I keep trying to raid the cellar, especially for one of a kinds and potential old wines, both of which can be iffy. So far, we have had five bottles that had seen better days, so that is not too bad of a ratio. I am also trying to make some room, because new wines are already creeping in and creating a back log in the basement again. I guess there are worse problems to have in the world, but slowly, but surely, we are making headway and cleaning house.
It was going to be one of our Sundays at home, actually for a while it will be every day at home, as we are in quasi-lockdown again, only this time it was mandated by a department as an end run around our Supreme Court. Oh, the joys of jurisprudence and scofflaws. We were having a nice breakfast of eggs, bacon, cheese, toast and coffee; and to finish it off properly some Mimosas. Later on, our dinner was going to be Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes and Mixed Asian Vegetables. We are skipping desserts at home, since she has had a successful time with weight reduction and I have had a rather lackluster result, but I think I still have the concept of finishing food, if there really isn’t enough to use as leftovers for another meal. I have lost almost twenty pounds and I would like to double that loss if possible, but with the winter arriving and gymnasiums and spas basically closed, it will be more of a challenge.
We probably drink fewer bubbly wines, but we seem to still an accumulation anyways. I grabbed a bottle of Sieur d’Arques Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Methode Traditionelle 2012. Limoux is in the Languedoc wine region and wine was introduced to the area by the Greeks in the 5th Century BC, but it was in 1531 when the Benedictine monks from the Abbey of Saint Hilaire, a town near Limoux allegedly produced the first sparkling wine. The claim of the sparkling wine discovery has proponents in Champagne that argue who was first and that is not for me to decide (thank God). The Lord of the region at the time, the Sieur d’Arques was a huge fan of this wine and when the local wine growers decided to rename their winery after him. The AOC Blanquette de Limoux is the first AOC in the Languedoc and one of the first appellations in France. The association of wine growers created the Société des Producteurs de Blanquette de Limoux in 1946 and in the 1990’s changed the name to Sieur d’Arques. The Traditional Method, which has a second fermentation in the bottle is used for the Blanquette de Limoux wines. Blanquette is a local name for the Mauzac grape variety, and to confuse matters three other local varieties are also known as Blanquette and they have nothing to do with this famed wine. Originally by regulation this wine was totally Mauzac, but lately the regulation has been softened to appeal to new generations of wine drinkers, and the wine has to be ninety percent Mauzac and the balance can be Chardonnay and/or Chenin Blanc. The grape is known for its high acidity and low alcohol and delivers flavors of honey and green apples. I am very happy to say that this wine was very fresh after eight years and it was almost a sin to add the tincture of orange juice. The wine that I grabbed from the cellar for the roast beef was Rockside Vineyards Night Flight NV, an Ohio Red Table Wine. We bought the wine along with some other wines at the winery in 2014 and it was actually an enjoyable trip and visit. We had been to a winery earlier that day and we were touted to go here, because we told that they had some great Cabernet Franc wines, and that was all that my Bride needed to here as we loaded the information into our GPS. At the tasting room, we had the good fortune to meet the owner Ron Rutter, who handled the tasting room duties. He told us a little bit about himself, that he was a retired Air Force officer, and then had been an executive with a company, but the desire to be a wine maker took him from California to Ohio for the next stage of his life. He explained that because there was no appellation and the grapes all came from Ohio, there was no vintage year, per the rules and he joked that it saved him having to have new labels reprinted each year. Night Flight was a red blend wine of Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin and Noiret which was a very easy drinking wine. Chambourcin and Noiret are Cold Hardy hybrids that are found in the Mid-West and Northern States. Here was another wine that I wasn’t sure what to expect, we really enjoyed it at the winery, and it was great with dinner and it did not show any signs of having peaked. Two more in the plus column from having been stored properly and a great reason to have a cellar.
I love it when the cellaring proves itself. Yep, aged wines all the way for me – though it is hard to wait sometimes. NV from Ohio sounds a bit surprising at 6 years of age, but 2012 Blanquette de Limoux is a definite surprise. Cheers!
Anatoli, I agree about the joys of a cellar. The Ohio wine I really wasn’t too concerned about, because I felt that most reds could handle six years. As I was doing some follow up research, I found that the 2012 Blanguette de Limoux is still out in the market place, though I think that mine in a dark, cool cellar has a better chance, compared to a bottle that is still being bounced around from shelve to shelve in a retail environment. – John.