Not so sure

Why we bought this bottle of wine. Dutcher Crossing was the first winery we stopped at on our honeymoon, so it might have been sheer excitement, or the notion that we had to buy at least a bottle or two from every winery we stopped at, or that we thought this was how Chardonnay was supposed to be. While we were big wine drinkers before we went to Sonoma for the first time, we honestly didn’t drink a lot of California wines (how ironic given how many we drink now) and we mostly stuck unoaked white wines….

So we bought this bottle of 2005 Dutcher Crossing Chardonnay from Castello Vineyard for$26. It clocked in at 14.3% alcohol and had a real cork closure. On the nose it was all oak and butter at first and that took a while to blow off to reveal any other aromas. After a bit of time, I found lemon, vanilla, green apple, and a touch of pear. However, it was heavily dominated by the butter and oak. In the mouth I got flavors of lemon, pear, and oak. The wine was buttery overall and oaky. It was not at all a bad wine, just NMS. I much prefer unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay, this one was a little heavy for my taste.

I served it with cedar planked salmon and mashed potatoes. I forgot I had no veggies left that night, so nothing to go with it. The wine was actually a fairly good match for the food, since salmon and mashed potatoes are fairly heavy foods, and the wine’s body matched nicely with the food.


Celebrating V-Day

We’re not really Valentine’s Day people. As evidenced by the fact that when someone asked me what we were doing that evening I gave them a blank stare because I had no idea why they thought we would be doing anything.

We spent our first married V-day at home, eating leftover Zuppa Toscano. We celebrated by popping open one of our more expensive (to us!) bottles of wine and it was well worth it!

The bottle was a 2003 Dutcher Crossing Taylor Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. It cost us $39 at the vineyard and had a real cork closure.

On the nose there were strawberries, then blackberries and then a spice, which I think was ginger. After a little while just a hint of vanilla showed. Several hours later, a big scent of black currants showed through.

In the mouth on my first glass I got earth, black currants and other dark fruits. A tiny hint of oak showed through, but overall, this wine was full of deep, dark flavors (can I describe a wine that way?). Then, wow, after a few hours, I tasted the oddest thing, but it’s really good, despite how disgusting this will sound….chocolate leather! Yum!

The wine could definitely age for a while, though it’s drinking beautifully now. An excellent choice to share on this first Valentine’s Day as married folks, since we didn’t do anything else to celebrate, at least we had good wine!

Is it Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc?

Last night we were pretending it was summer again, with snow crab legs as our main dish and homemade bruschetta as an appetizer. Plus, snow crab leg clusters were on slae for only $4.99 a pound yesterday at the store. Too good a deal to pass up!

Per my usual, I picked a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to go with the crab legs. I almost always think the crisp fruits in a Sauvignon Blanc are an excellent match to the light crab.

Last night was a bottle of 2005 Dutcher Crossing Sauvignon Blanc. I have to admit we bought this bottle without tasting it first because they weren’t pouring it and we usually really like sauvignon blanc. I can’t remember what it cost, but it is 13.9% alcohol by volume and had a cork closure.

This bottle is a blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc grapes, 10% Semillon grapes, 8% Viognier grapes and 2% Rousanne grapes. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were fermented in French Barrels. So color me confused. With both the oak fermentation and the blending in of the Semillon grapes, I really thought I was drinking a bottle of Chardonnay. If you had put it blindly in front of me, I would have instantly said it was a Chardonnay. It had a nose of oak and butter. In the mouth it was fairly oaky, so much so that the other flavors had trouble showing through. When they did, I got a little grass and some subdued lemon. It was a very good Chardonnay. But I want my Sauvignon Blanc to taste like Sauvignon Blanc. This one felt like it was trying to be a Chardonnay.