Since the Alaskan Copper River Salmon we found for Father’s Day was out of our budget at $33 pound, we made do with some fresh King salmon, simply prepared and lightly grilled with lemon, olive oil, pepper, and kosher salt.
And it was lovely, served with asparagus and basmati rice, for my husband, son and 90 year old father-in-law. The wine I chose was a 2006 Michel-Schlumberger pinot noir “Le Fou” and for dessert, I made a fresh strawberry and blueberry gallette with vanilla quark and vanilla ice cream which we enjoyed with a Penfold’s port. Yummy!
A little more about the wine: at the end of the 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference, I went with a group to Michel-Schlumberger for a vineyard walk and wine tasting. M-S is located in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma, a region most famous for its zinfandels, but M-S specializes in Bordeaux blends as well as a rhone blend and a small amount of pinot noir–a grape that very few people grow in Dry Creek, hence the name of the wine “Le Fou” or “The Fool.” Very generously, M-S gave us a 50% discount on any wine we chose to purchase that day. I invested in a case, most of which is gone, save a bottle or two of The Fool –since I bought 6 that day! (I think it retails around $30 so we got it for $15).
“Le Fou” grows on a steep slope in the most western portion of Dry Creek Valley, on an eastern facing slope, a spot where the coastal fog creeps in and cools the vines making it possible to grow this “prickly” grape. The alcohol levels are still a bit high for a pinot (14.6% it says on the bottle) but the wine is nicely balanced–it doesn’t come across as too hot.
Be sure to serve this red wine (like all reds) at cellar temp, not room temp. (That means in the low 60s not the 80s!)
What I like most is how complex it is: this pinot noir is not one of those simple one note strawberry pinots; it has a lot of bramble berries–raspberry, certainly, and blackberry, even a hit of blueberry (ok, not a bramble but a bush…) and some solid fresh cherry. There’s a bit of earth but it’s not very “truffley” –it’s actually more minerally. The finish is long and rich. It has nice body but it’s still a pinot, not a pinot passing as a full bodied wine.
What I also like about the Michel-Schlumberger is the care they take of the land: they have sheep, a pond, nesting birds, a “kitchen” garden, bees, and more. While they are not certified anything, they are sustainable by practice and by heart. I am looking forward to visiting the vineyard again this July with my 7 year old son!
I last tasted the 2006 M-S pinot noir in December during the pinot noir tweet up. I brought a bottle to a fundrasier for WEV (Women’s Economic Ventures), a holiday fair where I helped pour wine. This wine was clearly a favorite and I actually had to set the bottle aside to make sure I got some! I also brought this wine to a tasting at Burning Man; there were some amazing wines there and this one held its own. People were pleasantly surprised to discover it was a pinot noir from Dry Creek!
Not surprisingly, the color isn’t as pretty as it was years ago–it’s going a bit coral around the edges–but it is still pretty in pink.
Read on for our 2009 Father’s Day salmon dinner and wine!
via Wine Predator