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Top Wines of the Week 12-12-07
December 19th, 2007

Fine Wine Selection 

These six wines would make the perfect gift set. They include a classic California Chardonnay, a merlot, a truly amazing French champagne, a fragrant white wine, a manly Shiraz, and a sweet fruity wine. These wines together would make a perfect holiday gift.

Ceago Vinegardens - Chardonnay (2006)

Ceago Vinegardens - Chardonnay (2006)
USA > California > Lake County
www.ceago.com

SUMMARY: A fruity medium-bodied white with pear blossom and poached pear, banana and juicy fruit.

TASTING: Put your nose in the glass and soak up the aromas of pineapple, mango, pear and even banana. What you are breathing in, is a Chardonnay with a warm climate tropical fruitiness. It is light and spicy with a silky cream texture and long-lasting flavors a well balanced wine. About 6% of the wine was aged in French and Hungarian oak which lends it the light undertones of vanilla oak spice.

WITH FOOD: Crab cakes, not the cheap ones, but the good ones which use fresh lump crab meat and you cant go wrong. With regard to wine with Crab Cakes, you need a white wine that is generous in texture and body, but not too rich and oaky. This Ceago Chardonnay fits the profile perfectly so enjoy it with Crab Cakes with Mustard Sauce.

Domaine Michel Dervin - Champagne NV

Domaine Michel Dervin - Champagne NV
France > Beaune
www.domainewines.com

SUMMARY: A well- rounded rich Champagne with mandarin notes, toasted peanut shells. Good density.

TASTING: Get the party started and your taste buds jumping with a glass bubbly! This wine has a subtle fruit nose and the flavors are quite concentrated and complex with a lovely toastiness. Most Champagne is made from Chardonnay or Pinot Noir but the blend in this one is 60% Pinot Meunier, 35% Pinot Noir, and 5% Chardonnay, which gives it more depth.

WITH FOOD: Crispy Potato Pancake with Smoked Salmon and Chive Sour Cream is an easy appetizer to enjoy with a nice glass of Champagne.

Vin de Manies - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (2003)

Vin de Manies - Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot (2003)
USA > California > Napa Valley
www.vindemanieswinery.com

SUMMARY: A dry, balanced red wine with plum, cherry, spice, and forest floor.

TASTING: The Vin de Manies is a quality wine made in a bold, rich Bordeaux style which means it is less fruity than the highly extracted style of some of its big Napa Cabernet neighbors. The blending of 22% Merlot, gives it a drier character that is well rounded and balanced. Green herb notes accompany layers of ripe currant and cherry that fills the mouth and prepares you for a bracing tannic finish.

WITH FOOD: Bordeaux style wines generally work well with lamb, game or steak. The Vin de Manies, which expresses some strong tannins on the finish, is a good match for steak with mushrooms. Also try it with Bacon Wrapped Filets with Mushroom Demi-Glace. Spoon this traditional rich mushroom flavor - infused sauce over a beautiful filet for a combination that wont disappoint.

Jaffurs Santa Barbara Viognier (2006)

Jaffurs Santa Barbara Viognier (2006)
USA > California > Viognier
www.jaffurswine.com

SUMMARY: A fragrant white wine with apricot flowers, orange blossoms, acacia and hibiscus.

TASTING: Remarkably, only 40 years ago, the Viognier grape was almost extinct: there were only 60 acres left in the whole world in a tiny village in France! Today, thank goodness, there’s been a revival. In California’s Central Coast alone, there are now over 2,000 acres planted, producing wonderfully exotic wines full of tropical flavors. This wine has powerful and complex aromas. Take one sip and notice how it really stays with you for a long, long time—you’ll experience a mixture of apricots and flowers exploding through your mouth.

WITH FOOD: Viogniers have complex aromas and a round, rich feel that makes them able to stand up to richer and spicier foods. Why not whip up a Stir-Fried Pork with Ginger and Basil? It helps to add a touch of this wine to the stir-fry for an extra bit of flavor.

Yalumba Hand Picked - Shiraz (2004)

Yalumba Hand Picked - Shiraz (2004)
USA > California > Napa Valley
www.yalumba.com

SUMMARY: Rich lush red with purple-red color. Dark fruits, musk, chocolate, coffee bean and black licorice.

TASTING: Wow, this is a big, stylish and velvety smooth wine that just slips down the throat— well integrated oak and soft, fine tannins. Why, you may you ask, did the winemaker add Viognier, a white wine, to a red wine made from 95% Syrah? The practice, which brings out a whole new level of expression in the wine, originates in the Rhône Valley in France, where blending is an art form. Surprisingly, it also darkens the color of the wine.

WITH FOOD: With BBQ all the way, especially Baby Back Ribs.

Domaine de Bacarra - Gamay (2004)

Domaine de Bacarra - Gamay (2004)
France > Beaujolais
www.lexwines.com

SUMMARY: Smoky, dried black cherry nose, super-ripe raspberries, tobacco and cocoa.

TASTING: Lightly chilled, it is the ideal easy drinking wine, light hearted and full of fun. This one has cherry and raspberry flavors with a touch of tannin on the finish which is typical of the Gamay grape of Beaujolais.

WITH FOOD: Great with tiny village bistro pasteries on a cold winters day.


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