Smoked Salmon, Bison Vegetable Stew, Spinach Kugel, Roasted Vegetables, Quinoa, and some great wines
On June 18, 2010 it was finally party time again, but in a more calm and controlled manner. My nephew and his friend were back from their trips, so it was time to get party! I invited Benyo, and he brought along his friend who I have heard of many times, from Benyo and his sister. So it was the six of us, and we had a ball. We made a classic vegetable stew with bison meat, my wife made a lovely spinach kugel (parve soufflé), and we once again bought some awesome roasted vegetables. The farmer’s market was almost closing so we had to motor through it, and only found some fennel, yellow & red beets, and squash. We cubed the vegetables and roasted them in the oven after covering them with garlic and olive oil.
Benyo brought some bottles over and I opened a couple of mine. We started with Benyo’s yet to be released wine, so sorry no notes. We followed that with another bottle of the 1996 Sulfite Free Chardonnay. This bottle was not as good, but it was still nice. It was a bit musty to start, but over time the musty smell dissipated, and it came close to the home run we had at Benyo’s house.
We then opened a bottle 2003 Carmel Kayumi Cabernet Sauvignon. I must say, it may still not be at its peak. That said, the bottle we had was wonderful and will last at least another year. However, given that I have had too many of my wines that were past their time, I am more than happy to consume the wine a bit early.
We finished the meal with a bottle of Brobdignagian Wines Grenache, from Santa Barbara California. This is a wine made by Jonathan Hajdu, who is the associate winemaker at Covenant Wines. This is not a Covenant wine, but rather a wine made by Jonathan on the side; he is still the associate wine maker at Covenant, and doing a great job of it.
The wine notes speak for themselves. We also “opened” a bottle of wine for Saturday day. The real story was that I put the bottle in the freezer to cool down, and I forgot about it! AHHH!! Well, the cork popped, so I was “forced” to try it out, and it was pretty nice.
The wine notes follow below:
2007 Brobdignagian Wines Grenache Santa Barbara County – Score: A- to A
The name comes from the colossal, gigantic, extremely tall, and giant creatures discovered by Gulliver in his travels on the Northwest coast of California and is used today (although not by anyone I know) to describe anything of colossal size. That said, the wine does in many ways follow the moniker. The wine has a 16.3% alcohol, is massive in the mouth, and in the bottle! The bottle (empty) is one of the heaviest I have ever seen, quite extreme. The name of the winery, though unpronounceable by me, is one you already know by association. The wine is made by Jonathan Hajdu, the associate wine maker for Covenant Wines, owned and operated by Jeff Morgan. Jonathan also makes a Syrah, which I hope to get to taste soon.
The nose on this massive wine is almost unapproachable out of the bottle. It is closed, with just hints of what is to come. After 30 minutes of sitting in the glass, the wine’s nose pulls the wool out from under its eyes and exposes a world of joy, starting with expressive oak, cedar, tobacco, concentrated dried red fruit, raspberry, and spice. The mouth on this currant colored wine is super concentrated, almost laser focused, and layered with dried cranberry, raspberry, and plum. The attack is what makes this wine; it is clean lined with heft and power, yet focused on delivering not a single but many blows of dried fruit and oak. The mid palate flows from the mouth with acidity to balance the beast, along with nice tannins, cedar oak, and tobacco. The finish is super long and concentrated with more oak, red dried fruit, tobacco, and spice. This is quite a wine and one that should be enjoyed first from the glass, and then with food.
2003 Carmel Cabernet Sauvignon Kayoumi (Israel) – Score: A- to A
The nose on this expressive yet refined royal blue to purple colored wine is exploding with heaps of tobacco leaf, rich ripe black plum, blackberry, crushed herbs, smoked meat, and spicy oak. The mouth on this big and refined wine is layered, complex, and somewhat concentrated all at the same time. The mouth is coating and full with mostly integrated tannins that give the mouth a soft and refined feel while still having heft. Black plum and blackberry are all buoyed by core acidity and spicy oak that borders on cedar, black plum, spice, tobacco, smoked meats, and soft caressing tannins. The mid palate flows balanced and full from the mouth with more core acidity, cedar oak, and tobacco. The finish is super long, luscious, and fantastic, with black plum and blackberry fruit, along with oak, spice, tobacco, and smoked meats that linger long after the wine is gone.
2009 Backsberg Estate Chardonnay (Paarl) – Score: B++
I threw this bottle into the freezer by accident, so I was stuck drinking this one during the week. The nose on this light straw colored wine explodes with ripe melon, kiwi, tart green apple, crème, and orange peel. The mouth on this medium bodied wine is tart up front with green apple and ripe melon, kiwi, and pear coming along for the ride. The mid palate is packed with bracing acidity and spicy notes. The finish is long with spice, orange peel, and ripe summer fruit that linger. A nice quaffing wine for sure, but also one that will stand up to light dishes, white meat, and soft cheese.