Friday, April 5, 2013

My Half Full Glass - April 4th, 2013

Chateau Le Bonnat 2010 Graves Blanc

I can't say that I am a fan of White Bordeaux because I've have never really had that many. But when I have had them I have typically enjoyed the experience which begs the question of why I don't seek more of them out. Who knows, life is just like that I guess!

I came by this particular selection, Chateau Le Bonnat 2010 Graves Blanc, in a Bordeaux combo pack from Lot 18 and if I recall the price per bottle was just shy of $17, which is about the current average price for the label according to sites that track price trends.

I opened the bottle for no particular reason or occasion and I don't even remember now what I had for dinner with it. Clearly getting off track with the blogging has created some undesirable outcomes!

The wine is a blend of 66 percent Sémillon and 34 percent Sauvignon Blanc, with 6 months of oak aging. I found conflicting information on whether just the Sémillon was aged or the blend. I am guessing just the Sémillon. I was met with white flowers (or maybe citrus blossoms), herbs and a bit of stone in the nose. There was also a touch of nuttiness as well. The flavors were predominantly unripe peach with a dose of tart citrus that picks up in the middle through the finish. The wine has a creamy texture with a bit of body on the palate, but does remain crisp with a clean finish and a touch of acid in the exit.

I would recommend this wine as a worthy example of Graves Blanc  and a decent value. If you are looking for a versatile white and can find it for under $17, go for it!

Smuttynose Gravitation

I had the most recent release of this beer on tap over dinner with my wife at Cask & Vine (a place I will share more about soon) in Derry, NH.

Gravitation is part of the Big Beer series from Smuttynose Brewing located in New Hampshire. At 12% ABV the word big is apt. Categorically this beer is designated as a Belgian Quad and this particular beer is made with a range of specialty malts and raisin syrup to create its unique character.

The beer is a light brown color and smells/tastes of dried fruits (raisins, prunes), unrefined/raw sugars and malts.  The alcohol is not entirely balanced and easily perceptible. The beer goes down smoothly enough making it insanely dangerous. It is sweet, but there is a crispness or sharp edge to it that keeps it from coming across as cloying.

As I was researching this beer I reviewed the comments on it at Beer Advocate. Clearly the reviews are mixed and not having much experience with the style I can't really confirm or refute any of it on a technical basis. I did enjoy it, and so did Margot, so when consumed socially rather than with my reviewer hat on, I humbly suggest that this beer is hugely enjoyable.



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