Thursday, August 04, 2005

Domaine des Baumard Savennieres 2000

We have been eating out the past few days, and there has been no interesting wine to speak of. Tonight, however, I ignored my research in favor of a delicious dinner. We began with a chilled watercress soup, which had a creamy body but an immaculately delicate savor. It would have served better between rich courses than as an opening course. Our main course was olive oil poached sea bass with poached scallions and roasted asparagus. With the additional meat on the bones, I prepared a fried bass cake. We were rather pleased with the results of these new techniques.

Although Charlie had suggested a number of potential matches (including gruner veltliner and sauternes), I chose a lovely chenin blanc from the Loire valley. Baumard is one of the best Loire producers, and most of his wines are quite reasonably priced (this one retailed for $20). Stephanie and I enjoyed a bottle of their Clos du Papillon recently, and I had a glass of the magnificent Quartes de Charmes at Michael Mina in San Fransisco.

The entry level Savennieres was delightful, opening with a rich thrust of oak and musk melon. At five years old, the wine was beginning to show some age - it was a lovely gold color, and its characteristicly bracing acidity had mellowed in favor of mature earthly notes. Although unusual for this bottling, I detected a hint of botrytis.

When cold, this wine matched the sea bass rather well, but as it warmed, the rather dense body and hints of botrytis called out for richer cuisine. At a younger age, it would have been excellent, but if you find one from this vintage, live a litte, and try it with pork.

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