AT ONE MINUTE PAST MIDNIGHT on the third Thursday of each November, from little villages and towns like Romanèche-Thorins, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. Banners proclaim the good news: Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! "The New Beaujolais has arrived!" One of the most frivolous and animated rituals in the wine world has begun. By the time it is over, over 65 million bottles, nearly half of the region's total annual production will be distributed and drunk around the world. It has become a worldwide race to be the first to serve this new wine of the harvest. In doing so, it will be carried by motorcycle, balloon, truck, helicopter, plane, elephant, runners and rickshaws to get it to its final destination. It is amazing to realise that just weeks before this wine was a cluster of grapes in a grower’s vineyard. But by an expeditious harvest, a rapid fermentation, and a speedy bottling, all is ready at the midnight hour.”
It is obviously quite a logistical achievement to get this wine to all (serious...) bottle shops around the world on time... Some, like my local Vintage Cellars, did
There are still 31 bottles in stock at Ultimo Wine Centre : http://www.ultimowinecentre.com.au/Product.aspx?id=23363
And one left over at home...
This is obviously a young wine, and sometime not very good, I have to say, but the 20122 vintage is actually quite good and very much " gouleyant" or "gouleillant"as it is supposed to be...
It means: agreeable to drink, light, almost fizzy.
The George Duboeuf version is just that: a pleasure to drink, no questions asked, can I have another glass, please??? I am glad I bought a spare bottle, just in case...
For the ones of you interested in varietals, this is a Gamay of the highest order...enjoy!
I have mentioned several times recently that I have taken an interest in the various guises of Pinot Gris - aka Pinot Grigio and the likes.
I am particularly fond of a Pinot Grigio from the Venice Region in Italy, my favourite drink when lunching at Ventuno in Walsh Bay.
So, it was with quite some excitment that I opened a bottle of Far Ago Hill Pinot Gris today.
Just the name conjures a hint of nostalgia and remoteness, with a hint of solitude and tranquility to enjoy this wine.
It was was presented to me by the "vigneron" herself, Katrina Hill, who also happens to be a famous Interior Designer in Sydney, with whom I had professional dealing for a good fifteen years...
We reconnected recently and that's when I discovered that she was the happy owner of a vineyard dedicated to this grape, all 6 acres of it, that is...The plantings were originally coming from Alsace and by some coincidence the terroir of the vineyard is very close in composition to the original: intriguing to say the least...
I have to admit that I have not had a bottle of Alsacian Pinot Gris from quite some time, so I didn't even try to compare them (I might indulge in such a treat next week-end - see below), but the surprise was the strong smell of apple at first and then the whole complexity and true nature of the wine hits you, and it is a beautiful sensation.
I am no wine critic, just a humble amateur, but let's just say that James Halliday has given a 94 point rating to this wine. I had some Friday night with a Barramundi filet and grilled asparagus and the bulk of it today with the recipe described in my previous post - perfect match each time!
So as a comparison, I found this review of a good French Pinot Gris on Snooth: Lucien Albrecht Pinot Gris Cuvee Romanus 2010.
Here is what Gregory Dal Piaz has to say: "This is rather aromatic with notes of bitter apples, quartz, dusty tree bark and a light, almost honied, spice tone with a touch of musk. Rather focused on entry, this broadens nicely on the back end where it reveals a richly fruited sweet core of fruit. There’s a touch of spice here as well, adding some complexity. The acidity is bright but well-balanced. Not profound, but this delivers a lovely balance of fruit and spice that shows excellent persistence and adds a little mineral on the finale"
Read more: http://www.snooth.com/wine/lucien-albrecht-pinot-gris-cuvee-romanus-alsace-2010/#ixzz2BEatNsHn
It is interesting to note that the French version also comes with a first nose of apples, isn't it?
Well done, Katrina!
BTW, Katrina employs the good services of the team at Lark Hill, near Canberra, certainly one of my favourite wineries in Australia.
So don't take my word for it, rush to Katrina's website to order some, as it is in short supply: www.faragohill.com
Sunday Lunch in the new steamer
You don't know you need one until you've got one!
I have been toying with the idea of buying a steamer for quite a long time (not that I want to go down the Mississippi river though...)
I am talking about steaming food and cutting down on olive oil cooking (I stop cooking with butter many years ago and don't miss it)
Obviously, there are thing that are not "steam able", but when it comes to fish or vegetables, there is a vast array of recipes and experimentations to explore.
My first recipe involves ocean trout, spring onion, basil, fresh garlic and snow peas. Once every thing is in the pan, then it is just a matter of minutes to ready a healthy and tasty Sunday lunch!
Some nice wine (more on this later...), St Alban Goat Cheese from Willowbray and multigrain baguette from Pierre Labancz et voila!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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