N.V. Mumm Napa Pinot Noir Blanc de Noirs
Type- Rosé - Sparkling
Producer- Mumm Napa
Variety- Pinot Noir
Designation- Blanc de Noirs
SubRegion- Napa Valley
Appellation- Napa Valley
My family has one of the best Thanksgiving traditions ever. Mimosa! I needed something bubbly to add to the OJ, and this was the cheapest bottle in the cellar. It was actually too good for mimosa, but you've got to do what you've got to do.
The color was a pale salmon pink, tinting slightly toward orange. It had a steady stream of small bubbles. There was a lot of fruit on the nose, strawberry, banana, and a hint, a tiny hint, of lemon zest. Minerality, not fruit, drove the attack, plus a little bit of lime. Some banana and white grapefruit appeared on the mid-palate, with mineral and lemon juice on the finish. It was tart, bright, acidic and clean.
2005 Redline Pinot Noir Cedar Lane Vineyard
Variety- Pinot Noir
Vineyard- Cedar Lane Vineyard
SubRegion- Central Coast
Appellation- Arroyo Seco
This wine went pretty quickly and I did not get much in the way of notes. It went well with the meal. in general, it was pretty good. it had a bit of earth and some depth, something I look for to distinguish a drinkable under-$30 pinot from its more common cherry-cola-and-black-tea brethren. I will definitely revisit this, so stay tuned.
2006 Georges Dubœuf Pouilly-Fuissé
Producer- Georges Dubœuf
Soft tropical fruit led the nose of this wine, banana, pineapple, along with a bit of light toast. On the palate it was thick and oily, tasting of banana, pineapple, and green apple. White pepper appeared on the mid-palate. It had a long, slightly dusty finish.
The nose the next day was softer and a little spicier, more like banana bread than bananas, plus pineapple and a bit of nutmeg. The palate was much more citrusy than the nose, with spice and acidity. Lemon, lime, and gingersnaps, softened on the mid-palate to expose underlying pineapple. The finish was short, dropping suddenly.
2005 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Clifford Bay Reserve
Producer- Villa Maria
Variety- Sauvignon Blanc
Designation- Clifford Bay Reserve
Country- New Zealand
Region- South Island
What the heck is that smell? This one got passed around the table and everybody said the same thing, "wait a minute, I know it, ...wait a minute, ... no, I can't place it." Then I broke out the good glass and it was obvious. Asparagus. There was also some ginger snap and vanilla custard. There were also ginger snaps and vanilla custard on the palate, moving to lemon meringue on the mid-palate. Underlying all of it was the green taste of asparagus. It was also surprisingly fat for a Sauv. Blanc, particularly from New Zealand.
The asparagus smell was much stronger, overpowering any fruit. It smelled like asparagus and slightly rancid butter. On the palate, well, it was just a disaster. Imagine, if you must, boiling asparagus in pineapple juice until it all dissolves. Strain it and drink it. Or don't. I'm sure not drinking any more of this crap.
2001 Dow Porto Late Bottled Vintage
Type- Red - Fortified
Variety- Port Blend
Designation- Late Bottled Vintage
The nose wasn't giving up a lot, but if you worked at it you could get some licorice. The palate was just loaded with raisins and prunes, plus a bit of blueberry syrup. The finish simply collapsed.
Chocolate Stout and Raspberry Lambic Float
You will never want a root beer float again. Float some vanilla ice cream in 2 parts chocolate stout to 1 part raspberry lambic. Once a little of the ice cream melts, taking away a bit of the beer bite and adding creaminess, well, it is a grown-up ice cream float. Everybody who tries it is always stunned. I would not hesitate to serve this as a fun finish to an upscale barbecue on a hot summer's day.