Sunday, December 15, 2013

2011 Laudun Cotes-du-Rhone Villages (blanc)

It's been a pretty "meh" week or so as far as wine is concerned. Decent, yet uninspiring bottles of 2010 Caligiore Bonarda, 2011 Joel Gott Alakai red wine and 2010 Ancient Peaks Renegade left me satisfied yet wanting for more. Which wine finally answered the call and responded to the challenge? A white Cotes-du-Rhone? Seriously? Why, yes!

The 2011 Pierre-Henri Morel Laudun Cotes-du-Rhone Villages (blanc) is a simply stunning blend of 70% Grenache Blanc and 30% Bourboulenc. Rather pale in the glass with brassy highlights. The nose is a complex, never-ending melange of lime, white peach, pear skin and fennel. On the palate, there is more green orchard fruit as well as gardenia and candle wax. No surprise that the acidity here is mouth-watering with an impossibly long, minerally finish. What a treat! And all this for about $15. A tremendous value that deserves another visit with something other than a bowl of chicken soup.

Now it wasn't "just" a bowl of chicken soup. It wasn't from a can or made from a box of chicken stock. A few weeks ago I has to dispatch a half-dozen chickens who had outlived their usefulness. They were from our original flock from nearly 3 years ago and had stopped laying eggs for nearly a month. It's never pleasant to part with animals you have been around for a few years and this was no different. But these were farm animals who were no longer pulling their weight so it was time to cull them from the flock. These older hens make a delicious, rich, sticky stock that you'll never get from a can or box. But unfortunately the meat is very tough and still inedible; even after spending the day in a crock pot. So I ended up with a delicious broth made with onion, carrots and celery but no meat. All was fine until I got to the noodles. I learned an important lesson tonight in that you can't put fresh-dried pasta noodles in a crock pot for 30 minutes and expect good results. The noodles turned the entire concoction gluey and starchy and nearly inedible. Next time I will boil the noodles separately and add them to the finished soup.

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