Hanzell Vineyards was founded by Ambassador James D. Zellerbach, in the 1950s. The Ambassador's ambition was to create a small vineyard and winery dedicated to the best traditions of Grand Cru Burgundy: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay of extraordinary quality and great longevity. Hanzell's wines have proven to stand the test of time, many drinking well for 30+ years. A very uncommon fete for most wines, and especially uncommon for California Pinot Noir.
Wednesday night, a few friends, including Rowdy and Borderick, graced Chez Dude with their presence for some food and wine and to root on our local boys on Top Chef. The 1976 Hanzell was one of our bottles. It was a pleasure.
The wine was amazingly deep and robust-red in the decanter. Notes of dusty tart cherry and earth on the nose. First blush, wow...is this a '76. Deep, sweet fruit is bordered by dusty, tannic structure that really clamps down on the backside. There is a beautiful weight to the palate; amazing for a 33 year old CA pinot. The wine unfolded in the decanter and rounded out over the course of the night. Still drinking well two hours on...Profound in its own way. A+ for the experience.
October 29, 2009
October 23, 2009
Thanks to Hardy, the Cru Boo pusher, this wine is now offiically on my radar. As is Cru Boo in general. Grand Cru Beaujolais, made from the Gamay grape, should not be confused with the simpler, lighter, found-in-every-supermarket-Beaujolais Nouveau. Despite the similarities, Cru Boos can be serious, food-friendly wines that benefit from short-term cellaring. Last night, another terrific bottle of the Foillard Morgon.
2006 Foillard Morgon Cotes du Py--This is my second terrific bottle in the last three months. Light-red, strawberry color in the glass. Nose throws some funk and dirt upon opening. Strawberry and cherry fruit lurks an peppery-spice abounds on a palate that is wrapped kind of tight initially. Opens nicely with air. More dark cherry along with some rocky minerality. Concentrated and structured, this could stand a few years in the cellar. Available locally at Tower on Piedmont for $25.
October 19, 2009
October 13, 2009
Big Canoe. We didn't bring a lot wine; we chose beer and kentucky lemonade instead of dragging great wines into the woods. However, I did bring a few bottles including my last bottle of the 2007 Garnacha de Fuego Old Vines. This wine is widely available around town at most wine shops and supermarkets. I bought a bunch over the summer on sale for $7 at Kroger. It's a terrific wine for non-contemplation and full-throttle fun. Spicy and lush with copious peppery-red fruit. It's a steal in the single digit price range. Made from 60-80 year old vines. Plenty around town. Go find some for your next party or get together; you won't be sorry.
October 5, 2009
Hosted a little dinner for a few friends Saturday night. Rowdy, EatItAtlanta, The Legend, and another international man of mystery were in attendance. It was a Thomas Keller-themed dinner as I did four courses from my trusty old French Laundry cookbook, and The Legend made Keller's Bouchon French Onion soup.
The wine flowed, too. The 1990 Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape was brilliant. Also, a nice 1991 and 1999 Comte Armand Pommard Epeneaux, 1989 Clos Naudin Vouvray Moelleux Reserve, 1997 Heitz Cabernet Bella Oaks, and several others. A rocking good night that ended with a few of The Legend's Cohibas on the deck as it became Sunday morning.
Some pics from Rowdy:
Tomato tartare, hericot verts, frisee, balsamic reduction.
Smoked salmon, potato gnocchi, microgreens, brunoise.
The Legend's French Onion Soup.
Check out EatItAtlanta's take on the festivities here.