Wine Tasting Report



 

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It may have been purely a coincidence, but it was a happy one: Just two days before we take off on a two-week trip to Europe that will include a few days in Provence, a local retailer and regional importer sponsored a delightful wine dinner titled ... "An Evening in Provence"!

Sponsored by Louisville's huge Party Source & Liquor Outlet wine stores in association with David Schildknecht, importer for Cincinnati's Vintner Select, the evening at the excellent 211 Clover restaurant in the Louisville suburbs featured delicious Provence-inspired dishes and a half-dozen new wines from Provence (or near it) that are scheduled for release this summer or fall.

Here are my quick tasting notes, with the importer's estimated Louisville retail prices when these wines become available. The associated dishes were chosen specifically to accompany the wines, and did so very well.

APPETIZERS
Fried calamari and marinates Provence olives and almonds

Domaine des Alysses 1998 Vin de Pays Var Chardonnay - Experimental bottling, not for sale ... a Provence Chardonnay made in a Burgundian style! Pale straw color. Light, fresh apple scent. Textured and rich, clean and crisp. An impressive wine; a small amount may be available in the U.S. next year, perhaps only in Kentucky.

FIRST COURSE
Fava bean soup with onions and garlic

SECOND COURSE
Wild mushroom-truffle omelet with thyme

Mas de Gourgonnier 1998 "Cuvée Angeligue" Les Baux en Provence ($8.99) - Very dark garnet. Light red-fruit aromas. Fresh and sweet, candied fruit and vanilla. Opens up beautifully with time in the glass.

Domaine Dragon 1998 "Cuvée St.-Michel non-filtré" Cote de Provence ($8.99) - Inky dark reddish purple. Floral and peppery red fruit, juicy and tart.

MAIN COURSE
Lamb loin stuffed with spinach and jasmine rice served with potatoes Anna

Domaine des Alysses 1997 "Cuvée Angelique" Coteaux Varois ($11.99) - Grenache, Syrah and the "secret ingredient," a well-known Burgundy grape. Bright garnet. Pleasant leather, red fruit, tomato-skin and anise. Full and bright, flavors follow the nose, long and clean.

Chateau de Pibaron Bandol ($22.99) - Very dark reddish-purple. Jammy fruit and pleasant earthy aromas. Ripe fruit and aromatic herbs, complex, delicious.

CHEESE COURSE
Humboldt Fog chèvre and Old Chatam Sheepherder's Camembert

Domaine Monardière 1998 Vacqeyras Blanc ($18.99) - Clear pale gold. Chestnuts, smoke and white fruit. Full and rich, fruit and oak, strong and lasting.

DESSERT COURSE
Clafouti with mixed berries

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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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