Wine Cellar Friday - White Cottage, Pride Mountain, Domaine Paul Autard

Tonight was a very successful Wine Cellar Friday!  With two featured wines and a wine released from the lay-down program, we were running up and down the stairs several times throughout the night gathering more bottles.

White Cottage Ranch, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, 2008
We begin with a very classic Sauvignon Blanc nose, composed of citrus and white flower.  A tad sickly-sweet, but not too "cat-like."  The palate has a creamy acid quality, with a rush of citrus, lemongrass, and edible flowers.  The finish is crisp, and leaves a wonderful lemon balm herb presence.

Pride Mountain Vineyards, Merlot, 56% Sonoma Valley, 44% Napa Valley, 2007
A unique situation: the vineyards are split by the county line, so Pride has decided to put both appelations on the bottle.  Elegant spice notes, cocoa, and lush berries on the nose.  The palate is soft with a medium body.  Intense berry fruit and some stone fruit on the front; the mid-palate is refreshing with small notes of brown sugar; the finish is dry and clean.

Domaine Paul Autard, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rhone, 2003
Just released from the cellar, this CDP would be the perfect accompaniment to a wild game dinner, featuring venison, elk, or perhaps duck.  For those who thrive on jammy CDP's, this Domaine is for you.  The nose is at first gamey, with hints of barnyard, molasses and jam.  After a good swirl, more jam is released, and, if you imagine biting into a tart cherry, the moment when you pierce the skin of the fruit with your teeth and you absorb the scent of the "meat" of the cherry... that aroma fills your glass.  The palate is slightly earthy, and you can pick up its mineral qualities.  The taste evolves into a cherry pie filling flavor (I envision my Grandfather's cherry pies), with a hint of leather and a dry, cherry pit aftertaste.  Like I said, a game dinner is in order.


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