2005 Chateau de Malle: Priced to Move!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 3:31 PM


05demalleThere is not much else I need to write other than this: 2005 Chateau de Malle on sale for $24.95 … and no, that is not for the half bottle!  Unbelievable, right? No wonder Pete keeps telling customers that our Moving Sale has wines at “never-to-be-seen-again” prices. The 2005 Chateau de Malle is delicious. Not a super rich or particularly unctuous Sauternes, it does, however, glide lightly over the palate with charming flavors of butterscotch, browned sweet butter and graham cracker crust. The 2005 de Malle is an elegant example of a medium-weight sticky that at this price will be making its way into my fridge often and regularly. Look here, there’s already a bottle waiting for me when I get home tonight. This makes me so happy!

chdemalleChateau de Malle is a stunning estate with manicured gardens and a museum open to the public. The estate dates back to the 16th Century and has remained in the same family the entire time. In the 1950’s the estate was taken over by Pierre de Bournazel, a man who would become an important figure in the viticultural world of Bordeaux. Pierre renovated the Chateau, replanted the vineyards and brought de Malle into recognition. Interestingly, Chateau de Malle straddles two appellations, Sauternes and Graves (about half of their production is for Sauternes). The composition is classic with 70% Semillon and the balance Sauvignon Blanc and a small trace of Muscadelle. The vineyards are grown on undulating slopes upon a plateau of gravelly clay soil. The wine is aged in barrel between 20-24 months in a third new French oak after which the wine rests in bottle at the Chateau for 2 to 3 years before release.
Our Moving Sale is on!  Prices are slashed on wines ranging from everyday quaffers to top-tiered trophy wines with the caveat that they must leave our premises before we move! I will be moving some of the 2005 Chateau de Malle into my cellar to lighten TWH’s load. I can guarantee you that each time I pop the cork on this honeyed wine with its lingering flavors of melted brown sugar and sweet vanilla cream, I’ll be patting myself on the back for being such a clever, savvy wine buyer. A combo plate from Taqueria San Jose with an enchilada and a house-made chile relleno – pop open a bottle of 2005 Chateau de Malle! After a big meal with friends, no one wants dessert but a plate of crispy, buttery cookies served with a glass of 2005 Chateau de Malle- no one will pass on that! Your neighbor brings back a terrine of foie gras from Paris as payment for taking care of their cat – 2005 Chateau de Malle is a perfect, albeit conventional, pairing! At $24.95 per bottle, you can be as adventurous as you want with the 2005 Chateau de Malle. It’s a guilt-free, slam-dunk, smile-inducing, happy-making wine purchase. 
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Spring Cleaning Sale: 2005 Sauternes

Saturday, June 1, 2013 7:58 PM

Whew! I hope everyone had a great long weekend last week. The thing about long weekends is that they lead right into short weeks. Toss in my fairly regular Wednesday off, and let’s just say that I had very little time to take care of all that was on my plate. I’m still going back and forth sending emails to negociants in Bordeaux; be on the look out for our 2012 Bordeaux futures offer very soon. This weekend’s Spring Cleaning Sale has got us all hopping around like crazy, but that’s one way to make some room here in our warehouse. When I arrived here at the shop Thursday morning, I immediately went into overdrive preparing for the sale. One of our favorite customers popped in Thursday morning and inquired, “What’s this weekend’s wine going to be?” Talk about a deer in the headlights moment! And then it occurred to me.  Sauternes on sale? No brainer here.

 

To update an old quote of mine: Not a day goes by when I don’t say – that not a day goes by when I don’t want to take home a bottle of Sauternes. Not a day. Seriously, it’s come to that. A young couple came in this morning exclaiming, “Last time we were here you helped us with some Sauternes recommendations.” Yep, that’s not difficult to imagine. I was recently looking over some of my earliest invoices as an employee of TWH, and they were dotted with both half and full bottles of various Sauternes. I caught the bug long ago in a past life, and my chef buddy Carsten still calls me “Raymond Lafon” or “Monsieur Lafon” as I once had a seemingly unlimited supply of their 1986. But afterattending a tasting of 2005 Sauternes, I fell hard. Hook, line, and sinker! John explained to me that the period of harvest was (in some cases) 4 times as long as usual. This gave the vignerons that much more to work with. Also, the botrytis in 2005 was profound. At the aforementioned tasting, the botrytis was unmistakable in every sample I tasted; my notes reflecting this fact.

So back to the couple that came in earlier today. They are expecting. This was the reason they were unable to join us back in January for our All-Sauternes (okay, Barsac) dinner at Restaurant Picco with Aline Baly of Château Coutet. Anya still proudly has her menu handy at her work station. She pulled it out and we showed it to them. Then we started talking about Sauternes and food pairings. If you ever want to kill an hour or two, bring that subject up with me. The myriad of plates that pair well with Sauternes is so numerous, that I can declare it the most versatile style of wine when it comes to food pairing. Anya regaled this couple with a historical perspective citing that Sauternes were the wines of choice for many a royal-type throughout history. Expounding on this topic, she also noted that the sweetness of botrytised wine leant an “honesty” to the flavors of the food it was paired with. A dry, austere wine might change a diner’s perception of what they’re eating whereas a Sauternes can enhance the food’s flavors. It makes sense if you think about it. Fois gras and Roquefort cheese are traditional pairings because the sweetness and balancing acidity of the wine frame the flavors and textures honestly. But we’re far beyond traditional pairings here. Or to quote Ms. Baly, “There are traditions, but no rules.”

 

Okay, so which one? Not so fast, I said I’m a huge fan of 2005, and when Sauternes go on sale, I think it is a good idea to grab any of them! I’ve gone on about half-bottles before, and I still believe they’re a great idea, because one can taste more wine when not having to pour out the “lucky drops” of a 750ml bottle. So I am recommending half-bottles of 2005 Sauternes. Seriously, Sauternes on sale? You’ve been good. You deserve it. 

Okay, this is going to be a memorable week! ALL KINDS of stuff going on. Let’s see, my sister’s birthday, our 2012 Bordeaux futures offer, (fingers crossed, touch wood) the homecoming of football’s finest manager, the release of Camera Obscura’s new album, the June Dirty Dozen, and my band has 3 gigs in the next 7 days … 2 of them in Hood River, Oregon! I’m taking home a half bottle of 2005 Sauternes. Cheers! – Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about 2005 Sauternes, Sauternes pairing, 2012 Bordeaux futures, football, or my band’s upcoming gigs: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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2005 Mont Perat Magnums – Double Your Fun

Monday, June 7, 2010 3:39 PM

If one is good, two is better. Though that’s not always the case with everything, it sure is true when it comes to having friends who like wine. We’ve gone on about half bottlesbefore, and feel they sure come in handy in low key situations. But what to open when the room is full of friends? In keeping with the zeitgeist of recent events, allow me to suggest adouble bottle … a magnum, that is!

All things are coming up double in my world these days. First off is THE DOUBLE. Wow. That was fun! And looking back on that week of fun, I remember that on my weekday off, I indulged in my once a year visit to In ‘N’ Out Burger. Any guesses what I might have ordered there? ADouble-Double, of course. Must have been totally subconscious, because I didn’t pick up on thedouble theme until today. Last Sunday marked the anniversary of a doubleheader I went to a long time ago when Mike Ivie tied the National League record for most doubles in adoubleheader. Having a sometime photographic memory is both blessing and curse. (I don’t need to remember things like that.) I was double-booked for dinners last Sunday … my apologies toAnya’s Mom for the cancellation. So when this double business finally sunk in, it was only natural for me to start thinking magnums.

I was first introduced to Chateau Mont-Perat shortly after I started working here. We were stocking the 2003 back then. I looked the property up in my borrowed Hachette Guide to French wines, and guess what? The normally reserved and critical guide gave them a glowing report, and get this … included a picture of the label! For those of you unfamiliar with the Hachette Guides, they only include label pictures of very select wines. Names like Leoville Las Cases, DRC, and Haut Brion have their respective labels pictured in this book. I came in to work the next day and grabbed a bottle to see for myself. Was I impressed! Rich racy fruit, structure, harmony, and the Bordeaux terroir all packed into a bottle for a song. And that was the 2003! The 2005 benefited from the fabulous conditions and has a big, powerful structure which matches perfectly with the ripe fruit and spice. We always say, “Go after the little guys in big vintages.” This one tips the scale in the price to quality department. We sold out of our half bottles and 750’s long ago, after the producer was named in the manga Les Gouttes de Dieu, but for some odd reason, several magnums remain in stock.

Okay folks, you don’t see magnums of Bordeaux from great vintages for $41.98 very often … if at all. You should be buying this on principle alone! Let the tail wag the dog here. Buy a magnum and start inviting your friends over. Let’s get this party started. Me? I’m thinking about a doublenecked guitar and maybe a night at the Doubletree! – Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments regarding doubles, Bordeaux, or the World Cup: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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2005 Rabaud Promis On Sale! Treat Yourself

Monday, December 21, 2009 3:12 PM

ATTENTION CUSTOMERS: We will be open Sunday, December 20 from 12 Noon until 4PM and Thursday, December 24 from 10AM until 5PM. We will be closed Christmas Day.

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2005 Chateau Rabaud Promis Sauternes (half bottle)
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
SALE$17.95
Reg. $24.98

 

  Add to Cart
2005 Chateau Rabaud Promis Sauternes
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
SALE$34.95
Reg. $49.98

 

  Add to Cart

 

What makes something special? A visit to M-W Online will tell you things like, “Unique”, “Distinguished by some unusual quality”, or “Held in particular esteem”. One other descriptor it adds is, “Being other than the usual”. This resonates most with me because really, special is, uh, special. So even though there is not a day that goes by (really … and I’ve said it before) when I want to grab a half bottle of Sauternes to take home, I don’t. Why? Because to me, Sauternes is special. It has been months since I last took any Sauternes home, so last night I got to thinking, it’s the holidays, treat yourself. And treat myself I did!
Ah, but which Sauternes to bring home? Given all the choices, you all must wonder exactly how we come to any decisions as to what to bring home for our own consumption. This story pretty much epitomizes how a member of our staff makes that decision. We have a customer who really enjoys sweeter wines. The other day, she approached me with two different half bottles of Sauternes and asked me for my opinion of them. One was the 2005 d’Arche Lafaurie Cuvee Madame and the other was the 2005 Rabaud Promis. The answer was simple. I had tried the d’Arche Lafaurie (and loved it) and had not tried the Rabaud Promis. Knowing what I know about the 2005 Sauternes vintage (fish in a barrel, anyone?), I knew the Rabaud Promis would be very good as well. I encouraged her to try it and report back (how about that for a lame attempt to get free tasting notes?). She busted me, and chose the d’Arche Lafaurie. That left me exactly where I was, knowing nothing about the Rabaud Promis. Well not quite. My curiosity had been officially piqued. So I decided that it was time to not only know what it tasted like, but to treat myself to something special at the same time. So, without much fanfare, I grabbed a half bottle on my way out the door last night, and was I in for a treat.

 

I opened up my kitchen door, then the fridge, and popped the Sauternes in for a quick chill. I took care of a little business and got my dinner arranged. It’s funny, I flew through dinner quickly, which is something I never do. I very well may be the slowest eater around. My family is certainly aware of this, as at gatherings it is not uncommon for my mother to ask, “Who wants coffee, who wants tea?”, bringing out dessert; while I am in the middle of lunch. Sorry, I’m rambling again. I flew through dinner because, for me, it was always going to be about the Sauternes. I cleaned up, got a fresh glass and let the corkscrew work its magic. Pop. Out it came. Poured the first glass. It was a little too cold. So I cupped the bowl with my hands as I swirled. I am a pretty patient guy, so I waited 15 minutes or so before I got back involved. Wow, was I rewarded.Aromatically, I picked up tropical notes of pineapple, papaya, and mango … candied peaches, baked apple, and the quintessential botrytis of 2005. On the palate, that baked apple thing really came forth, as did the vanilla, which led me to think of apple pie a la mode straight away. I marveled at the brilliant, lively acidity that seemed to hold the whole thing together and make for a memorable finish of fruit and spice. Wow, talk about something special!

So, you see, you never know what is going to inspire you to taste a wine you’ve never tried before. I would like to thank our customer who inspired this particular tasting (she did come in today and reported the 2005 d’Arche Lafaurie Cuvee Madame to be something special indeed.) But one thing’s for sure, if I could make a list of all of the special things in my life, Sauternes would be on it!Peter Zavialoff

I would like to wish you all a very healthy, safe, and happy holiday season. Thank you, as always, for reading. Should you have any comments or questions on Sauternes, the meaning of “special”, the insanity of the English Premiership, or eating slowly, please address them to: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net
 
2005 Chateau Rabaud Promis Sauternes (half bottle)
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
SALE$17.95
Reg. $24.98

 

  Add to Cart
2005 Chateau Rabaud Promis Sauternes
Sweet Wine; Semillon; Bordeaux;
SALE$34.95
Reg. $49.98

 

  Add to Cart
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Half Bottles, Giving Thanks, and Betterment

Monday, November 23, 2009 4:29 PM

Exciting news!!! The Wine House is now on Facebook. And if that’s not enough, you can also follow us on Twitter!!!

 

 

In an earlier Sunday email,I wrote something about shivering in November. I was right. My fingers feel like they’ve been forming snowballs. Thanksgiving is next week, and I am certain we all have things to do and people to share them with. Earlier today, I exchanged emails with our DJ pal Arden at KPIG radio, and she agreed with me that although it’s nice to get together with loved ones and celebrate Thanksgiving, conceptually, every day should be for giving thanks. I’m certainly thankful to have a friend like Arden who is a wealth of knowledge of all things musical and so much more, who plays a request for us almost every Saturday and gives us a shout over the airwaves. So there. Giving thanks. Every day. 

Something else I’ve been doing every day since sometime in late spring, is use the word “betterment”. It has made a world of difference in the way I feel each day. Better than any New Year’s resolution, my betterment campaign goes something like this: Whenever any decision needs to be made, I ask myself the question, “Is this for the betterment?” Somehow, this seems to be working. Some nights, I find myself alone in the treehouse cooking up something for dinner. But what to do regarding the wine? Opening a full bottle is not an acceptable practice if one is flying solo. As a charter member of the Betterment Society, I give thanks to the inventors of the half-bottle! Half bottles are an absolute boon to those who love wine. Even in groups, we can taste so much more and not have do deal with the excess. The betterment is not confined to what I am drinking either. Exercise and nutrition are part of the program as well, and for the latter, I routinely check out Summer Tomato. It is a blog run by a San Francisco Foodie, health enthusiast, wine loving scientist. Checking in there has been an inspiration that I am truly thankful for. Let’s just say that I never thought I would walk out of a farmers’ market with a bag of kale, let alone know how to prepare it. Don’t miss the recipes! Giving thanks.

Anyhoo. Back to the half bottle thing. We have a multitude of 375 ml bottles to choose from ranging from Sancerre, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Sauternes. I’m all over the map when it comes to these little beauties and enjoy them all. I’ll list a few of my favorites below.I can’t conclude without thanking you, our customers, for your continued patronage. We wouldn’t be here without you. It is always a pleasure helping you find those wines that put smiles on your faces. Many of you have been very complimentary regarding our write-ups, and I am always touched to hear your kind words. Giving thanks.Peter Zavialoff

 

Feel free to email me with any questions or comments about Thanksgiving, The Betterment Society, Half Bottles, The Upcoming Chelsea v Arsenal Match, or anything else: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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