Autumn always reminds me of childhood, but in a very colourful and aromated way. As my parents used to make their own - red - wine, starting with September, the whole family was involved in various stages of preparing the grapes to become the delicious drink that we were not - yet - allowed to taste. Wine, as that drink so highly praised in our household, was surrounded by so much mystery. Given us to taste only the early stage of fermentation, it made the adults so expectant and excited while impatiently waiting to have the first sip of the new selection.
Times have changed, we sold the house with the vineyard and abandoned the old country, but wine remains a constant of my life. Always curious to try new tastes and often judgmental about the quality, I rarely have a week without having my classical (preferably) red wine glass on a Friday evening.
However, I never got into wine reviews. One of the reason might be that because, like in the case of water, wine represents such a big part of me that I got used with it and I rarely mention it, because it's so obvious it is and always was there. Until today, when the wine I had was so good that I couldn't stop sharing my impressions. Writing (hopefully more and regularly) wine reviews is also part of a better connection with my own family and personal memories.
Let's the wine show begin!
My companion for the evening was Chateneuf Rouge, a 2015 sweet red kosher (produced under Jewish supervision) wine, part of the Herzog Selection.
Sold in a 750 ml. bottle, it has a 13% alcohol and is both kosher for Pesach and mevushal (which means the wine was boiled). It is a Bordeaux, with grapes with a relatively high level of tannin and a dark fruits and berry flavor. According to the specifications from the bottle, it combines Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignong and Merlot from the French South Western vineyards which 'allows the youthful character of sweet red wine to develop the complexity of the wines from this well known area'.
Although I usually love red wines served at the room temperature, in this case I had it chilly, and it surprisingly outlined the fruity flavors. A semi-dry wines it has a sweet fruity finish, with a complex bouquet which makes it an easy match for spicy chicken - as I had yesterday evening - lamb but also lavish chocolate desserts. Generally, it offers a good balance to heavy meals.
It might be light at the first sip, but actually is strong and with a very well defined personality. After so many sweet - way too sweet wined - during the last month of Jewish holidays, the moderate sweetness and the berry fruits flavors of the Chateneuf Rouge 2015 made a noteworthy positive difference. You can use it for the Friday evening kiddush - prayer over wine - but also as a regular wine during the week meals. It is elegant, yet strong and unforgettable. It lets you know little by little, but once you are coming to terms together, it's hard to abandon it and you would love to have it in your bar for a long time. For me, it will also be remembered as the subject of my first ever wine review. And hopefully not the last one.