Rhone wine dinner at Zely & Ritz, Raleigh - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 06-27-2011 02:55 PM

Thomas Morgan, a representative for Kermit Lynch, was present along with a couple local distributors. I had met Thomas at another Kermit Lynch Rhone dinner in February during Triangle Wine Experience (that dinner was at Vin Rouge in Durham.)

We were greeted with a refreshing sparkling Picpoul--LE FUN ET BULLES DE SAINT MARTIN, LANGUEDOC, France, Non-vintage. Picpoul de Pinet. Nice mousse, crisp minerals, stones over yeasty backdrop. Very light on the toast touch. Uses Methode Champenoise. 9.5% alcohol.

Thomas told us that Kermit Lynch imports wines that use natural yeasts, fermentation is somewhat slower and unpredictable.

Nancy Agasi achieved a brilliant pairing for the first course. The wine was 2009 KERMIT LYNCH SUNFLOWER CUVEE (Marsanne, Rousanne, Viognier and Picpoul blend), COTES DU RHONE. The dish was an organic mixed green salad with local peaches, toasted almonds and pan seared shrimp with peach vinaigrette. The peach notes in the wine (along with a suggestion of almond) matched beautifully with the salad. This is a negociant wine. Slightly herbal nose; prominent nose. Silkier on the palate than I was expecting from the nose. Thomas pointed out the beeswax or slight oiliness which I could detect as I sipped it.

The next wine, a 2008 VIEUX TELEGRAPHE CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE BLANC, Rhone Valley, is a favorite with Nancy Agasi and her chef husband Sarig Agasi.
The blend is 40% Rousanne, 40% Grenache Blanc and 20% Clairette. I was not as attracted to this wine as to the presumably less expensive Sunflower Cuvee. The dish for the second course was poached Maine lobster tail with spring onion confit, pea shoots and chervil and was a very good pairing. I loved what the chervil added to the dish.

The third course was a mini-pizza for each diner with Coon Rock Farm sausage, roasted eggplant, Asiago cheese and balsamic drizzle. The pizza was delicious! This was paired with 2009 KERMIT LYNCH CYPRESS CUVEE (Syrah and Grenache blend), COTES DU RHONE ROUGE, the red wine companion to the Sunflower Cuvee. This was one of my favorites of the evening. It had a beautiful nose with dark berries on both nose and palate and a peppery note from the Syrah.

The fourth course was roasted duck breast with creamy red wine risotto and plum sauce--another success for Sarig. The wine pairing was 2008 VIEUX TELEGRAMME CHATEAUNEUF DU PAPE ROUGE, RHONE VALLEY. This wine is made from vines less than 25 years old whereas the Vieux Telegraphe is from vines older than 25 years. This blend was 90% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre but future vintages will be 100% Grenache since the Mourvedre vines are now 25 years old and the Mourvedre will go into the Vieux Telegraphe blend.
This wine was grippy on the back end and had a medium-long finish. We talked some of vintages. With the Vieux Telegraphe the press is mostly for the 2005, 2007 and 2009 vintages but those who prefer a more classical vintage like the 2008 better. I liked the 2007 and purchased six bottles at a charity auction.

We finished the dinner with lavender pound cake with vanilla ice cream and Larry's Beans coffee.

- winoweenie - 06-27-2011 03:43 PM

Tankke berry mucho WOW. I always know I'll at least have one morning where you'll make me happy with your spot on reviews. Love the Vieux Telegraaph as is evident by my postsa and thanks for telling about their baby telly. Wasn't aware that they had a 2nd label. WW B-)

- hotwine - 06-27-2011 11:51 PM

Mighty nice! Am another one who never heard of the 'gramme wine. Distribution may be very small to avoid disrupting the market for the big boy.