In the spirit of matrimonial celebration, my entry to #11 is, of course, an off-dry (AKA demi-sec) Champagne - Louis Roederer "Carte-Blanche." I've
written rhymed about Roderer's luxury marke, Kristal, in the past. Roederer Carte-Blanche is a new brand new bubbly discovery for me (click the pics to enlarge)..
- A Champagne made from 66% Pinot Noir and 34% Chardonnay (the same as Roederer's trusty Brut Premier) - 4.5% residual sugar
- The first thing I noticed? The bottle is triple, yes triple-wrapped in foil. Right away I was in a festive mood - I felt as if I were opening a gift. The bubbly is soft gold in color with two distinct bubble sizes (small & medium) in its slightly lazy, steady bead
- Vanilla-cream scents coupled with ripe red apples and sweet bread
- The initial flavor is a ringer for a fresh, perfectly ripe, chilled pear. Flavors of lemon, with a hint of biscuitiness, follow. The wine's texture is smooth and luxurious. Overall, Carte-Blanche tip-toes right down the middle of the off-dry line
**** (4 stars out of 5)
This bubbly is so well-balanced that it could pair well with dinner - especially with pork or poultry dishes with fig, cherry, or berry-based sauces. Of course, it's an ace in the hole as an aperitif; or as a swanky liquid dessert.
Continue reading to see all the contributions. Send me an email or trackback and I'll add your contri to the WBW#11 Off-Dry list.
- Jack and Joanne of the Fork & Bottle throw us a curve-ball on the first pitch! Wine? Yes. From grapes? No. They take us over yonder; into pear wine (cider) country with Eric Bordelet Poiré Granit (2002 & 2003). It sounds divine...
- Two contributions in and we're already cooking. Bill of WLW - WineGeek tasted an off-dry bubbly from the great state of New Mexico (Southwestern U.S.) Gruet Demi-sec is only $17 and it offers jumpin' pineapple and green apple flavors.
- El Corkdork sips our first German; Schloss Vollrads Kabinett Riesling, '02. It seems that global warming may have one positive side effect - an unprecedented string of ripe Riesling vintages
- Our British friend, Andy of Spittoon gets down with a little Vouvray. Minus food, his wine was rather dull. Plus food - chicken breasts with muscat wine and black pudding - it was greatly improved
- Barbara of Winos and Foodies takes us wayyyy down south to the vineyards of Central Otago (New Zealand's South Island) for Akarua Pinot Gris, 2004. This wine conjured up quite an image: a bunch of violets and a bowl of nectarines on a sunny beach
- Our friend Cam of A.A. (Appellation Australia)brings us a White Frontignac made in the Moscato style. Great nose, slight sweetness, and a little spritz. What's not to like?
- Let's stay in Oz for a moment shall we? Sam of Becks & Posh experiments with a sparkling Shiraz - Coonawarra Majella Sparkling, bottle fermented Shiraz, '03. Sam's Fred was not impressed. Lucky for her, she got the rest of the bottle to herself!
- Our WBW founder, Lenn just gave me the finger!? Finger Lakes Riesling (NY) that is. He's drinking Chateau Lafayette Reneau Johannisberg Riesling, '04. The headmaster awarded it a "B-" due to its slightly off-putting finish (otherwise it's a solid "B")
- Chas of Wine Tastings keeps us on the Riesling tip, but takes us back to Australia for Wirra Wirra Vineyards ‘Hand Picked’ Riesling, '02. It's a bit kerosene-y, but hey, it's summertime and this wine is quaf...err quite drinkable
- Richard of i heart nyc breaks in to the WBW scene with some tasty Sauvignon Blanc, Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc, '04 from New Zealand. Picture yourself cutting the grass and chewing a peach..
- Another fresh, young WBW-er joins us with the first contribution from Oregon. Matt of Sound and Fury sampled Winter's Hill Early Muscat. And to those who think Muscat is too sweet for a meal pairing, Matt suggests it's well-suited for cold pasta salad - or most any light fare
- Derrick of Obsession with Food (and Wine) takes us to Germany's Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region. His contribution is Weingut Albert Gessinger Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese, '02. He dissects the label, cutting through the multi-syllabic fear that many folks feel when they see large German words strung together
- Mssr. Yarrow of Vinography brings us a little Alsatian sensation with Zind Humbrecht "Heimbourg" Gewurztraminer Vendange Tardive, '94. It tilts more toward the sweet side of things, but when the nose detects sunshine in the bottle, it's most definitely worth exploring
- Jathan of Wine Expression offers Gewurz #2: Mayo Family Off-Dry Gewurztraminer, from Glen Ellen California. To make things easy, the label clearly states that the wine is, "Off-Dry." Not only helpful, but refreshing to boot
- Brenda of Culinary Fool presents us with two Rieslings: 1)Eroica, '04 (Washington, USA) and 2)St. Urbans-Hof "Ockfener Bockstein" Riesling Kabinett, '03. In this head-to-head Eroica, a German-style wine made from Washington grapes, came out on top
- Eatstuff's Clare hesitantly brings us a red wine - Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir from Australia. Is the wine off-dry? She indicates the nose was full of strawberry and the wine tasted slightly sweet in the mouth. Sounds like it's in the off-dry neighborhood to me
- Irene of Cuisine Capers pitches in another red wine - Ridge 2003 Late Picked Dusi Ranch Zindfandel. She reports that it has a port-like consistency minus the intense sweetness. This is no doubt to to the super-ripe grapes used to make this Zin
- Kieca of This Heaven gives Me a Migraine (award for most original name for a wine blog!) brings us a Vouvray neighbor - François Chidaine Clos Habert, '03 (a demi-sec from the Montlouis appellation in the Loire). This Chenin Blanc tried, but didn't quite convert her to the off-dry congregation
- Hop on over to Seattle Bon Vivant and read a love story about Viv falling for an Austrian living in Santa Barbara. Viv weaves a fun tale about her discovery of Rancho Sisquoc Sylvaner, '04. Quantities are limited so pick yours up today!
- Sarah of The Delicious Life brings us the Moscato d'Asti Slushee garnished with cork! You too can make this frozen summertime concoction with Corte Dei Balbi Soprani Moscato d'Asti. The recipe is pretty straightforward :)
- Tim, the podcaster of Winecast triple dips: 1)Josef Friederich Deidesheimer Hofstueck Spätlese, '03 2)Sokol Blosser Evolution, “Lucky No. 9,” NV, 3)Snoqualmie Columbia Valley Chenin Blanc, '02. The gold medal in this competition goes to Sokol Blosser's entry. Give Winecast a listen
- Rod of Sentir le Bouchon gives us an old school, blue-bottled Riesling from the Saar - Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett, '04. His wine is a virtual high wire act of high acidity balanced with high residual sugar
- And last but not least is Gasparetto Prosecco "Vino Firzzante" submitted by Fatemeh of GastronomieSF. Some lemon & tart apples gave way to tropical and floral scents as the bubbly warmed. Sounds yummy (and cheap - $7!)