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Food, Wine & Friends Page 194


Hosted By Charles & Nathalie Neal



The evening began with a bottle of Lancelot Pienne Champagne, as Charles opened a bottle and poured the bubbly for everyone.

Charles prepared some Bruschetta...

And Eric prepared two versions of Tapenade for us...



Both were delicious!

 

Juliette Neal then made an appearance, along with the cat...

Here's Juliette singing an Edith Piaf tune, Chanson de Fleurette.



We then sat down at the dinner table and Charles prepared these Andouillette-like "wraps," but these featured salmon and lettuce.
The Chateau Maylandie Rose was quite good...
It's a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah...quite dry and nicely fruity.  The combination with the salmon 'roll' was exceptional.

Charles had a touch of ginger in the sauce...this made the marriage of wine and food a happy one.


Mrs. Charles and daughter Rosalie.

We then moved on to a most interesting white wine...

Exquises Esquisses...
A Grenache Blanc which I enjoyed very much.
They make a simple dry white, blending Grenache Blanc with Bourboulenc, Roussanne and Marsanne.
This exquisite wine, though, is Grenache Blanc with a bit of time in oak.  Not enough wood to cover the fruit, but not so much that it takes over the wine.

Bob was intrigued by this wine, too.

I had brought a bottle of a Brander Sauvignon to taste with Mrs. Charles.

Cuvee Natalie.

To accompany some red wines, Chef Charles prepared a "mess of ribs."

These had a honey glaze and were outstanding.


Gary Blackwell was enjoying tasting the Maylandie wines, too.

Bob, ever a show-off, shows off his ability to serve using a couple of spoons.

He also teaches aspiring musicians how to "play" the spoons.

With some roasted potatoes, we were in business...

...but not until we tasted the Maylandie blend called "Carnache."
This is a blend of Carignane and Grenache from the estate vineyards with clay and limestone soils.
If I recall correctly, the Carignan undergoes a "whole berry" fermentation, while the Grenache is traditionally-vinified.  The blend is matured for six months, or so, in new French oak.


Rosalie is honing her skills, sniffing the different aromas in each wine.

Eric explained to us about the various wines we were enjoying.

I asked how he was able to make such good wine, since they only can work 35 hours a week in France.

We then had some fun tasting a mystery wine...



Villa Ferrae is a CorbiŔres-Boutenac appellation wine.
It's 40% Grenache with the balance split equally between Carignane and Syrah.

Time for another Mystery Wine...(the first one was a Cinsaut made in California by the Frick Winery).


Nobody guessed this wine, either...

1973 Zinfandel made in Napa by Cuvaison when the winery was a little shack run by Tom Cottrell.

For Bob it was one of those "I'll-Be-Go-To-Hell" moments, since he was familiar with the wine back in the 1970s.


Bob had written a lovely tome on the California wine scene back in the early 1970s...so the Cuvaison wine was a little "blast from the past."


Time for dessert...Bob's Tarte Tatin.


Charles brought out a bottle of the splendid Clos Lapeyre wine called "Vent Balaguer," a wine made entirely of Petit Manseng.
The wine takes its name from a wind which blows up from Spain.

We had a homemade ice cream based on Vanilla, but augmented with Adrien Camut's 18 year old Calvados.
It was a splendid match with Bob's apple creation.


Rosalie was certainly delighted by dessert.

And we had a sip of a digestif to finish...

Adrien Camut.  Reserve d'Adrien.


And we wished everyone a

Merci to Eric for bringing nice wines and to the Neal Family for hosting.

*************************************

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