Tuesday, September 6, 2011

SANCERRE AND VIOGNIER AT CALIFORNIA CANTEEN


Sancerre

We stopped in - between events on a recent Saturday afternoon - to the California Canteen.  Despite the inference of the name, this place offers a taste of Europe on Cahuenga Boulevard, just up from the Hollywood Bowl.  It's been there since 1999, which is a long time in Los Angeles restaurant years.

Yannick and Jean-Yves were busy preparing for the evening's business, but took time out to provide us with an entertaining stay.  Their comments on the restaurant business, wine and the Salton Sea don't seem all that memorable now, but we certainly enjoyed chatting over our refreshments.

It's hard to believe that with 15 clocks on the wall over the bar one could still lose track of time, but the clocks aren't functional.  They are all set to the same time - a quarter to four - but their hands remain motionless.  A mix of Parisian and bullfight art decorate the other walls.

We enjoyed two wines: Pierre Prieur et Fils Domaine de Saint Pierre Sancerre 2009 andPreignes Le Vieux Viognier 2009.

ViognierThe Sancerre is a pretty golden-green hue in the glass.  It's made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc and shows its Loire Valley terroir with a mineral-laden nose and an herbal component that's like a fistful of string beans.  Big and full in the mouth, it's very dry with a nice acidity.  Lemon rind and white grapefruit dominate the fruit profile, while wet rocks linger on the finish.  It's a great match with the mussels and curry sauce.

The Viognier - pale yellow in color - shows honeysuckle and sweet peaches on the nose with a full, creamy mouthfeel.  Flavors of melon and orange peel are delicious.  The grapes are grown in the Languedoc region of France on the Mediterranean coast.


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