Wednesday, February 24, 2010

#42 - Wine Can Chicken With '99 Savennières & '07 Jaume Grand Veneur White

Nice little haul yesterday from an impromptu wine-buying trip.

Randolph Wine Cellars, if you're in the area, is worth the time. Solid efforts are being made by them to get some interesting selections and good values.

Cellar Rat on North seems to be hanging in there as well.

Ten bottles total. Another vintage of the Kiràlyudvar Hungarian white I've been blathering about was available at Cellar Rat. And apparently, we're back into Loire as half of the bottles bought were just that.

And this Tuesday, a sort of Muscadet tasting is on the docket, consisting of four different bottles, all under $15, to be served with lemon-dill scallops.

I had a jones.


Food: Wine can chicken with pesto-ish potatoes and mâche

Juicy, juicy, juicy!

A more simple preparation this time with a basic salt-pepper-butter glaze. But Mrs. Ney put dried chamomile leaves in the juice in the bottom of the pan to create an aromatic to the entire thing and to match with the wine. Pan juice was strained and put on the side for delicious dipping.

Not-really-pesto potatoes. More like herbs, almonds (?), garlic and oil blended up and slathered on the potatoes. Healthy enough amount so that it ran into the greens in a great way.

What is this, the tenth time we've had wine can chicken since November? We have it because it's freakin' delicious and makes for a good starting point to pair with so many different wines.

Wine: 1999 Clos des Perrières Savennières ($20 - Cellar Rat) and 2007 Domaine Grand Veneur Reserve White ($17 - WDC)

The '99 Savennières was past the drinking window according to Wine Spectator (by far) and that was probably right being that it was a cheap one to begin with. But we didn't care. For $20 and ten years old, it was worth a try.

This was probably our third or fourth Savennières we've ever had. If you want something completely different and off the beaten path, try one. Made from chenin blanc, it's more dry and bigger than a Vouvray and tends to show a distinct almond, nutty overtone mixed with dried honey, big dried floral notes and a very pleasant basement quality. Extremely concentrated with a solid acidity. First time we had it we thought it was so very weird. And then we warmed up to it quite fast.

This particular one might have been past its window but we didn't care. Good stuff. Still some quality lemon peel going on with a solid almond character and a Ricola note. Not disjointed overall. Maybe fading and losing some of that concentration but it held up admirably. A cheap one but intriguing enough.

We cracked a second bottle that needed to be drunk very soon.

The Domaine Grand Veneur Reserve white is 50% rousanne, 40% viognier and 10% clairette, made by the same guy (Alain Jaume) that bottles the "Les Champauvins" and the Lirac reds that we've had before. Both of those were fine enough Rhônes for their price point if not exactly great.

This white followed the same path. Had that white peach and minerality that comes with decent Rhône whites. I got cantaloupe right now. Nothing wrong with it overall, just nothing that popped or had that something extra. Might have been better on a hot summer day as it was still fresh and a tad zingy.

Pairing: Nice little improv dinner

When it came to the pairing, everything stayed in its lane. All the flavors added to the food were expressly done to compliment the Savennières.

That should always make for a good meal and a sound pairing. And it did. Very matchy-matchy.

But since we knew absolutely nothing about the Savennières and it was a cheaper one, that seemed prudent and made for maybe merely a good pairing, if not resplendent.

Nothing wrong with it at all, though.

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