Monday, 28 May 2007

Friday night drinks

We recently had a meal at a place in Willoughby called Maitre Karl. It was a bit of a celebration because my brother is (briefly) back in the country and it was my dad's birthday ealier in the week. Although we only drank two wines that night but both were excellent. The 2004 Petaluma chardonnay which was a rich, full bodied style of chardonnay but built on a core of lemon/grapefruit acid that resulted in a clean finish. This is the third time I've had this wine in the last 6 months (it is my father's current favourite) and this was the best bottle I've had. The cleansing acid allowed it to go well with everyone's entrees (flammekueche or "Alsation pizza"). The main course was with the main wine, a 1997 Grange. Feeling like a bit of a wine tosser I double decanted this about 30 minutes before leaving home which was about 1.5 hours before we started on the wine with our mains. There is a theory that some hold that wines from average vintages drunk relatively young/not at full maturity are better food wine matched than wines from "better" years. The reason is that "better" years, especially for Australian shiraz, usually equate to riper more fruit forward wines. Because the wine has more fruit, in theory it can handle more new oak and a wine with lots of fruit and oak will either clash with most foods or will require extended aging before it will be suitable with food. Anyway, this wine proved the "off vintage" theory beautifully. By the time we started drinking it the wine was open for business - a lovely floral lift followed by darker fruits and chocolate characters. The palate was super smooth, rich and velvety. I could have drunk a lot more of this, a real pleasure to have. One of the better wines I've enjoyed recently and Keda said that it was fantastic with her veal dish (pretty good with my duck as well!).