashore full of crushed shells- chalk, limestone, seabreeze all intertwined. Still not sure that this is better than the 2004, but it's at least as good, and I can slurp down my last few 2004s knowing a stellar replacement awaits. The 2005 gets a A-/B+
Tonight was too sticky for patio dining, but with enjoyed a duck breast salad and some pasta with pesto in the AC. The wine for the sauce and the dinner was the 2004 Nicolas Potel ''Cuvee Gerard Potel'' Bourgogne Rouge. I didn't like this quite as much as first time. Nice black cherry fruit, a little spice, but a bit short on the finish. Ok, not great. B
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. 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.