Thu 7 May 2009
Slices of baguette, a smear of mustard, some Irish cheddar cheese, a few sprigs of thyme, grated Parmesan, a dribble of olive oil, salt and pepper. Run them under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts and goes just past the bubbly stage and the edges of the bread get toasty.
Wine? At random I plucked a bottle of the Clos du Val Pinot Noir 2007, Carneros, from the shelf and was happy that I had done so.
This is a true earthy pinot noir, with stirring aromas of moss and briers, smoky black cherry, cola and a touch of sassafras, a whiff of beetroot. All of these elements are woven into seductive strands that entice the nose rather than assailing it. The lovely texture feels like cool satin sliding over the tongue. Flavors run to blueberry, mulberry and red currant wrapped in briers and brambles and borne by vibrant acid that cuts a swath on the palate and subtle, supple, slightly spicy oak from aging 14 months in French oak, of which only 2 percent of the barrels were new. An elegant and classically proportioned pinot noir with grit and grip at the heart. The alcohol level is a mild 13.5 percent. Now through 2012. Excellent. About $30.
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