Traveling cross-state we stopped enroute in Champaign/Urbana for a fine dining experience at Silvercreek Restaurant. Their website speaks to their Silvercreek Restaurant 'modern American cuisine' - 'quality interpretations of classic dishes using only the freshest ingredients from local farmers, or right from our own garden'. Their on-line menu featured many enticing selections, so we planned our route accordingly and called for reservations.
I then ordered the multi-layered chocolate desert - dark chocolate over chocolate mousse over chocolate cake. This also was a great accompaniment to the Chateauneuf-du-Pape we orderd.
While delicious and a great pairing, it wasn't as moist or fresh as it could be, and begged to be served with au-lait or coffee, which inexplicably and regretably always seems to be served as a follow on course!
Domaine de Beaurenard Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010
As noted above, ordered from 375ml half bottle. I wrote the other day about the imperative of keeping Zinfandel in the cellar for the occasional pairing with BBQ. Another such collection note is to keep Chateauneuf-du-Pape (CDP) for game dishes such as duck, another natural perfect pairing. Duck and CDP are one of my favorite such pairings - the complexity and boldness and forward fruits of CDP with the bold forward flavors of duck and the bright expressive compote accompaniment.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape complexity comes from the fact that it is typically a blend of several grape varietals, as many as thirteen are sanctioned by the Appellation tenants, with bold fruit forward Syrah being one of the more predominant. This Chateauneuf cuvée represents classic terroir and representation from a strong vintage. This is a blend of Grenache (70%) and the rest of equal part Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault.
Dark purple colored, medium full bodied, complex but nicely balanced dark berry and black cherry fruits predominate with a layer of a mix of tones of black olive tapenade, garrigue, tree bark, spice, floral, hints of leather, anise and pepper with nice balance and smooth approachable tannins on the slightly acidic finish.
RM 89 points.
So what is garrigue? According to Dr Vinny of Wine Spectator - "Garrigue refers to the low-growing vegetation on the limestone hills of the Mediterranean coast, not the limestone itself. There are a bunch of bushy, fragrant plants that grow wild there, such as juniper, thyme, rosemary and lavender, and garrigue refers to the sum of them. Think herbes de Provence, or a mix of fresh minty-herbal notes with more pungent, floral fragrances." And of course Provence is the doorway to the Rhone River Valley of which Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the standard bearer premier wine region and style of the southern Rhone.
For desert Linda order the trio of creme-brulee - one of rigorous bold blueberry, one of pronounced orange peel, and one of chocolate. Had we known or internalized the ramekin portion size we would have shared. Regretably, the chocolate selection came with canned spray on creme rather than creme fraiche. Nevertheless they were tasty.