Monday, March 23, 2009

Drinking with Dave - Part 2 ... March 20, 2009

Ever since I published my first article about Drinking with Dave back in December, and labeled it "Part 1", many people have been asking me: "Where is Part 2?" ... I tell them all the same thing - I meet up with Dave on the occasions when I find myself in Michigan and both he and I have some time on our hands - usually he on his lunch hour and me waiting to pick up my sweetie from work. The hour goes by too quickly and we end up shooting the proverbial shit for too long ... we gab about wines we tried, wines we want to try and places we'd like to go or have been. Last week Dave mentioned me in an article he wrote for Canoe, about a new wrestling themed wine out of South Australia.

This time we had decided to extend our visit outside the boundaries of Champane's Wine Cellar (the place Dave works) and have dinner at his place, along with some special wines. I was looking forward to meeting Dave's wife and sipping wine in a more relaxed atmosphere ... but the fates worked against me and the proposed Wednesday night dinner had to be cancelled due to a wicked cold I was nursing. So I rescheduled with Dave to meet him at Champane's on Friday - fates willing.

Turns out the fates were on my side by Friday because it was the first day I was able to breathe without the use of drugs and a third of a box of Kleenex ... and it was also the first day in three that I had been out of the house. I met with Dave in the small pub attached to Champane's were he was nursing a bowl of soup. He took a few slurps from his spoon, packed up and we slid into the back room where he has his tasting bar and openable wines in racks. I apologized again about dinner. He told me that I missed a good spread and nice wines - though he did have to change a few of his choices. Turns out a buddy of his does not dig on the Italian wines so he had to switch up a Gaja 1990 Sori Tildin for something else ... with any luck his buddy's loss will be my gain as we are eyeing up May as a possible make-up wine play date.

Today, Dave opened up a bottle of Falcor 2002 Le Bijou, a Californian blend of 44% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot. Falcor is a winery owned by a Washington lawyer who has a vineyard in California, and who's son runs the joint. The initial nose on this one was grapy and spicy with a hint of chocolate. Dave then poured the wine through a hand held aerator into our glasses and we also coaxed the wine with some swirling. A few minutes later there were plums, chcocolate, cherry and spice. The wine was a lot lighter than I expected, especially from that grape combination ... over the course of the next few minutes it also developed wood (cedar) characteristics and a touch of cinnamon; but still did not show much weight ... but I had no complaints, it was a easy, coiffable, totally enjoyable wine. [an email I received Monday morning from Dave updated me on the wine: "Just a quick tasting note, the Le Bijou we tried tasted a lot bigger the next day, lot more came through and showed very well, even slightly bigger in body"].

Lunch was over and it was back to work for Dave, but before I left he thought of one other wine to pour - sure it had been opened for a few days (since Monday) but he thought it still had a little life left in it to show. A to Z 2006 Pinot Gris from Oregon ... it had faint signs of oxidation but still had great minerality, melon and peach notes; and instead of being one of those sweet Gris' you are apt to get, this one was quite dry and lovely. I would say that fresh this would be a fabulous summer sipper for the patio.

Now, don't get all over anxious, part 3 will be along soon - I promise ... you're just gonna have to wait for it ... as I have to wait (and hope) to try that 90 Tildin.

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