Cape Gazette
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Wine

Great wine on the cheap with Chateau La Dominique

By John McDonald | Sep 03, 2012

Please keep this web address to read when you are finished with the paper. You will find a succinct article by Nancy Hawks Miller titled, "Five key wine components and how to detect them.” Miller piqued my interest by referring to herself as a cheap date. I have always wondered what that meant, but she did not define it. However, her brief synopsis on detecting wine components is very well written. Look here: http://www.snooth.com/articles/five-key-wine-components-and-how-to-detect-them/2/. Even though you may think you are knowledgeable, this is a great refresher and for the rest of us a very nice learning tool.

A balut-eating contest was sponsored by Maharlika from East Village in NYC, beginning at 3 p.m. at DeKalb Market on Willoughby (Flatbush Avenue) and I missed it. O’ Bummer. Balut is a Filipino delicacy that few in the USA have tried. In the Philippines, balut eaters prefer salt and/or a chili, garlic and vinegar mixture to season their eggs. The duck eggs are savored for their balance of textures and flavors; the broth is sipped from the egg before the shell is peeled, then the yolk and young chick inside can be eaten. All of the contents of the egg may be consumed; the white usually remains uneaten. It takes a brave person or perhaps an inebriated one to eat one of these, but they are delicacies once you get past the aroma. Any wine consumed early and in great quantities will enhance the quality of the experience.

I’m really off track today, but I hope you will look into Lambstock and Border Springs Farm info here: http://www.borderspringsfarm.com/.

I sampled a Japanese wine from Hitomi Winery in Shiga prefecture, San Soufre Rurale Dela Blanc, made from the Delaware grape. The wine was bright yellow and strangely different but not unpleasant. It is a sparkler, finished methode champenoise. This is a state-of-the-art biodynamic, unfiltered, no sulfites, yeasts or other additives; these are wines known in Japan as Nigori (cloudy wines). Fruity and refreshing.

Check out Chateau La Dominique Grand Cru Classe 2009, an example of buying great wine on the cheap. You will find Chateau La Dominique situated in the same terroir as close neighbor to Chateau Cheval Blanc, $1,000/bottle; Chateau L’Evangile, $375; and Chateau La Conseillante, $200. With La Dominique you get the added benefit of Michel Rolland as consultant winemaker. You can find this lovely, approachable 100 percent merlot for $58.Very dark ruby color; cedar, ripe currant, herbaceous nose; tasty, tart currant, cedar, herbaceous, oak palate; needs 2-3 years; medium-plus finish; 94+ points.

And my synopsis of write-ups by Suckling: 95 points (“amazing with loads of milk chocolate and orange peel. Full and super velvety. Goes on for minutes. So gorgeous and sexy. Hard not to drink now but better in 2018.") and RP: 93 points (“supple tannin and loads of spicy fruitcake, licorice, cassis and kirsch-like notes that jump from this dense ruby/purple wine. Fat, fleshy and full-bodied, with beautiful richness, purity and length.”) One wonders if these guys tasted this wine.

I just heard the phrase “cougar juice” used for Chardonnay. Laughed quite a bit but it prompted me to review some chardonnay for the faithful readers who keep writing to ask about the new releases.

2009 Manuel Olivier Hautes-Côtes de Nuits Chardonnay is straw colored with a lovely bouquet of white flowers, chalk and citrus fruits. Opens to crisp green apple that evolves rapidly to tropical and floral notes. It is ripe and round with sufficient stony minerals and mouthwatering acidity to carry the nose and fruit; 87 points at $24 or less.

WA says 91 points, I say 93 at $31/bottle, 2005 Eagle Vale Estate Whispering Lake Chardonnay Reserve, very complex nose of orchard fruits and ripe tropical aromas which are influenced with earthy tones reminiscent of white Burgundy. Honeycomb, melon, dried pear, white pepper and herbs. The flavors align with the nose, showing lots of fruit, herbs and savory notes.

Happy Labor Day!! As we say goodbye to another summer season and welcome in the great beach month of September, don’t forget to thank a tourist for visiting here.

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