Saturday, August 13, 2005

Domaine De La Tour Boisee Minervois 2003 & Chateau Mas Neuf Costieres de Nimes 2003

Tonight we had a blind tasting of these wines from Southern France. Chris poured the wines and left the room, remembering which wine was where; I labeled the wines with a star and triangle, and mixed them up, noting where each "shape" had begun. During dinner and our first glass of each wine, we both took blind notes on each "shape," without discussing our impressions. You'll find our comments below.

For dinner, we served a salad of "nested" Boston lettuce with lemon dijon vinaigrette and fried string potatoes, followed by grilled veal rib chops with a pearl onion sauce. On the side, we had white asparagus wrapped in Black Forest proscuitto.

Domaine De La Tour Boisee Minervois 2003
Stephanie: I think I prefered this wine, which is unusual, as it was slightly sweeter and less meaty. The accompanying food was surprisingly delicate, and went well with a lighter, sweeter wine. Both wines seemed appropriate for Southern France; neither was terribly surprising, which is probably a good thing.
Neither wine was very tannic.
Color: bright purple/ruby
Aroma/Flavor: brown sugar and yams; slightly floral; peaches; white chocolate; sweeter than the Chateau Mas Neuf.

Chris: This was a rather ripe offering from the Minervois (certainly more so than the Coupe des Roses tasted earlier this week). I noted ripe berries, oak, and cola on the aroma which carried through to the flavor. This was definitely the riper wine, made in a more "international" style. It was well made, but it was perhaps less characteristic of southern France than the Mas Neuf. I would recommend beef or duck with this one.

Chateau Mas Neuf Costieres de Nimes 2003
Aroma/Flavor: slight meaty/bacon flavor and aroma; rocky/steely; cooked raisins.

Chris: I preferred this wine, both in the abstract and with the veal (not to mention that it was cheaper). The aroma reminded me distinctly of the southern Rhone, with smoke, cherry, and that indescribable citrus aroma that one often finds in Chateauneuf du Pape. As Stephanie notes, the color was more garnet than violet, and the body was lighter. It was a pleasant match with the veal, finishing surprisingly long with notes of earth and licorice. Although perhaps too dry for a sipping wine, this is one to buy by the case.

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