Le Champ des Etoiles Pinot Noir


We at having this French Pinot Noir tonight with chicken and dumplings. I made this from scratch but started on the weekend cooking the chicken and then letting the broth cool over night so that I could take off the cooled layer of fat on the top. Very savory!

The wine is very light-bodied with subtle fruit. Although Pinot Noir is not my favorite type of wine, this was a good choice for our chicken and dumplings dinner.

LeGrand Pinot Noir (2008)

Our neighbors, Brad & Michelle, brought us this wine a couple weeks ago when we had a cookout in our back yard. I chose it tonight to go with our dinner of grilled salmon. (Thank you to Jim at Merry Hill Farm, who shared with me his recipe.)

This wine is delicious and it is the perfect choice for our fish dinner. This French Pinot has a black sheep on the label because it claims it doesn’t follow the herd. Obviously not! I find this to be a softer and more succulent Pinot than I am accustomed to with a nose of violets and cherries. The  tannins are smooth and velvety with a finish of fruit and spice.

A nice way to end a beautiful summer day. I ran 10 miles and Tom worked on installing a storm/screen door. I think he had the harder job, today!

Domaine Lalande Pinot Noir (2008)

What a lovely day! I am off work this week and I had a fun day. . .getting my hair cut and doing a little shopping. My big purchase was two skeins of yard and two crochet needles and a beginner crochet book. I have wanted to learn to crochet; I used to knit and always enjoyed it. So, this afternoon I read through the first part of the book and practiced the stitches. Such fun! Very, very relaxing. . .

So, tonight I have chicken in the oven along with a yam and an apple crisp. I also have cauliflower ready to steam. I haven’t decided whether I should also make a salad. . .So, Tom chose this French Pinot Noir for me. I had already poured him a glass of a Cabernet from last night, which finished the bottle.  I like this Pinot very much. This is a light bodied and delicate wine, yet the flavor is complex with fruit and spices. The finish is peppery and dry.

This is a keeper.

Tomorrow morning I am going to drive to my friend’s (who lives an hour away) and we are going to go for a long run. . .after that, we will go out for coffee. . .and then I’ll come home, shower and practice my crochet. Ahhh, life is fun when I am on vacation!

Sockeye Pinot Noir (2008)

We chose this delicious Chilean Pinot Noir for our Thanksgiving dinner feast. That was last night and we had a wonderful dinner. . .but I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t really eat much, so we are having our leftovers tonight. But, back to our Thanksgiving day. We were happy to have my sister and her husband and our son, Tommy and his girlfriend, Amanda, for dinner. For our pre-dinner cocktail hour, we served martinis (for us) and strawberry daiquiris (for the non-martini drinkers). Then, we sat down to dinner of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, sauteed asparagus, baked squash,and buttermilk biscuits. We had pumpkin pie for dessert.

Tonight it is quiet in our home; Trigger is snoozing quietly by my side. I have the leftover turkey, squash and stuffing reheating in the oven. Now I have the time to really savor this wine. Raspberry  nose; the palate is strawberry jam and some floral notes. The finish is long with a bit of tobacco and cherry.

This is a great wine for roast turkey. Tonight I will actually see how the meal tasted last night (when I was too caught up in the happiness of our togetherness to eat).

Cherry Creek Cellars Proprietor’s Reserve

I have been saving (hoarding) this special wine for a long time. The Cherry Creek Montage has been my absolute favorite Michigan wine and I was waiting for a special occasion to open this Proprietor’s Reserve, which we purchased during a wine-tasting expedition to Cherry Creek Cellars. John Burtka, the winemaker, does not disappoint! The wine is complex and acidic with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. The Cabernet contributes color and tannins; the Pinot contributes the soft and velvety feel in the mouth. This is an old-world tasting wine that reminds me of the Italian wines we have enjoyed. This is the opposite of the Australian fruit-forward wine — complex and tantalizing.

It is the close of Memorial Day weekend so that is one reason to celebrate. The other reason is that this is the weekend that Tom & I met (years ago) via being introduced by mutual friends. Who knew that a blind date could be so wonderful? Thank you, Will & Shirley, for getting us together that memorable Memorial Weekend.

Lindemans Bin 99 Pinot Noir (2006)

Lindemans Bin 99 Pinot Noir 2006Tom and TriggerThis Lindemans Bin 99 Pinot Noir 2006 is pleasant, soft, grapy, not tannic. Fruit tastes of berries and cherries. An easy-going quaff.

Here are Tom and Trigger, each leaning on their elbows while listening to Melody during cocktail hour.

Bolla Pinot Noir Provincia Di Pavia (2005)

Bolla Pinot Noir 2005This lovely Bolla Pinot Noir Provincia Di Pavia 2005 is made from grapes from the northern region of Italy. The color is a pale-raspberry red. The nose is anise and peaches. The taste is very fruity with raspberries and cherries. The finish is clean and refreshing but not particularly long.

Tom chose this wine to go with marinated, grilled chicken breasts. We traveled home from Traverse City today. It was a beautiful sunny day in Michigan!

Shady Lane Pinot Noir Leelanau Peninsula (2004)

Shady Lane Pinot Noir 2004We have tasted this Shady Lane Pinot Noir 2004 before and reviewed it on our blog. But, as always, whenever I do a second tasting, I do not look back at my previous comments. Tonight I am roasting a chicken (stuffed with garlic cloves and lemon wedges), so Tom chose this to go with our dinner. Good choice! The nose is a bit like spearmint. The color is pale and the body is light. Interestingly, the taste at first is unassuming and then transforms into a fruity and spicy finish. This will be a lovely accompaniment to our chicken dinner. That is, if I ever take it out of the oven. I am relaxed and contented and not eager to make the final dinner preparations!

Tom: This Shady Lane Pinot Noir 2004 is excellent, delicate, with notes of cherries and berries and a strong, pleasant bouquet. The bright fruit flavors and the light body will be a great pairing with Melody’s roast chicken. Trigger is already noticing the chicken and making plans for later…

Oberon Spätburgunder Rotwein Trocken 2005

Oberon Spätburgurder 2005This Oberon Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) 2005 from Germany has a light-ruby, pale color. I notice black cherries and grass on the nose. This wine is soft and velvety with just a hint of fruity sweetness. I chose this wine to accompany our roast chicken dinner tonight. I think it will be perfect.

Tom: This Oberon Spätburgunder 2005 (rotwein means red wine, trocken means dry) is a very interesting pinot noir: it has a very strong bouquet and taste of cherries, it is ruby in color, medium in body, dry but not tannic. (It comes from the Baden region of southern Germany, which is near the French wine region of Alsace.) This is a fun and different wine and will be excellent with our roast chicken.

Chateau Leelanau 2004 Pinot Noir

Chateau Leelanau Pinot Noir 2004This Chateau Leelanau Pinot Noir 2004 is different than what I am used to tasting. It is not a big, bold, dry red but rather it is oaky, thin and astringent. The color is transculent; the body is light. This is not at all mellow but instead it is sharp, with a bite. Although it is not the wine I am used to drinking, it is quite wonderful! It is the kind of wine that grows on me with each sip. I did not relish the wine on my first taste, but after a few sips, I am growing fond of its complexity and earthiness. Actually, I can almost smell the northern Michigan woods in this wine. I would rate this as very good.

Tom: This wine is unusual compared to many of our recent wines. This is certainly partly due to the fact that we haven’t had many pinots lately. It has a medium body, medium tannicity, and an austere fruit flavor. I tasted it blind, originally guessed it to be one of the mysterious Italians in our collection, then correctly named it as a Michigan pinot. It certainly matches the New Zealand pinot we tried yesterday. An interesting and different wine for us. I would rate this as good.