Viognier, Chardonnay, Kosher Korbel, Black Bean Soup, Lemon Rosemary Chicken, and Portabella Risotto
This past week we spent time with friends and family and it was a lovely time for all. Family came in from out of town and we were excited to see them and spend time with them. We started the meal with Brazilian Black Bean Soup. We have made this soup a few times already and the recipe is from the classic Mollie Katzen Moosewood Cookbook. The soup hit the spot given the colder temperature that has hit our area. The Viognier was nice with Kiddush, but it is over my friends – drink up or cook with it. My hope is that the 2008 or 2009 Goose Bay Viognier is coming out soon. The Goose Bay Viognier was lovely for some time with a classic perfumed and flowered nose, but those days are well past and please heed my advice – drink up or dump it. Once the wine was gone, we moved on to another bottle – which may well have been the biggest surprise of the evening!
Benyamin came by again this week and he brought a bottle of wine that I thought was going to be a total waste of time, but was more than happy to try out of sheer curiosity. In the end, it turned out to be my favorite wine of the evening. It was not the highest scoring wine, but it was the most enjoyable wine because it shocked me so and was downright tasty still after all of these years! The wine I am talking about is the N.A. Kosher Korbel Brut Champagne from 1997! This puppy is more than 13 years old! This wine sold for 13 dollars at the time. The wine was all the rage in 1995 and the re-released with a different vintage in 1997. The wine was never released again after that, which was a shame, but for those two years the wine was great. I do not remember it very well from back then, but from what I remember, I was not a huge fan. That all changed last night! The bubbles were lovely and soft, the mousse was almost foamy with a continuous attack of effervescence that did not let up all night. The bottle disappeared quickly, but even the bit that we left to the side was wonderful throughout the meal.
Following the sparkling wine and the soup, we moved on to the main course of Portabella Mushroom and Sweet Potato Risotto, Lemon Rosemary Pepper Flake Roasted Chicken Recipe, Cold Roasted Green Bean Salad, and Fresh Green Salad. To match these dishes, I pulled out an interesting pair of Yarden Chardonnay. Both of the wines hail from the 2007 vintage, a 2007 Yarden Chardonnay, and the 2007 Yarden Odem Vineyard Chardonnay. The wines were way too young and are not ready to drink – either of them. The wines were tight and not open, almost DOA out of the bottle. After a few hours, long after the meal was over, the wines were open and nice, but I do not think that even they are hitting their stride. These wines are way too young, maybe asleep, and need another year before they will show their best stuff. Right now my money would be on a Four Gates Chardonnay, if you are looking for a full bodied, fruity, and luscious California Chardonnay. We have tasted them in the past few months, both the 2004 and 2005, and they are both stunning. That said, in a year or a bit longer the two 2007 Yarden Chardonnay wines will be ready to party and show their white stripes.
For dessert our friend brought us another masterpiece, Kahlua Chocolate Cake! The cake all but about disappeared, and that was because we pulled it from the table before that could occur. Our many thanks to our friends and family who joined us for the meal and who were very kind to share their wonderful cake and wine with us.
The wine notes are listed below in the order they were served:
2007 Goose Bay Viognier (New Zealand, North Island, East Coast) – Score: B
This wine is on its way out 😦 The perfume is now gone. The nose on this light gold colored wine has grapefruit, lemon, slight floral notes, cut grass, smoky and tasty oak, honey, and citrus. The mouth on this medium bodied wine has lost its original oily and perfumed charm, now it has only a citrus body, with peach and pear along for the ride. The mid palate is bracing with acid, toasty oak, and lemon. The finish is long with more acid, caramel, straw, toasty oak, and lemon/grapefruit. It is a shame as this was once one of my favorites. I hope there is a new vintage coming out soon.
N.V. Korbel Brut California Champagne (USA, California) – Score: B++
This wine is from 1997! Are you kidding me! It was the second and final kosher run of the winery. The nose on this straw colored wine was filled with a yeast and mushroom nose, toast, herbs, asparagus, and lemon. The mouse on this medium bodied wine was filled out by the small bubbles of the lovely and still very alive mousse, toast, yeast, mushroom, and lemon. The mid palate was bracing with core acidity, and toast. The finish was nice along with more nice small bubbles, toast, mushroom, and lemon. It was a lovely wine that was drunk quickly and one that paired well with our hearty black bean soup. Really a shock that this 13 dollar wine survived this long and was more than acceptable! Kudos to Benyamin Cantz for keeping it so long and in such good quality, and for sure to Korbel for making a reasonably priced kosher wine that could live this long and taste maybe even better than I remember it tasting originally!
2007 Yarden Chardonnay (Israel, Galilee, Golan Heights) – Score: A–
This wine was closed and tight to start, it took it a good hour or two to come out of its shell. This wine is still not ready to enjoy at its fullest without a fair amount of up front effort. The nose on this lemon colored wine has butterscotch, butter, lemon, toasty oak, mint, pear, peach, and apple. The mouth on this full bodied wine has toasty oak, pear, peach, lemon, apricot, and apple. The mid palate is heavy with acid, toasty oak, butterscotch, and a touch of mint. The finish is long with more oak, butter, butterscotch, bright citrus, lemon, and toasty oak. The toasty oak, butterscotch, and lemon linger on the palate.
2007 Yarden Odem Organic Vineyard Chardonnay – Score: A– to A-
This wine takes a very long time to open up – clearly not it’s time to be drunk yet. Once it opens, the nose on this gold colored wine is filled with toasty oak, honey, ripe fig, caramel, butter, spice, rose notes, apple, grapefruit, and lemon. The mouth of this full bodied wine is mouth filling with ripe fig, apple, grapefruit, lemon, cloves, and toast. The mid palate is balanced with bight acidity, caramel, butter, and spice. The finish is long with more toast, oak, ripe figs, right citrus, and butter. This is a lovely wine, but not yet ready to show its best stuff. Leave this one alone for a year and come back.