How To Wine Travel Dinner– and Wine…

Last night’s dinner with How To Wine Travel and some very good friends.  Food and wine, wine and food, and again a great mix of old and new world wines.

For starters we had salad with  roasted pinenuts, balsamico, and “Epoisses de Bourgogne”, (the Burgund cheese often referred to as the king of cheeses), served with a 2004 Meursault Clos des Meix Chavaux from Domaine Jean Latour-Labille. Almost Puligny-like on the nose with flowers, nuts, and citrus, but typically Mersault in the mouth – full, buttery, and rich. Clos de Meix Chavaux is a Monopole (a vineyard Jean Latour and his son Vincent  alone own and work), and remains their most popular wine by demand. A grand vin (village wine), but performs like a Premier Cru.

Main course was filet of lamb with mashed sweet potatoes.  With that, a magnum 99 Estate wine from Rust en Vrede (in Stellenbosch), made from  61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Shiraz, and 9% Merlot.  Amazingly fresh for a 99, dark berries, spice and coffee on the nose, and silky on the palate, medium long.  This was tried next to a 94 Gruand Larose, so a to see how well the SA blend stood to a second growth Bordeaux blend.  The  94 Gruand Larose was all leather, tobacco and traces of red fruit, balanced on the palate with soft tannins. The verdict around the table was 50-50, with the structure of Gruand Larose and the fruitiness and spice of Rust en Vrede, the winning arguments, respectively.

With cheese to end the evening, we had an 86 Overgaauw Vintage, South Africa’s answer to Port. Made from  5 Portuguese varieties, it offers range, spices, and plums, and is velvety and long.

All in all, an interesting food and wine evening.  The Mersault Monopole was a pleasant surprise, and it was also fascinating to see the freshness of a 12 year old South African blend.

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