It is great to have Neil, aka the Brooklynguy, to host the 39th installment of Wine Blogging Wednesday originally started by Lenn. Neil is passionate about French wines and his favorite regions are Burgundy, Lorie and Champagne. The theme he proposed this time is ‘Silver-Burgundy’ where participants have to seek out wines from outside of the infamous Côte d'Or region. In fact, he only allows wine produced from the regions of Côte Chalonnaise and the Mâconnais to be discussed.
I am still climbing the steep and expansive learning curve of understanding wines from Burgundy, partly because of the unfavorable US/Euro exchange rate and partly due to the highly touted 2005 vintage where prices are unrealistic. Furthermore, wine prices from the lesser vintages such as the 2003 and 2004 have been inflated by at least 10 to 25% recently. In spite of these conditions, I found 2 lovely and affordable Burgundies to be shared in this WBW. Both of these wines are imported by VOS Selections.
2003 DomaineChofflet-Valdenaire, Givry, Chalonnaise
2005 Domaine Thomas Tradition, Saint-Véran, Mâconnais
2003 Chofflet-Valdenaire, Givry
ABV: 13%, Price: $22
The Chofflet-Valdenaire estate, located in the hillside hamlet of Russily, has been in their family for over 100 years. Today, Jean Chofflet’s son-in-law Denis Valdenaire runs the 11-hectare domaine. Theestate’s Givry AOC comes from several vineyard parcels. The grapes are entirely hand-harvested and 100% destemmed. It is aged half in tank, half in two to three year casks for one year before bottling. They also produce two single vineyard cuvee being produced, Givry 1er Cru Clos de Choue and Givry 1er Cru Clos Jus.
Color: Clear medium ruby. Tight rims.
Nose: Notes of ripe cherry. Initial funk, which my wife describes as rotten lettuce, that blows off after a while in the glass.
Palate: Juicy sour cherries giving way to notes of sage and earth.Slightly dusty tannins and lively acidity support the very balanced mouth feel. The fruit flavor is fairly focused.
Body: Light to medium.
Finish: Medium length with notes of cherry, dried herb, earth and black pepper.
2005 Domaine Thomas Tradition, Saint-Véran ABV: 13%, Price: $18
Domaine Thomas was created in 1934 and now extends over 12 hectares on southwest facing slopes. They have been estate bottling the majority of the wine production since 1987, specializing in St-Veran. Lucien Thomas, owner and winemaker, produces his St-Veran from old-vines planted around a remarkable, single-block, south-southwest facing amphitheater vineyard. The St-Veran is made from 40-50 year old vines. Domaine Thomas also produces a St-Veran Vieilles Vignes made from a block of vines that are 70 years old. Neither of these 2 wines is treated with oak in order to preserve the terrior and the fullest expression of fruit.
Color: Light golden.
Nose: Expressive aroma of pear and lemon. Notes of stones.
Palate: Fairly concentrated. Ripe pear and lemon zest flavors supported by lively acidity and undertone of minerals.
Finish: Slight peppery and bitter notes that support a long citrus flavor. The finish is very clean.
While not particularly complex, both of these wines are very food friendly. They are straightforward wines for simple and homey dishes. The Chofflet-Valdenaire pairs very well with an earthy but light Cantonese dish of Steamed Chicken with tiger lily and fungus. On the other hand, the Domaine Thomas, being a unoaked Chardonnay, is a good match for the steamed black sea bass we prepared.
For folks who would like to know the recipe of Steamed Chicken with tiger lily and fungus, the recipe is as follows:
Half a dressed chicken (about 1.5 lbs)
4 Chinese dried mushrooms
1/2 oz. Dried tiger lily [honey suckle flower]
1oz. Cloud ear fungus
4 Red dates
1 Tbsp chopped ginger
1 Tbsp Chopped garlic
2 twigs of Cilantro (optional, for garnish)
1 Tbsp Light soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp Dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp Ginger wine [We use the Domaine Thomas instead]
1 1/2 tsp Cornstarch
A dash of Sesame oil
1 cup of Water
1/2 Tbsp Light soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp Oyster sauce
1 tsp Sugar
A dash of Sesame oil
Note: All the ingredients above are readily available in any Chinese grocery stores.
Chop chicken into pieces. Season and marinate for 1/2 to 1 hour. Soak and rinse mushrooms, tiger lily, fungus and dates. Quarter the dates and discard the pits if present. Tie each tiger lily with an overhand knot. Cut mushrooms into thin slices.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil, sauté garlic and ginger until fragrant. Stir-fry chicken until 60% done, add remaining ingredients and sauce. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until done. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.