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Posts Tagged ‘medaille de mumu’

Summer 2010 brings a 3rd medaille de Mumu, and the award goes to..Château Miraval’s Pink Floyd!

Winery:  Château Miraval

Wine Name:  Pink Floyd

Vintage: 2009

Composition: old vine Cinsault and Grenache

Style: Rosé 

Country: France

Region: Côtes de Provence

Alcohol: 13.5 %

US Importer: Various in California Premier Wines

US Retail: $16-18

Food: Rosemary roasted chicken, roast beef sandwiches with aioli, fennel stuffed grilled snapper, olives and cheese, brandade with crackers, ratatouille with couscous..

 

Château Miraval’s “Pink Floyd” Rosé is composed of organically grown cinsault and Grenache grapes grown on the clay/limestone soils of the domaine. These old vines are hand harvested at yields averaging 30hl/ha, and quickly transported to the cellar in small containers or cagettes.

 Miraval’s Pink Floyd rosé is produced via the saignée method, whereby red grapes, either crushed or uncrushed but broken (preferable), are chilled down and allowed to macerate anywhere between several hours (in the case of the Pink Floyd) to several days. The juice will then be drawn off or drained, and without being pressed.

Fermentation then takes place over the course of approximately 21 days at around 16 degrees Celsius. A long cool fermentation encourages the development of more delicate and fruity esters, which are important characteristics in a high quality rosé wine. The finished wine undergoes a light filtration before bottling.

I have already professed to you all my love of rosé. That being said, it should come as no surprise that I taste and imbibe probably more than my fair share. However my affinity for the pink in no way clouds my judgment on the quality and balance of a particular wine. I am very discerning when it comes to drinking and recommending the stuff.

Château Miraval’s 2009 “Pink Floyd” is for me a most quintessential rosé from the south of France. If you’ve never tried a rosé from Provence,this is a great place to start. If you are already a connoisseur of pink wines, or a foodie looking for the perfect wine to pair with just about anything Provencal, then this is your wine!

 Think light, bright, delicate..dry and crisp, with just enough subtle fruit nuances of wild strawberries, pink lady apple and fresh mint leaves. Producing a rosé that deftly balances lively but delicate fruit, good acidity and a snappy mouthfeel is no easy feat. Château Miraval gets the balance just right on this one.

NEXT: Oregon Pinot Camp 2010  Go….OPC!

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the 3 J’s..Joyce, Jimmy and Jane.

Not too long ago, K&L SF had the treat of tasting through a selection of Aussie wines from Yalumba. Our guide that day was none other than Yalumba ambassador Jane Ferrari.  Jane, who is also a trained winemaker, travels the globe dispensing her knowledge, wit and passion for a country and wine growing land far far away from these California shores. After meeting Jane and learning more about this super dynamic winery, a trip to Australia is at the top of my “to go” list.

Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family owned winery. Located in the Barossa Valley near the town of Angaston, this venerable domaine was established by a British brewer named Samuel Smith who emigrated with his family from England in 1847. After arriving in this new land and building a home for his family on the banks of the River Torrens, Smith decided to move north, to the town of Angaston.

Here, Smith purchased a 30 acre parcel of land on the settlement’s south eastern boundry. He named the place “Yalumba”, an aboriginal word which means the “land all around.”  In 1849 Smith and his son Sidney planted the first vines (by the moonlight) on the property. And the rest is history..

A K&L & Yalumba tasting with Jane Ferrari

160 years and  5 generations later, Yalumba is widely considered to be one of the most influential and dynamic properties on the continent. In addition to retaining fine vineyard sites predominantly in the Barossa and Eden Valleys, Yalumba also maintains one of Australia’s largest viticultural nurseries. Along with supplying high quality cabernet sauvignon and shiraz vines to winemakers throughout Australia, the Yalumba Vine Nursery also supplies the countries growers with pinot noir, chardonnay and viognier cuttings.

The winery is also the only one of its kind in Australia ( and only several in the world) to have its own cooperage for crafting oak barrels. All of Yalumba’s French, Hungarian and American oak staves are first air dried for an extended period of time (i.e. several years) in order to leach out any bitter or overtly harsh flavor components from the wood. The staves are then assembled by Yalumba’s own coopers,  who then fire or toast the barrels to a light to medium finish. 

 

On this particular day, Jane tasted us on the following lineup:

Clicking on a wine will bring up a winery tech sheet with additional information.

2009 Yalumba Eden Valley Viognier (note: tech sheet/link is for the 2008 vintage)

2008 Yalumba “Old Bushvine” Grenache Barossa Valley

2008 Yalumba “The Scribbler” Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz Barossa Valley

2004 Yalumba “The Signature” Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz Barossa Valley

2008 Yalumba “Patchwork” Shiraz Barossa Valley

2004 Yalumba “The Octavius” Old Vine Shiraz Barossa Valley  

 
 
 
 

Don't worry, this won't hurt a bit. -Chanty's tasting

Fast forward to a week later (last Tuesday to be exact) when K&L’s Aussie Wine Buyer featured this ambitious line up for our K&L staff tasting. One noteworthy comment, these 25+ wines included not only Australia, but New Zealand and South Africa as well.

 

The second medaille ever goes to..

 

I am always psyched to taste Jimmy C’s selections, and this tasting was no different. As usual, several cool climate wines (pinot noir in particular) were showing beautifully that day. However, one wine in particular stopped me mid spit..ha! Nearly four months after my first Medaille de Mumu, here is the second. And guess who it’s from. Yalumba!

  
 
 
 

Cabernet Sauvignon /Shiraz. What Australia does so well

Winery:  Yalumba

Wine Name:  FDR1A

Vintage: 2004

Composition: 68% Cabernet Sauvignon  32% Shiraz

Country: Australia

Region: Barossa Valley

Alcohol: 13.5 %

US Importer: Negociants USA

US Retail: $35

Food: Yalumba recommends a Stilton cheese. I can also imagine a gorgeous pan seared filet mignon accompanied by a dollop of creamy gorganzola cheese and a baked potato.

 

Yalumba first created the outstanding “Fine Dry Red” ..FDR1A back in 1974. The goal here was to create a benchmark Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz blend that showcased the terroir and potential of Australian wine. Since that inaugural vintage, the FDR1A has only been produced 3 times..in 2000, 2004 and 2006. Other than the desire to produce the best cabernet/shiraz blend, there has not been a consistent “recipe” for producing this wine. For instance the 2004 is Barossa Valley all the way, while the current 2006 release comes from vineyard sites in the cooler climate and higher elevation Eden Valley. The elevage regime is vastly different here as well. (13 months for the 2006 vs. 23 months for the 2004)

 

 With the 2004 vintage, fruit for the FDR1A was hand-picked (always), de-stemmed and fermented in open top stainless steel fermenters. Natural yeasts are allowed to initiate the fermentation process, however cultured yeasts were then added to complete the fermentation. The wine was then aged 23 months in a combination of American (46% new, 33% 2 year) and French (21% 4 year) oak barrels. The wine is neither fined nor filtered. 

 

The 2004 Yalumba FDR1A is intense, elegant and seamless all at once. Here you’ll find the requisite black currant for which cabernet sauvignon is so famous, however thick, lush fruit is not the only thing going on here. Bay leaf, camphor, slight dusty earth notes and mineral present themselves every so subtley to give this wine a flavor profile that is so much more complex than just about any new world cabernet blend that I have tasted in..forever. Full bodied, but not so pumped up that you couldn’t enjoy it tonight. Good acid, fine medium ++ tannins indicate that this wine can still go the distance if need be. 5-8 more years? Right now all of the components of this wine are hitting their mark and are grooving together. So, so impressive.

 

Next up: The Hospices du Rhone.. Before, During and After!

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Medaille de Mumu

Happy New Year everyone! My second post of the new year is also going to be my final post on Champagne, for now. Hopefully I’ve covered most of the salient points on the region that will help you make informed decisions the next time you select a bottle of champagne, plan your next dinner party or conduct your own champagne tasting!

I thought that I would go out with a pop, and save one of my favorite wines for this closing entry. In fact, I’ve decided to award this particular wine with the MEDAILLE DE MUMU! a.k.a. the mumu medal. Consider this award my personal wine hall of fame. Wines that make the cut, (and I am quite particular) are what I consider to be really exceptional representations of either a particular varietal, region or style of wine. It won’t always be the most expensive or hard to obtain wine. It just needs to really, really rock my world.

And the first medaille de mumu goes to..

Drumroll please..

Champagne Jacquesson "Cuvee No. 733"

Champagne Jacquesson's 7 series. More delicious and less money than a BMW

 

Wine:  Champagne Jacquesson  No. 733

Composition: 52% Chardonnay  24% Pinot Meunier  24% Pinot Noir

Sweetness: Brut 

Dosage: 2.5g/l

Vintage: non-vintage

Country: France

Region: Champagne

Sub-Region: Vallée de la Marne –Cote des Blancs

Alcohol: 12%

Importer: Vintage 59

US Retail: $60

Food: mushroom or chicken vol au vent, duck rillette on crostini, uni risotto with seared Japanese scallops and truffle vinaigrette (created by Chef Rodelio Aglibot)

Champagne Jacquesson was founded in 1798 by Memmie Jacquesson. The domaine, which is based in the town of Dizy in the Valley of the Marne, was shortly thereafter recognized by for its exceptional wines and award a medal by the emperor Napoleon. Over two centuries later, Jacquesson is owned by the Chiquet family, and overseen by Jean-Hervé and Laurent Chiquet. Today Jacquesson farms 31 hectares in the grand cru villages of Aÿ, Avize, and Oiry, as well as the premier cru villages of Hautvillers, Dizy, and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ. The domaine also purchases fruit from approximately 11 hectares from growers with whom they have established relationships. Thus, although Champagne Jacquesson is in fact a family owned domaine and produces most of their wine from estate vineyards, in Champagne terminology they are considered negociant-manipulants (NM) rather than recoltant-manipulants (RM). 

Jacquesson’s “7 series” of Champagne was first launched in 2003 with a non-vintage cuvee numbered 728. The idea behind this new nomenclature was to produce a series of non-vintage wines whose identities and composition were still firmly rooted to a particular vintage rather than to produce a NV champagne with a consistent “house style”. Jaquesson’s current release in the series is now the “733”, whose base vintage of is comprised of 78% of the wine from the 2005 vintage and only 22% of the final blend coming from reserve wines.

Here are several quick facts regarding the general method of production at Jacquesson:

-Vertical presses utilized

-Only the juice from the first pressing is ultized. The press wine is sold off to negociants

-all grapes come from Grand or Premier Cru rated vineyards only

-juice flows via gravity into stainless steel tanks for 24 hours of settling.

-then transferred to large foudres (neutral wooden casks) to undergo primary fermentation and malolactic fermentation (which is never blocked).

-lees stiring of wine as well as the promotion of malolactic fermentation (ML) allow the addition of SO to be kept to a mimimum.

-the wine is bottled unfiltered

-wine labels provide information regarding production levels, dosage, and date of disgorgement. US labels also provide information on the % of fruit that comes from the base vintage. For instance, the 773 reads: 05/78 -or 78% of the fruit is from the 2005 vintage.

Hedgehog mushroom gougeres prep and Jacquesson

I opened a bottle of the Jacquesson No.733 with a very good friend of mine last week while we waited for our third friend to show up (she was lost in west Oakland). Here is how the conversation went, roughly..

 Wes: Wow this wine has got some serious acid, man. Whoa..

Mumu: Yeah, it’s super tight..  try it with a gougere..

 10 minutes later..

 Wes: Oh man..this wine has totally changed.

Mumu: Right?.. it’s totally broad and expansive now. Roasted hazelnuts, barley, deep pinot fruit, a hint of spice, like fennel?

Wes: Yeah, fennel, definitely.

Mumu: But it’s still cutting like a knife. Pow!

Wes: Yeah, it’s totally shape shifting in the glass.

Mumu: It’s so super dimensional, and with some crazy architecture..

Wes: Killer..

Mumu: These gougeres are stupid good too. 

Goodbye Champagne! -next stop: The Jura..

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