Due to an unfortunate scheduling mishap, we had to skip the structured format of our regular tastings, and instead gathered for some fine wine and cheeses at Ali & Andy's place.
Regular readers of this site know that Ali & Andy spare no expense when it comes to their selection of cheeses (sourced from Formaggio Kitchen), and this time was no different, with Ali choosing "a fun exploration of goat".
Wines below are listed in the order poured, with no points awarded.
Gautheron Chablis Les Fourneaux 2015. A sense of nuttiness and butter here, plus some funk on the nose, then green apples and pear. Shows purity and focus, with citrus peel, fresh dough, creme bruleé and limestone notes. Quinine on the finish initially, turning to a fruit punch quality with air. Velvety texture, with freshness and verve. Classy. About $43.
Schild Estate Sparkling Shiraz 2010 (Barossa Valley). Kristin noted that it "smells blue", while others found scents of milk chocolate, meat, blackberry jam, and leather. Relatively soft and not super-bubbly, but has great balance and pairs well with a variety of food. Black pepper notes appear later to go with the effusive dark fruit and hints of smoke. About $25.
Bosquet des Papes Chateauneuf du Pape Chante le Merle Vieilles Vignes 2007. Licorice, nail polish, cherry liqueur, and green pepper nose. David was "not crazy about the nose, but the palate is fantastic". Amazing length, liveliness, and purity. Andy noted that "it's got stamina", with rich cherry flavors, full body, harmony, and depth of fruit. Unfiltered. About $65.
Sterling Merlot Vintner's Collection 2014 (Central Coast). Reminiscent of plums, cherries, pipe tobacco, and coffee. A bit candied on the finish. Kristin felt that it "serves the purpose". Lacks tannic stucture, but is otherwise pleasing. Medium-bodied. About $15.