Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#217 - Szechuan Tuna, Beets & Pea Shoots With '06 Ponzi Pinot Noir

The last time we had the 2006 Ponzi estate bottling of pinot noir in April, I remember starting to wonder how long it had left.

The acid that typically and uniquely surrounds and penetrates any year of this Ponzi offering had previously showed signs of fading in this vintage.

Last night's experience was the opposite.  The acid seems to have simply transitioned into a different phase as opposed to showing a linear regression to death.  This acid was alive, jumpy and dominating in a way that we sorta loved.

The experience still stayed more in the world of seeing where the wine had evolved to instead of coming off delicious, fresh and balanced but in the realm of understanding why acid is so important to wine and enjoying it for where it currently sat in its life, good drink I say.

Food:  Szechuan Tuna with beets and pea shoot salad

Odd cut on the Whole Foods-bought tuna.  Fresh but lacked the vibrancy and integrity it usually has, though it was sufficiently gussied up by Mrs. Ney to come close to satisfying the tuna jones.  Szechuan peppercorns, cardamom, white pepper, coriander and thyme ground up and crusted on the tuna, seared rare.

Fine and good.  Good enough.  The pea shoot salad with beets won the night by far.  Beets roasted in shallot, cumin, orange zest, orange juice and extra virgin olive oil, chopped up and tossed with mint.  Best bite on the plate.  Flurry of intense beet flavor.

Pea shoot salad with parsley that came off fresh and earthy, complimenting the beets in a beautiful way.

Seeduction bread with Kerrygold butter and rose petal jam on the side.  It's the best bread and butter in the world.

Tasty stuff here that mixed and mingled well with the wine.  With a better cut on the tuna, this could have been a stellar meal.  It wasn't stellar but still made for something quite good.

The wine helped.

Wine:  2006 Ponzi Pinot Noir Willamette Valley ($30 - Binny's)

I really thought we were going to see a quicker leap towards dead with this drinking of the Ponzi estate bottling but that wasn't the case at all.  Huge, uniquely Ponzi-ish acid that dominated the night but pleasing secondary flavors of a touch sour bright cherry mixing with a basement note and finishing with some fertile earth.

All acid, yes.  But in a delicious way, coming off so much better with food and left me thinking there could be a few more years left here.  Still playing gracefully with the grub and its big acid are usually great signs of a longer life, which is nice for a simple, culled, basic bottling that we've always adored.

Pairing:  89  Better tuna would have helped, offering more for the wine to play with

Simply delicious with the beets, digging into the beets and expanding the already deep and delcious flavors in the root veg.

Just so-so with the tuna but a nice pop of Szechuan peppercorn with the wine made for an acceptable and almost good bite and drink.

Fine enough with the pea shoot salad but the latter was better on its own as an end-meal finisher and cleanser.

Opened a 2009 Trader Joe's label pinot noir from Carneros ($10) to compare (and drink more) but after having the Ponzi and its acid, it couldn't keep up.  But the TJ's offering has its merits.  Would be a party-pleaser, showing much of anything anyone would want from a California pinot in a friendly, open package.  Soft, drink-now, bargain drink.

No comments:

Post a Comment