We try to make a day of it, if we can, a date day. Somehow, I ended up with the lion’s share of the shopping and that is not how it usually works out. Of course, my Bride goes shopping with her girlfriends, her sisters and sometimes just by accident. It is also a way for us to get our daily walk in a new locale. As we like to do a total of five miles a day, it has helped my Bride, has not done anything for me, as I will never get back to my old “fighting weight.” While we were out shopping in Birmingham, I had made a reservation for brunch at The Daxton, which is a brand-new hotel and by luck, we were there for their “soft” opening, which I guess was for friends and family, but we ended up crashing the party at the bar and discovered that we had no tab. I guess it was only fair and honorable for us to go back and have lunch there, especially since we never really saw the dining room, except in glimpses from the bar.
I ended up at our table first, which is good, because it gave me a better chance to study the menu. My Bride got side tracked before entering the bar and filled out a card for a chance to win a stay at The Daxton and she was joking that it would be a nice way to celebrate our next anniversary. Well, the fellow that was handling the cards, must have mentioned it to the restaurant manager, who mentioned it to our waiter and the next we knew we were given a complimentary pastry basket for our anniversary and when we tried to rectify it, we were told to just accept it, as it would be too much of a hassle to change it. The pastry basket had a strawberry-basil éclair, a sunflower biscuit and an orange cinnamon roll. My Bride was low-maintenance and had two poached eggs, marble potatoes, heritage bacon and sourdough toast. I had something a bit more interesting, a breakfast sandwich of heritage bacon, farm egg souffle, aged cheddar on a milk-bread bun.
My Bride has been on a Sauvignon Blanc adventure, so I let it continue with Delaille Domaine du Salvard “Unique” Sauvignon Blanc Val de Loire IGP 2020. Maurice Delaille bought “Le Salvard” around 1900 and what started as ten hectares is now forty-five hectares and has the fifth generation working at the winery. Val de Loire is a region level IGP that roughly covers the entire Loire Valley and is one of the largest districts in France, based on area. The majority of the wines with this IGP are single variety. In 2009 the designation was changed from Vin du Pays to IGP. The older designation was “Vin de Pays du Jardin de la France.” The vineyard for this wine is fifteen hectares on clay and silica sands. Whole grape maceration for forty-eight hours and fifteen days on fine lees in Stainless Steel. The wine has a nose of citrus, basically grapefruit and mango, with similar notes and a nice balance acidity and a medium length finish with some terroir.
I went with a little bigger wine, perhaps even over-kill for my meal, but I had the Vietti “Perbacco” Nebbiolo Langhe DOC 2018. Vietti is a wine producer in the Piedmont, known for their single-vineyard Barolo wines, Barbera wines and the Arneis variety. The estate produced their first wines in 1919 and they were one of the pioneers of exporting Barolo to the United States of America. Langhe Nebbiolo is a subset of the Langhe DOC and it is generally thought of as a junior version of Barolo and Barbaresco. The winery is also free to make the wine as they see fit, as they do not have to abide by the stricter rules of production, aging, barrel types, etc. The vineyards used for this wine is basically from the Barolo area and some from Barbaresco on soils that is a mix of clay and limestone. The fermentation for this wine lasts almost a month in Stainless Steel. Each parcel is processed and aged separately, until they decide which will become Barolo and which will be used for Perbacco. Total ageing is approximately two years, in large casks and barriques, then the wines are blended in Stainless Steel prior to bottling. The wine was a medium ruby color with a nose of red fruit, florals and spices. This was a medium bodied wine that offered some note of cherry, and because it was youthful the tannins were heavy with a decent length finish of terroir. I think that if this wine had some cellaring the tannins would blend and eventually develop into a well balanced and harmonious wine.