Carbonnieux Blanc ’08, Musar ’03 and Cati ’09
We haven’t seen our Greek friends for a long time and I was very excited to learn that we’ll meet them and have dinner together on FRI evening. We dinned at Crowne Plaza’s La Veranda, a place I start to enjoy more and more. The food was pretty good and it seems that pleased all of us. Our friends are really savvy when it comes to what are the best places to eat in town, so I was very content to learn that they did not visit this place lately and to see them enjoying the dishes.
I had my favorite appetizer from La Veranda: Ahi tuna tartar with sesame seeds and avocado that went pretty well with the 2008 Carbonnieux blanc – Champagne remains the ultimate best companion for this dish. The second course was beef steak with king prawns, mushrooms, mashed potatoes and waxed green beans – I liked the combination of Shitaki-Champignon mushrooms, but the beef was a bit too cooked(I usually like my beef as bloody as possible). The beef was paired by Chateau Musar 2003. For dessert another all time favorite from La Veranda: crumble with quince and plum pulp served next to a Spatlese Riesling from Mosel with 9% alcohol, some residual sugar and plenty of acidity to balance it and give a sense of freshness. The other persons at the table had some sushi rolls made with some type of creamy cheese that was unusual and surprising, but very tasty.
2008 Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc Pessac Leognan
Blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Semillon, aged for about 12 months in French oak. I previously tasted the 2007 version of the same wine and enjoyed it a lot, so naturally I was very curious to see if the ’08 is as successful. It certainly is.
Medium yellow color with green reflections. Well developed and intense nose, exuberant, with aromas of smoke, honeysuckle, Indian spices, apricots and tropical fruits: pineapple, tangerine and very smart oak. Medium body, bright acidity, lively palate, with very good freshness and intensity of flavors, the same exuberance as on the nose in a more condensed manner. The finish is medium to long, fresh and spicy. A beauty. (91-92/100)
2003 Chateau Musar Gaston Hochar red Bekka Valley
A legendary producer from Lebanon that I was eager to taste. 14% alc
Ruby red color with garnet reflections and very youthful. Well developed nose with very good intensity, a bit of rust before swirling the wine in the glass, but after that the wine gains completely new dimensions, with aromas of sweet red fruits: bright red and black cherry, red currant, raspberry, lots of spices, earth, licorice and tobacco. Medium plus bodied, with an extremely smooth texture and absolutely no hard edges. The tannins are ripe and well integrated, lively, showing good depth. On the palate: very minty, with flavors of bright red fruits, earth, spices and just a touch of Brett enough to make it interesting and show the Musar barnyard typical signature. Medium plus finish, with lingering flavors and spicy. This has an almost Pinot Noir purity of red fruit aromas and carries a Burgundian character that I find very seducing. I could drink this all day. (92-93/100)
2009 Cati Riesling Spatlese
Yellow lemon color with green reflections. The wine preserves the typical Mosel characteristics, with petrol, apricots and citric fruits. Full bodied, great acidity keeping the residual sugar in good balance, rich on the palate, with a medium finish and good freshness. Always a good choice to pair with a lighter sweet dessert. (88-89/100)
Our friends were delighted with the whites and fancied the red Lebanese wine as well. The red Musar has an extremely good drink-ability.