after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

goodbye La Crele, hello Saldo

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t says:  For those that haven’t checked out “the cellar” yet, it features reviewed wines that g and I like to keep on hand.  Two of the wines in there haven’t been formally reviewed in a post in the blog, so I’m just going to put them up now.  Here we go!

First up is one of our favorite sauvignon blancs.  We are sadly down to our last bottle and no more can be found [at a reasonable price].  Truth be told, it is time to move on, as this particular white isn’t likely one that would age well (peaking now), so it’s not like if we found more, we’d continue drinking it forever.  Goodbye La Crele.  You served us well.

2009 Domaine Thomas & Fils “La Crele” (France, Loire Valley, Sancerre; $20 at Cherry Hill Winelegend; $27 at PLCB).  This is a Sauvignon Blanc based wine from the Loire valley in France.  It was recommended by a guy named Phil at Winelegend in Cherry Hill; it was “the best Sauvignon Blanc he had in the store”.  I figured, “g likes Sauvignon Blanc”, so I picked up a bottle to score some brownie points with the Mrs.  What I didn’t expect was how much I would like it … I liked it a LOT.  Gone was the petrol zip of typical New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs that normally put me off – instead was a pleasant herbal zip surrounded by surprisingly plush fruits and florals that kept on the pressure well after swallowing.  This was no ordinary Sauvignon Blanc.  Even Wine Spectator agrees: “Very juicy, with a delicious core of lemon verbena and straw laced with hints of nectarine, white peach and mineral. The finish is long and fresh. Delicious. Drink now. (90 Points)”  I couldn’t remember the last time I had as pleasant a white wine.  Quintessa’s Illuminations?  Dare I utter that rare unicorn of a wine in the same breath as this $20 off-the-shelf bottle?  Yikes.  I just did.  I confronted Phil the next week to ask him whether this was typical for Sancerres (certainly none that I’ve had).  He said, “No – just this one.”  I believed him.  I instantly bought 3 more, and each has been as good as the first.  My only advice is to not precede this wine with something sweet (e.g. Lillet), because it’ll make this wine taste too petrol-y.  Other than that, order that fish or salad, pull out La Crele, and hold on tight!

The other wine we have here is a dry-but-oh-so-fruity zinfandel – and unlike the above, it actually is available.

2009 Orin Swift Cellars “Saldo” (USA, CA; $29.99 at PLCB).  a is a big fan of Orin Swift Cellars.  Actually, he was the one who introduced us to “The Prisoner” back at Talula’s Table.  It was delightful!  We had another sampling of The Prisoner at The Wine School when the gang went for its Luxury Wines of Napa class.  Again, another beautiful showing.  Too bad the price of The Prisoner was increasing in recent vintages to $40+, which puts it out of the range that g and I want to spend on a “nice dinner out”.  This was problematic.  So recently, when g and I found ourselves in K&L during our trip to California, seeking a Prisoner-like experience but unwilling to pay that amount of money, I pulled up Orin Swift’s website to find their second-label Zin: Saldo.  For under $30, we hoped it would deliver.  And deliver it did!  There were gobs and gobs of chocolate and cherry/strawberry/raspberry preserves, with a bit of cinnamon/nutmeg and a hint of sweet (almost off-dry!).  It wasn’t as complex as The Prisoner, but that was actually quite a nice feature, as this was pure thought-free enjoyment from sip to sip.  Coupling it with some steak and dark chocolate would result in an absolutely hedonistic meal.  Unfortunately, PA’s stash of it is thin right now, so one should act quickly.  Procuring more in PA after the few bottles in the city are gone will require a Special Liquor Order but then the price is $35/bottle, which really kind of ruins the “steal” this is supposed to be.  Fear not, however, as Saldo’s pretty easily found , in Jersey (the 2008 vintage is just as good if not “better” than the 2009).

Written by afterdinnersneeze

26 March 2012 at 7:31pm

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