Thursday, October 28, 2010

DOMAINE DE LA BECASSONNE COTES DU RHONE 2009


The Pairing

This wine was purchased as a food and wine pairing experiment.  It started at the recent Artisanal L.A. show in downtown Los Angeles.  Max Lesser, owner of Morning Glory Confections, asked Denise and I to come up with a pairing involving his New Mexico Chili and Pumpkin Seed Brittle.  I had the idea of pairing it with a Roussanne because I felt the grape’s natural funkiness was a good match for the offbeat brittle ingredients.  Denise thought some goat cheese would form an unbeatable triple play.

A fortunate mistake had me pick up herb goat cheese instead of plain, but Denise felt it worked even better than she had imagined.  The mouthful of brittle, herb goat cheese and a Roussanne blend was nothing short of fantastic.  Max liked it, too.

The Roussanne blend is produced by Andre Brunel, a Châteuneuf-du-Pape producer, but these grapes are from the Côtes-du-Rhône - 50% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc and 20% Clairette.  It has 13% abv and carries a price tag of $17.  The grapes are grown in the clay and limestone soil on the Rhône Valley, and the wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation.

It’s a pale yellow wine, with a nose showing a banana-meets-guava tropicality, some minerals and spices along with a vanilla note.  Full and round on the palate, the taste offers a savory tartness or zestiness of citrus, a ripping acidity - a must if you’re pairing with candy - and a lemon-lime finish with an underlying nutty flavor way in the back.

By the way, the wine also paired quite nicely with another purchase from Artisanal L.A. - the Welsh Cakes from The Welsh Baker!  They call them "Not quite a cookie, not quite a scone," and that seems a reasonably good description.  Welsh Cakes and wine make a pretty good little snack.