Les presented us with several choices: For whites there was an aged Muscadet and new sauvignon blanc from Maycas in the Limarí Valley in Chile (supposed to be the latest and greatest); for reds a A "baby" supertuscan, a Grignolino, a Lagrein. We're bored with supertuscans, and Les advised us that the Grignolino was super light, and I said I didn't want to drink anything super light under a full moon, so we went with the Lagrein. I was excited at the prospect of the Limarí wine, because I'd just read about it at Jamie Goode's blog, but I bet I get another chance at this, while the chances of running into another 2004 Muscadet were probably slim...so off we went:
Luneau-Papin "L'el D'or" Cuveé Medaille Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2004: Les said it would drink more like a white Burgundy than a Muscadet, and I got hazelnut on the nose right away. Elaine picked up pineapple, tasted it and thought it was a bit hot with alcohol. Karl got ripe apple, and pointed out that as it moved to the back of the mouth, the acidity receded.
"Woody," I said.
"Like a fresh stick kind of woody," said Elaine. "And the mineral quality is like really soft water."
After a decent interval while we ordered stuffed figs, Moroccan chicken kebabs, and yet another American Napoleon, we went back to it. "It's still pretty fresh," I said, thinking this was exceptional for a five-year-old Muscadet. "The '95 is still fresh," said Elaine. "It's insane."
Niedermayr Lagrein Aus Greis "Blacedelle" Alto Adige 2006:
"I'm getting asphalt and blackberries," I said.
"That's UV inhibitor spray," said Karl. "It smells exactly like the Mothers spray you use to clean your dashboard."
"With pie crust!" I said.
"Eucalyptus," said Elaine.
"I wonder what "Aus Gries" means," I said.
"I'm going to text Mike Tiano at Haw River right now," said Elaine. "He's used to getting messages from me at all hours. And I'm getting some black peppercorn in the finish now, like the fresh ones that smell very floral."
"The UV spray thing is gone now," said Karl.
To general astonishment and hilarity, Mike texted back within a few minutes: "Aus Gries refers to a zone for Lagrein production right outside of Bolzano."
"The blackberry is running to blueberry now," I said. "Tannins are asserting themselves."
"It's like blackberry seeds," said Elaine. "Blackberries are seedy."
As the evening wound down, I decided that the batter-fried little cubes of okra that decorated our pimiento-cheese burgers (Monday night special) were kinda like Tater Tots, except lighter and therefore nicer.