The list is divided into two parts: the market list changes with the seasons and offers wines that are less expensive than the far deeper and expansive (and expensive) main list.
Parr's choice: a 2007 Arnaud Ente Bourgogne Ordinare, a delicate Pinot Noir with attractive spicy aromas and pure ripe cherry fruit. The wine worked well with the first few dishes (including the don't-miss fried mushrooms), as it was more understated. But I would have preferred a richer red with the heartier dishes that followed.
What amazed me about this wine, though, is that the stated alcohol read 11.7 percent, which I found hard to believe. The wine surely looked, smelled and tasted ripe, so the low alcohol level surprised me. Since producers have a 1.5 percent leeway in labeling on wines under 14 percent alcohol, that means the wine could actually have been over 13 percent, which I suspect is closer to the truth.
Yesterday as I related my dining experience to Harvey Steiman while he and I were both tasting wines form our beats, I mentioned that I couldn't remember the last time I'd had a wine with that low of an alcohol reading, aside from a German Riesling kabinett, some of which are in the 7 percent range.
Then I modified my comment, saying I couldn't remember ever having a red wine with 11.7 alcohol. A few moments later, as if by design, Harvey unbagged a wine of Tall Timber Shiraz from Western Australia's Janjimup appellation; the wine label claims it’s 11 percent alcohol. "See," Harvey seemed to be saying …
Then in the next 15 minutes or so he unbagged 10 and 11 percent Sémillons from Hunter Valley wineries, followed by an 8 percent Moscato from Barossa and then a 5.5 percent Moscato.
"What are the odds that you would bring up the issue of low alcohol on a day when I have a whole slew of them?" he asked. Over the years we've had many odd, even strange days of coincidences while blind tasting wines, but this one ranked among the best.
Derrick Mize — NY, NY USA — December 1, 2009 4:07pm ET
Harvey Steiman — San Francisco, CA — December 1, 2009 4:12pm ET
Don Fuller — US — December 1, 2009 7:28pm ET
mace d howell III — fremont,ca,usa — December 2, 2009 12:23pm ET
Steve Kirchner — huntington beach, ca — December 2, 2009 12:40pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — December 2, 2009 12:45pm ET
Ann Suchta — Wimington, Delaware — December 2, 2009 7:57pm ET
Hans Vinding-diers — Patagonia — December 3, 2009 6:44am ET
Hans Vinding-diers — Patagonia — December 3, 2009 6:51am ET
Burgess Cellars — Saint Helena CA — December 21, 2009 12:54pm ET
Jon Bjork — Lodi, CA USA — February 6, 2010 4:46pm ET
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