New Year - Wine Labels - 2016 Chateau Boisson Blanc

Saturday, December 29, 2018 10:45 AM

New Year - Wine Labels - 2016 Chateau Boisson Blanc

Let's Say Goodbye To 2018!

All good things must come to an end ...

And certainly there were high points and low points throughout 2018 for all of us, but it's not out of the norm to be reflective about them as we look forward to the coming New Year. Doubtless, we all enjoyed some special bottles during the year, with several of them being enjoyed within the past month or so. This is neither the time nor the forum for name-dropping, or label-dropping as it might be called. What is most important is that we share our wine and our time, with friends, colleagues, and loved ones. As long as the wine is being shared, what's on the label isn't as important.

My favorite wine writer, Andrew Jefford, penned an article in Decanter Magazine yesterday titled, 
"Are you a wine label drinker?" Not to parrot too much from said article, though I was moved by this analogy, "You don’t have to be standing in the Grand Canyon to experience the wonder of nature." In this case meaning that one doesn't require tasting the finest of the finest to enjoy their wine tasting experience. The article makes several other points that struck chords with me, but that was the biggie.

Case in point, last Tuesday I enjoyed a mellow Christmas lunch with my brother and our Mother, who is in her 90's. Mom insists on paying for the wine that I bring her, and also believes that anything over $10 is overpriced. I think you get the idea as to what kind of wine we shared. What are you going to do? To stew over not drinking something fancy would ruin the occasion. I happily poured her a glass of French Merlot in her price range, and get this, when I finished she looked at me and said, "You can pour some more, you know." It was a light-hearted moment enjoyed by the three of us.

After lunch, I headed back in to the city to the home of some good friends and a group of around 15. We all were treated to some amazing dishes with Dungeness Crab and Prime Rib being the two headliners. Some of my fellow party goers brought some very nice bottles, and I brought some also, though the ones that I brought weren't quite up to the stature of a mature Bordeaux in magnum! It mattered not. The Trebbiano d'Abruzzo was great with the crab, though I fear our tapping into it during cocktail hour perpetuated its exhaustion midway through the crab dish. The rustic Cabernet Sauvignon from Lake Garda in Italy was terrific with the Prime Rib, and was the topic of some interesting conversation. The dinner was a smashing success for all involved and the sentiments around the table were positive and loving. Looking back, after returning home, it was the best Christmas I've spent in years. By the way, to my friend, P.S., thank you very much for bringing that magnum. It was stunningly good!

Sticking with the topic of modest wine doing the trick, one of my favorite deals in dry White Bordeaux is now here, having just arrived on our most recent container:  It's the 2016 Château Boisson Blanc, Bordeaux. It's modestly priced alright! I'm sure I will be eventually pouring a glass for my Mom sometime in the near future. The aromas are pretty complex for a $10 wine. There's something there on the nose which reminds me of those tart, powdery candies of yore. Along with mineral and floral notes, the gooseberry fruit is in proper balance with the rest of the components. The palate entry is easy and light, the fruit gaining slightly on the palate, braced by some light acidity, and the finish is harmonious with a yellow/gold fruity core. It's $10 per bottle so you can pop it for any occasion. To borrow a sentence from Andrew Jefford, I wouldn't turn down a glass of Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, but I can think of plenty of occasions where a glass of the 2016 Château Boisson Blanc would be perfect. Happy New Year, everybody! - Peter Zavialoff

2010 Opalie de Château Coutet

Sunday, February 10, 2013 7:14 PM

Choosing a wine to write about for tonight’s email took no time nor effort. And no thought either. In tonight’s case, the wine chose me. Seriously. Since my last Sunday ramble, not a day has passed without my being involved in some way with the 2010 Opalie de Château Coutet! Now that it has arrived, I’ve been helping the many of you who purchased the wine on pre-arrival by setting up shipping and/or having it ready for pickup. My best friend had his case personally delivered 10 days ago.  It is special wine. It is such a special wine that I’m going to go out on a limb and declare it 2013’s Valentine’s Day wine! I’ve heard from more than one party that it will indeed be included in this year’s Valentine’s Day celebrations. It’s that special.  Now that it’s here, you can see what all the fuss is about. Now that it’s here, you can partake in the Valentine’s Day festivities with a bottle yourselves. It’s here now, but not for long if recent sales are any indication. 
When we introduced the 2010 Opalie de Château Coutet last year, we received a great response, as many of you are connected to Coutet or TWH or both! We went through a double digit percentage of total production, and for months were the only merchants in the country selling the 2010 Opalie on pre-arrival, which is something that we are very grateful for. It is a wine of class and distinction. The fruit is sourced from a select few rows of 40 year old vines in the heart of Coutet’s Grand Cru vineyards. It is a 50/50 blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon, all hand picked, and vinified in French oak barrels. Class and distinction.

 

So not a day has passed in 2 weeks without some Opalie involvement, but that involvement has now hit fever pitch! Customers are tasting it. Customers are loving it! At closing time yesterday, I opened a bottle from my personal stash (Yup, I was the very first Opalie customer) for our staff to taste. Smiles and praise all around the tasting table. I poured off a sample for Tom who is out on Fridays, and took the rest home to share with my neighbors who let me into their kitchen early one morning last year so I could email back and forth with the folks in France about Opalie before 17:00 European time. More praise. More smiles. Tom hadn’t quite gotten to his sample yet this morning when the cellarmaster of a regional Bordeaux tasting group arrived to pick up his case of 2010 Opalie. In an amazing display of harmonic convergence, David happened to be in the shop at this moment. Having just tasted it the previous evening, David spoke about the wine at length, and after inquiring as to the availability of it, the cellarmaster decided to buy another 6 pack. As he was leaving, David gave him the sample and guess what? He returned asking for another 6 pack. If one is to be a cellarmaster for a Bordeaux tasting group, one must know Bordeaux … well. Very well.

And so it goes. After my normal Wednesday off, I arrived at my workstation and fired up my computer. Apparently Chris loaded a photo of this Opalie display that he built onto my computer as my new screensaver! The image was met with a chuckle as I began my workday. Minutes later, I heard my first connection between Opalie and Valentine’s Day. Later that day, another … and so it goes. So yeah, why not?  Valentine’s Day is Thursday, and all indicators are pointing to the 2010 Opalie de Château Coutet as this year’s Valentine’s Day wine! Happy Valentine’s Day all! – Peter Zavialoff

 

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments on 2010 Opalie de Coutet, Valentine’s Day, my band’s upcoming gig this week, or English Football: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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