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Wine dinner with Kermit Lynch wines at Vin Rouge, Durham - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 02-04-2011 06:21 PM

About 30 wine dinners were held in the Triangle area last night as part of Triangle Wine Experience to benefit Frankie Lemmon School for children with exceptional needs. It's always hard to choose which restaurant and winemaker or importer so I start out with about eight choices and narrow it down. This year was my second year in a row at Vin Rouge (last year with Merry Edwards.) Kermit Lynch was represented by the representative for the Southeast whose territory extends as far west as Louisiana.

Two others from Fayetteville were at my table, an emergency room nurse and pharmacist. They work with my neighbor who is an emergency room doctor at Cape Fear Valley Hospital. Others at my table included the Kermit Lynch representative, charming parents of a former Frankie Lemmon student (both work from home for IBM) and an Italian from Rome who is completing an MBA at UNC-Chapel Hill and has a home in Madrid. The others were too far away at the long table for me to get to know. The first course got the evening off to a spectacular start--a extremely flavorful broth with smoked trout, diced potato, creme fraiche, chives and a touch of chorizo. This was paired with a very attractive white wine, the 2009 ANDRE ET MICHEL GUENARD CHIGNIN, VIN DE SAVOIE, from the Jacquere grape (a first for me.) Chignin is the village as I understand it. Delicate, crisp, with apple and floral scents and flavors. Quite smooth. A good food wine that tastes like a cool climate wine (Savoie is the French Alps region.) It is unoaked.

The Kermit Lynch rep explained that most of the wines Mr. Lynch imports are artisan, handmade, small-production lots. The second white was from a producer who makes three whites--only about 600 cases of the one we had, 2008 lA SOUER CADETTE, BOURGOGNE BLANC. It was served with a risotto of escargots, watercress, Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic and parsley, made green by the watercress. Rather garlicky taste but good and creamy. The Bourgogne Blanc was more acidic than the previous wine, and although I like wines with acid, it was maybe a touch too edgy for me. I don't know if another year would soften it. The proprietors of the winery are friends of Raveneau (spelling?) and this is supposedly made in the model of a Raveneau Chablis. It was unoaked and said to age beautifully.

Perhaps my favorite wine of the evening was the next one, 2008 DOMAINE DIOCHON MOULIN-A-VENT VIELLES VIGNES. The grapes are from 50-90 year old vines. We were informed that Moulin-a-Vent has the highest percentage of granite in the soil of any of the Beaujolais Crus and this adds to the minerality expressed by the wine. Beaujolais Cru are usually in the 11.5% to 12.5% range of alcohol by volume. I found a certain note of raspberry liqueur in this wine which was almost opaque in the glass. Nice to savor. Did seem to have some depth and seriousness as well as viscosity due to glycerol. I ordered two bottles to be picked up later. We had the Moulin-a-Vent with a crispy fried egg with frisee, duck crackling, pearl onions, Champignos de Paris and Cantal cheese sitting on a red wine jus.

Kermit Lynch lives part of the year in Bandol, Provence and out next wine was a Bandol, 2008 DOMAINE DE GROS NORE BANDOL. It was paired with braised lamb cheek Provencal with potato puree, roasted garlic, and rosemary-orange gremolata. You could taste the orange zest. We were informed that Bandol wines from Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah sometimes have a "farmy" (barnyard) odor. This example was not the roughest or most barnyardy of the type. The wine was dark and opaque and viscous. It didn't impress me following the Moulin-a-Vent.

Dessert was chocolate mousse--most of us recovered our appetites for the chocolate. It came out with pours of non-vintage DOMAINE LA TOUR VIELLE BANYULS, RESERVA. This is from a region described as the French Catalonia, near the Spanish border and is a fortified wine coming in at about 15-16% alcohol. It is slightly sweet like a Port and did match very well with the chocolate mousse. I orderd a bottle and may save it for a future church wine tasting fundraiser to finish off the evening with Banyuls, chocolate-covered strawberries and other chocolate truffles (I had an amaretto and a Irish cream truffle from The Chocolate Lady, Fayetteville last week and especially liked the Irish cream one.) Domaine La Tour Vielle boasts a husband-and-wife winemaker team. They have Roman terraces on the property which they must constantly repair.

Matt Kelly, chef at Vin Rouge got a hearty round of applause at the conclusion of the dinner.

Today I had lunch at St. Jacques French Cuisine Restaurant in Raleigh and had a glass of Saumur (Chenin Blanc) and a cup of hot tea with lemon to go with blue cheese delicacy (cheese mousse with pastry and side salad) and the quiche of the day which was quiche Lorraine. A group of men were having a wine lunch/wine-tasting in the adjoining room and I felt they should have invited me to join them for a female perspective on the wines, but alas, they didn't.

Tonight I dine at a German restaurant in Durham and tomorrow I hope to visit two Raleigh wineshops to meet winemakers for free tastings. (The tastings are from 1:00 to 3:00 so I hope to be at one at 1:00 and the other by 2:15 or 2:30.)


- winoweenie - 02-04-2011 08:35 PM

You are one busy WOW girl!!!!!!!! Go fer it!!ww


- hotwine - 02-05-2011 12:46 AM

Very nice indeed! Thanks for superb notes!


- TheEngineer - 02-07-2011 04:11 PM

Love the writeup! I love Kermit's picks as they are generally good and inexpensive (expect for his burgs and some CdP that have increased in the last few years). Love his Bandols, his Irogouy, etc. His beaujolais are great too (Foillard).

As for Raveneau, I love his stuff. And yes, there is little new oak in his wines. if this guy is anywhere as good, I'm gonna hafta find it cuz Raveneau is generally a $100+ bottle in these here parts. Had a 2003 MdT lately.


- wondersofwine - 02-08-2011 10:36 AM

I saw your note on the Chablis, Engineer. I am getting set to order some Chablis (including maybe one Raveneau) if they are still in stock. I've dawdled about deciding which ones to purchase and quantities (only one or two bottles each.)