Black Glass Society: Chapitre du Fresh and Alive (aka Oyster, Seafood and Karaoke)

Pine Close, followed by Jumbo Seafood

Tasted October 30, 2010 by Paul S with 740 views

Introduction

What a happening night. We had a little housewarming / Halloween party / oyster night at our place, with William and Chad shucking away and the rest of us feasting on the freshest shellfish and fresh, crisp whites. Two hours later, the happy group decamped to Jumbo Seafood for a lovely dinner and more wines, and then finally on to Karaoke. Phew...

Flight 1 - WITH OYSTERS (5 notes)

White
2009 Charles Wiffen Sauvignon Blanc Reserve New Zealand, South Island, Marlborough
88 points
Not sure what the difference between the "Reserve" and the normal bottling is, but this was far from special - quite the typical Marlborough, with perhaps just a bit more weight. Grass scents, herbs and passionfruit on the nose were accompanied with some time in the glass by pink guava juice accents and little saline mineral scents. More grass on the palate, along with rather aggressive acidity, some cats pee and more herbs. A bit of swirling and air, and the mid-palate filled up with really ripe gooseberries and passion fruit. Good weight, but for all that acidity though, the wine still came across a little fatty, a little alcoholic. Decent, but not something I would rebuy.
White - Fortified
N.V. Equipo Navazos Jerez-Xérès-Sherry La Bota de Fino "Macharnudo Alto" Nº 18 Spain, Andalucía, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
93 points
Another excellent bottle from Equipo Navazos. Did not go quite as well with the oysters as I thought it would, but when paired with fried prawn fritters - incredible. Lovely nose. Super complex, with oxidative notes dancing out of the glass alongside dried fig scents, caramel, wet wood, lemon peel, grapefruit and wafts of dried flower. Palate was bright and fresh, with a lemony backdrop, upon which lovely notes of spice, kumquats and preserved fig peel that played across the mouth, alongside a serious mineral backbone. Pitch perfect balance just called out for another sip, and another sip. There was a sense of saline concentration on the back-palate, where the wine shifted gears into a smooth, agreeable finish with plenty of length on it. Not super punchy, this instead slides away with bittersweet almonds, a nice briney kiss and a little linger of sweet yellow fruit. A lovely fino - really first class.
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White - Sparkling
2001 Domaine Huet Vouvray Pétillant Brut France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Vouvray Pétillant
91 points
Really interesting wine. Nose had some age on it, with yeasty, earthy scents running alongside slightly oxidative white meaty, ginseng chicken soup smells. A bit less developed on the palate. Lots of super high, piercing acidity, still extremely primary on the fruit, with lemons and lemon grass on the attack, and a finish full of green apples and a touch of nectar. The thickish and less than exuberant mousse gave its non-Champagne origins away, and the flavour-profile led Hsien Min to correctly identify it. This was a really nice sparkly, with nice weight and depth, and lovely fruit-friendly freshness. Went wonderfully with the oysters.
White - Sparkling
2007 Freixenet Cava Brut Nature Vintage Reserva Spain, Cava
90 points
A pretty nice one. Simple, but rather delicious. Fresh cut flowers, kumquats and fresh linen on the nose was chased by lots of bubbles forming a thick foamy mousse on the palate. Flavour-wise, there was clear sweet apple tones, some dried mangoes, a little mineral, orange blossoms, and lemony notes at the finish. Nice balance, with the fruit matched by a dry backbone. I thought this shared more than a passing resemblance to the Huet Petillant. A really nice Cava.
White
2007 Cantina di Gallura Vermentino di Gallura Superiore Canayli Italy, Sardinia, Vermentino di Gallura DOCG
89 points
Very interesting wine. Sweet nose had rose water scents, raspberries, cherries and a little earth and mineral. Clearly Italian, but very unusual. Palate was every bit as unique. Lots of granitic mineral ran through the whole thing, along with rather neutral grapefruit and pomelo notes. Texture was a little slippery and oily. There was good weight, but nice balance too, with a patina of acidity, especially at the finish, where there was a little burst of freshness before some chalk flavours set in. Very decent, with plenty of character to boot.

Flight 2 - WITH SEAFOOD (9 notes)

Rosé
N.V. Canti Pinot Grigio Veneto IGT Italy, Veneto, Veneto IGT
88 points
A strange little wine, but pretty nice. Neither red nor white when tasted blind from a black-glass. I thought it was a rose, but could not for the life of me figure out the variety of where it same from. Nose ahd cherries, earth, yeast and red apples. A frothy mousse on the palate served as a precurso to ripe red apple flavours, candied raspberries and cherries, and some flowery tones. There was some sweetness here, especially at the finish, where rose petal accents emerged. Nothing to shout about, this was simple, but it was also pleasant and balanced.
White
2009 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Grande Réserve France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre
92 points
I thought this was a really, really solid SB. Perhaps closer to Pouilly-Fume than Sancerre in style, but nevertheless really top-drawer stuff. Grassy herbs, green asparagus, guava, passionfruit, gooseberries and soapy white flowers just wafted out on the nose. A world away from the Marlborough SB we had earlier. Palate was fresh and balanced, with good depth and weight to its primary peach and lemon flavours. Past the mid-palate there was a whole mouthfull of beautifully fragrant poutpourri, and then strong seams of mineral lingering away in the nice, round finish. Very impressive.
White - Fortified
N.V. Equipo Navazos Jerez-Xérès-Sherry La Bota de Palo Cortado Nº 21 Spain, Andalucía, Jerez-Xérès-Sherry
95 points
Awesome stuff. This left me speechless. Wonderful nose was chocked full of yummy scents - toasty caramel, toffee nut, nutmeg, christmas fig pudding all just calling out for your to take a sip. Super complex on the palate too. Mouthfuilling flavours of spice, nutmeg, cinamon, toasted almonds, salted caramel and dark plums just unfolded seamlessly until the wine hit a strong spicy finish that just goes on and on and on until a final touch of fig skin lingered away at the tail. This was all rich and creamy, yet everything was held in supberb balance. It was so stylishly put together that one did not feel 20 percent alcohol on it at all. Incredible stuff, and an expcetional pairing with Cantonese-style roast chicken.
White - Off-dry
2009 Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling Spätlese Germany, Rheingau
93 points
I really must keep my hands off these, especially if I do not have the time to open the bottle a couple of days before serving. This was super, as always, but did not quite hit the heights of bottles that have had some time and air. Nevertheless, a brilliant young Spatlese. Beautiful nose showed flowers, chamomile and sweet lemons underscored by slatey mineral scents. Superb balance on the palate, with brilliant fruit, peach and nectarine I thought, punctuated with beautiful acid, some lemon citrus flavours and great depths of mineral. The wine had quite a profound depth actually, with lots and lots just buried in there, waiting for time to expose its quality. It was so integrated too, that same sense of focus and purpose was there, and it was just compeltely seamless from the attack to the long finish that slid across the mouth in a show of chamomile and nectar flavours. Lovely.
White
2005 John Kosovich Wines Chardonnay Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Pemberton
87 points
I thought this was a new world Chard, but would not have guessed Western Australia - it seemed a little warmer than that. Nose showed earth, mushrooms, plenty of butter and a touch of dried fruit. A bit more age than one would expect from a 2005. Palate had just that bit of oxidation on it that probably explains the mature bouquet. Rich creamy texture, heavy, with lowish acidity, yet with a really dry backbone. Flavour-wise, I got lemons, ripe yellow fruit and plenty of toast and spice notes in the decently long finish. Okay, but I am not altogether thrilled by this - slightly off bottle maybe.
Red
2004 Claude Dugat Bourgogne France, Burgundy, Bourgogne
88 points
Pretty decent Bourgogne, especially given the context of the vintage. Green meanies were well in-check. On the nose, I got orange peel, fresh cherries, cola, a little earthiness and, some 2004 whiffs of incense. Palate had a nice bit of mineral, nice acidity, some ripeness with fresh dark cherries and a little spice. I was torn between Gevrey and Vosne on this one. Not the most complex, but certainly decent drinking. The finish was very earthy with bittersweet stems and a layer of herbs showing off the vintage along with a hint of fine tannins coating the mouth. Not bad.
Red
1999 Château L'Enclos France, Bordeaux, Libournais, Pomerol
89 points
A pretty pleasant wine, but this drank more like an Italian IGT than a Pomerol. Very earthy nose was accompanied by flowery violet and dried rose petal scents, along with cherries, strawberries and a little dash of fresh herbs. Very drinkable on the palate, nicely balanced, almost a little light, with fine tannins forming the backdrop for subtle red fruit flavours sprinkled all over with rosemary, oregano and orange peel notes. Vanilla hints on the finish were chased by a woody twang and peppery spice. Very pleasant one for drinking now, but I am not sure this has much capacity to age and improve.
Red
2006 Grifalco Aglianico del Vulture Gricos Italy, Basilicata, Aglianico del Vulture
90 points
I liked this. Plenty of character here. Clearly Italian, yet different from your Piedmonts and Tuscans. Dried dusty earth on the nose was chased by rosemary, thyme, roses, cherries, strawberries, incense, rubber and tar. A bit Babaresco lilke, but with a little rustic touch in the way it smelt. Nice though. Palate had firm, chewy tannins and a strong minerally undertow, overlaid with cherries, blueberries, orange peel and a little bit more tar. Finish was decent, a little rustic, but showing nice balance and a good firm structure.
Fruit/Vegetable Wine
N.V. The Berry Farm Port No.7 Australia, Western Australia, South West Australia, Margaret River
Yummy way to end the night. This has developed somewhat from the last two times I had it. Rock melon, honey and kiwi fruit galore on the nose. All as exuberant as ever. Palate seemed to have a bit more inetgrated depth though, with slightly less brightly explosive, but no less delicious flavours of golden kiwi, melon and a tropical fruit cocktail melange filling the mouth in a freshly-balanced package. Yum!
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