Saturday, May 26, 2007

Solevenian, American and French medley

This past Wednesday, my wonderful bartender friend Steve at Cafe Mae Mae is bidding farewell to the cafe and embark on a new career with the hospitality industry in France. To say Bon Voyage to Steve, I decided to stop by this charming cafe to have a drink with him.

Little did I know beforehand that by the time I left that place, I was treated with a medley of Solevenian Cabernet Sauvignon, American Fume Blanc, French Liquer Fabrique and finally a specialty drink called 'Escape' that is quite fitting for a nice sendoff for Steve. Not to mentioned a taste of the heavenly chocolate cake as dessert.

Wine tasted:
2004 Santomas Koper Cabernet Sauvignon, Slovenia
2005 Grgich Hills Cellar Fume Blanc, Napa Valley
NV L. Garnier Liqueur Fabriquee Par Les Peres Chartreux

2004 Santomas Koper Cabernet Sauvignon, Ludvik Nazarij Glavina Cellars, Slovenia
This table wine grade cabernet sauvignon is produced by the Ludvik Nazarij Cellars sourcing grapes from Koper, a sub-region of Primorje (meaning "near the sea"). The average age of the vines are fairly young, generally around 10 years old.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Dark ruby.
Nose: Typical cab - Currant, vanilla and toasty oak and a touch of heat.
Palate: Tannins quite soft, fairly well integrated. Quite smooth and balanced. Not particularly big and rather straight forward. The nose follows through to the palate yielding consistent notes of currant, vanilla and faint herbs.
Body: Medium.
Finish: Short but clean, tannins does not obscure the aftertaste.

Comment: What a pleasant surprise. This wine is 13.5% abv. Retail price is about $12 but it is hard to find in the US. Would definitely try again.

2005 Grgich Hills Cellar Fume Blanc, Napa Valley

Grgich Hills Cellar is built in partnership of Miljenko “Mike” Grgich, a Croatian immigrant, Austin Hills and his sister, Mary Lee Strebl in 1977. The heart of the vineyard is located in Rutherford, Napa Valley. The grapes of this Fume Blanc is sourced from the American Canyon/Carneros area vineyards.

Tasting Notes:

Golden straw.
Nose: Grassy, pear and toasty.
Palate: Rich and very balanced. Taste of grapefruit, vanilla and subtle oak. Zesty acidity.
Body: Full
Finish: Clean and crisp.

14.2% abv. Fermented in 50% stainless steel, 50% 3-year-old French oak. Retail price is about $30 in NYC.

NV L. Garnier Liqueur Fabriquee Par Les Peres Chartreux VEP

Chartreuse (Chartreux) is a French liqueur composed of distilled wine alcohol flavored with extracts of 130 herbs and flowers. The liqueur is named after the Grande Chartreuse monastery where it is produced, which in turn is named after the Chartreuse Mountains, the region in France where the monastery is located.

With almost 400 years of history, Chartreuse is one of the oldest and most mysterious spirits still available. Only three monks from the order know the secret recipe, each hold one third of that recipe and all have taken a vow of silence, so the secret recipe is kept safely. The liqueur was originally created as an "Elixir of Long Life" in 1605 by Peres Chartreux. The formula was perfected over the years and by 1737 the liqueur was released to the world in a form that is close to what we drink today.

Tasting Notes:

Color: Golden yellow.
Nose: Initial rush of alcohol, followed by juniper, pine and exotic herbs after the liqueur warms up in the snifter.
Palate: Rich and very smooth. Layers of pine, juniper, herbs and slightly floral; hint of sweetness at the backend.
Body: Full.
Finish: Ridiculously long and savoury.

Comment: 54% abv. Retail price is about $100 in NYC. A nice after dinner drink.


Brooklynguy said...

Hi Andrew,
The Grgich Fume is probably my favorite American Sauvignon Blanc, although I know there are several that I am supposed to taste from the Russian River Valley. I like this one a lot though, I think it's basically worth the almost $30 retail.

And I'm also one of the odd-balls who likes chartreuse a lot. Sounds like a nice night...

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