Good friends are invaluable. I have a very special group of girl friends. We met in graduate school three years ago. We are all different ages, have different ages of children, and are on varying career journeys; however, the seven of us thoroughly enjoy each other’s company. We meet for lunch regularly and when our busy schedules allow we meet for dinner. We celebrate each other’s successes, cry together during hardships and laugh hysterically often! We call ourselves the HCVs, and that’s all I can say about that. One night recently we came together for a Ladies Night Out to celebrate our friend Marie as she journeys into a new phase of her life. As is typical for us, the evening was centered around friendship, and accompanied by a great spread of food and wine.
As part of my journey to improve both my knowledge and taste buds of French wine, I offered to provide the wine for our evening. Like my first post regarding my summer of French wine, I sought out Michael at Total Wine for guidance on what to serve my dear friends. He has visited the Château de Charmirey winery so he recommended both a red and white from the winery. Which is the red and which is the white? Alas, this is one of the American criticisms of French wine. On the rear labels in the top right corner in very small lettering each bottle was designated as either Blanc or Rouge, other than that the labels were the exact same.
Château de Chamirey 2010 Mercurey Blanc: This soft golden wine met the nose with an alluring aroma of herbs, citrus and wet stone. On the palate it offered flavors of stone fruit, citrus, minerality and herbs. This chardonnay was a well balanced wine, on the dry side with an inviting acidity that I really enjoyed. It paired well with the spread of food we enjoyed: fresh fruit, deviled eggs, smoked turkey, salami, black bean and salsa dip, havarti cheese, dried apricots, marcona almonds and Greek dip made of feta, tomatoes and kalamata olives. The dryness of the wine married beautifully with the fat offered by each one of the foods. This was truly a wine made for food! The grapes for the 2010 Blanc were hand-harvested then pressed in a pneumatic press. Alcoholic fermentation and aging were 15 % made in oak barrels with 10 % of new barrels. Stirring of the lees was made once a week. Malolactic fermentation was 100% fulfilled. However, this chardonnay did not have a heavy oak or buttery flavor that often accompanies new world chardonnays that have undergone malolactic fermentation. The vines were grown in limestone soil, which rounded out the taste with the stone and minerality. SRP is $27.99 at Total Wine, which I felt was a fair price for this medium body, fresh wine.
Château de Chamirey 2010 Mercurey Rouge: This soft ruby pinot noir met the nose with inviting soft scents of strawberries, red currants and earthiness. On the palate this light bodied pinot dances with flavors of strawberries, cherries, red currants, smoke and minerals. This pinot was light and approachable with soft tannins; a wine that’s best enjoyed accompanying food. Just like the chardonnay, the Mercurey Rouge paired well with each of our food selections. As I am learning more about French wine this pinot met closer to my expectation; however, it was definitely not a new world pinot and my friends found it a bit too light. The grapes for the 2010 rouge were harvested by hand then sorted out and totally destemmed. Maceration was made and alcoholic fermentation lasted from 15 to 18 days. The wine was aged 100 % in oak barrels with 30 to 40 % of new barrels. Malolactic fermentation was 100 % made. Each cork was marked with the name of the wine growing estate and the vintage. SRP for this wine was also $27.99; if you enjoy the light nature of a Burgundy pinot this is a wine for you; however, I did not feel it was not as good as the Ropiteau Bourgogne 2011 Pinot Noir, which sells for $17.99, so between the two I recommend the later.
The Domaine of Château de Chamirey, planted in the best terroirs of Mercurey, covers 95 acres of which 38 are located amongst the most renowned Premiers Crus of the appellation. The Domain consists in 37 hectares (27 reds, 10 whites, 15 of which are Premier Cru) reflecting the diverse soils and micro climates found within the Mercury appellation. Château de Chamirey overlooks the village of Chamirey and was built in the 17th century in the heart of Burgundy in the Mercurey. Please visit their web site to learn more about this beautiful winery and the portfolio of wines they produce.
As all wine lovers know, wine is always best when shared with friends; therefore, these wines lived up to their expectation because we ladies had a wonderful night! My life is richer with these wonderful women a part of it.
**Additionally, I would like to give thanks to Lori (@LoriTwistedCork) whose URL did not copy in my last French wine article. I encourage you to follow Lori’s blog (www.loristwistedcork.wordpress.com).
My Song Selection: The song I have selected for this fun evening of food and wine is I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man by Muddy Waters. If you recall from my “About” page my song selections are subjective; sometimes selected to represent the wine, sometimes selected to represent the event or story around the wine. This song was selected organically from our awesome evening of crazy women fun. It is a great song, lots of soul and feeling, like a fine glass of French wine; and that’s about all I can say about that. ;-)
Get your own bottles of Château de Chamirey 2010 Mercurey Blanc and Rouge and let me know what songs you would pair with them. Cheers!