Friday, March 11, 2022

Blue Eye'd Boy and CDP for Italian Beef Dinner

Blue Eye'd Boy and CDP for Italian Beef Dinner

Son Alec (our blue eye'd boy) came over for Friday night dinner with Vivianna, new mom, and new baby daughter/grand-daughter, Marylin. So, we whimsically opened one of our favorite labels, a signature label for son Alec, Blue Eye'd Boy Syrah from Mollydooker, and a Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This was in remembrance of our visit to the Rhone wine region together. 

This is one of two of what we consider our signature wines for our son Alec, along with Alec's Blend from Napa Lewis Cellars. 

For the get-together, Linda also picked up some artisan Murray's cheeses from the legendary NYC cheese purveyor. Murray's wine and cheese bistro in Greenwich Village was a favorite eatery with Alec when we visited on numerous occasions during the years he and Viv lived in Manhattan. How ironic or fortuitous that Murray's was acquired by the parent of our local grocer/marketer Marianno's and is now available here locally!

With our wine tasting, Linda served two of our favorite Murray's Cheeses, Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog and Murray's Delice de Bourgogne along with her own pimento cheese spread. 

From Murray's Cheese site: "Humboldt Fog is perhaps the most recognizable American original cheese. Handmade at Cypress Grove's Northern California creamery from local goat's milk and lightly aged, Humboldt Fog boasts a fudgy texture and tangy flavor. The creamline develops into unctuous bliss, and the rind is paper-thin and brimming with minerality. You'll know it's the Fog by the characteristic line of ash running through the center"”creamery founder Mary Keehn's nod to the French classic Morbier"” and by its birthday cake-like shape."

From the Murray's Cheese Blog, "Many people commonly mistake the dark line running through and around Humboldt Fog as blue mold. In fact, it is an edible ash made from vegetables. The fresh curd is pressed half-way into a cheesecloth-lined mold and then the powdered ash is sprinkled on top. The molds are filled the rest of the way with curd and then the outside is generously coated with ash before they begin aging.'

"Cypress Grove’s amazing goat cheeses–Humboldt Fog, with its bright white, cakey paste and gorgeous line of gray ash through the middle tops many people’s Favorite Cheese List–and if you haven’t: get to it. Based in Arcata, California, they’ve been making cheese since the early 1980s. With Mary Keehn at the heart of the operation, the company became one of the country’s foremost artisanal cheesemakers."

As seen in Town and Country Magazine December 2012 

We first discovered Delice de Bourgogne at the French Market in Delray Beach Florida. We were delighted to find it available through cheese purveyor, Murray's. 

"Murray's Delice de Bourgogne is a tribute to small scale industrial French cheese-making, a pasteurized triple creme (75% butterfat in dry matter) that marries full-fat cow milk with fresh cream, producing an unapologetically rich, whipped delight. Unlike many straightforward triple-cremes, this one has a thin, pungent mold rind that imparts straw and mushroom aromas, complementing the buttery yellow, sweet cream interior. Makes a dreamy breakfast, lunch or dessert - just add champagne!" 

While Champagne might have been in order, we had already selected the wines to pair with our dinner - some of our favorites, that we enjoy with almost anything, including these artisan cheeses.

Mollydooker Blue Eye'd Boy Syrah 2013

I pulled this from the cellar at Linda's request as it is one of her favorite labels and winestyles, and was especially appropriate with son Alec joining us for dinner as noted above, it is one of our signature wines we collect and enjoy in tribute to him. 

This is one of several labels from this prolific producer that we collect. Producer Mollydooker offer a brand and portfolio of whimsical labels, each featuring a cartoonish character on the label. Even the brand name, Mollydooker, which is Australian lingo for a left-handed person, is a comical play on words, named for the two left handed owner/producers/founders Sarah and Sparky Marquis.  I chronicled Mollydooker brand and portfolio in a recent blogpost

As I wrote in that blogpost, the Mollydooker "Family Series" labels features photos of  Sara Marquis' two children. The 'Blue Eyed Boy' label shows Sarah’s son Luke, shown stomping grapes as a kid, who now heads up the Mollydooker Sales Team.

We love this full-throttle shiraz and collect it as part of our Mollydooker portfolio and as part of our Alec collection of labels we keep on hand to toast son Alec. We served an earlier vintage release of this wine at a graduation celebration for Alec back in his college apartment.

Winemaker Notes for this label release - "The delicious berry fruit and spice flavors of the cooler climate wine from the Joppich Vineyard in Langhorne Creek gives the Blue Eyed Boy its crowd appeal. We blend it with McLaren Vale Shiraz to add intensity, vibrancy and richness. This Shiraz is bursting with generous with amounts of fresh plum and blueberry, accompanied by spice and licorice all sorts. Supple texture and a creamy finish features layers of biscuit cream and espresso coffee. A well weighted wine with a truly elegant finish."

This was awarded 92 points by Wine Spectator.

This is a full throttle powerful high octane Shiraz. If you think that is over the top with the superlatives, try this wine. It's sometimes over the top for my liking and I like big bold style wine. Linda actually likes this style. 

Some Cellartrackers talked about using the Mollydooker Shake on this wine. No wonder the producer introduced the Mollydooker 'shake' where they actually prescribe shaking the bottle before opening to awaken or to settle the fruit! We own and drink a lot of their wine and I have never gotten into the habit of doing so, perhaps tonight we should have!

Reading up on the Mollydooker Shake, it is prescribed only for still red wines of two years of age or less. It is to release the nitrogen in the bottle that they use instead of the normal sulphites commonly used to preserve wines.  Sulphites can cause an allergic asthma type reaction in some people and Mollydooker realise a lot of people are sensitive to them. So, wherever they can, they use nitrogen to protect the wine so that they can reduce the amount of sulphites.

Dark blackish garnet purple colored, full bodied, dense, rich, spicy, concentrated blackberry, blueberry and raspberry fruits accented by notes of tar, leather, tobacco and notes of oak. 

RM 91 points.

I also pulled this Châteauneuf-du-Pape in remembrance of our trip with Alec and Vivianna to the region. 

Domaine Ferrand Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2005

We visited Châteauneuf-du-Pape with Alec and Vivianna during our Rhone Southern France region tour in 2019, so I pulled a blend to accompany our Italian beef dinner. 

At seventeen years, this was likely at the apex of its drinking window and profile, not likely to improve with any further aging, but showing no sign of diminution whatsoever. The fill level, foil, label, and importantly, the cork were all in perfect condition. 

This release was awarded 95 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, and 94 points *Highly Recommended* by Wine Spectator.

Classic Châteauneuf du Pape blend of the GSM requisite grape varietals, 94% Grenache and the remainder Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault.

Dark garnet colored, full bodied, complex, concentrated blackberry and plum fruits with notes of anise, herbs, tobacco, spice, and a bit of graphite anise with moderate tannins on the finish. 

RM 91 points.