Friday, May 18, 2007

Clos du Bois: civilized passion reserved in a bottle

Publix Aprons Chef preparing Spanish Lamb Ragout

Erik Olsen/Clos du Bois (center) and the Southern Wine & Spirits team

I've experienced a diverse drama of wine tastings and I've found the wine tasting in itself is just as pliable as the diversity of the region the wine hails from.

More of the enlightened tastings have been our day trips in the Napa and Sonoma County regions. We recently had a surprising visit to the wineries in the Finger Lakes region in New York a summer ago. There were precisely two cabs in that region that beckoned the beginnings to a foreboding competitive edge against the notable California Cabernet Sauvignon (perhaps minus the marketing budget).

Last night's wine tasting presented by Clos du Bois and Publix Aprons was rateably a civilized, passionate yet a precisely intelligent wine tasting that I've experienced since living in Jacksonville.

At this time, I'm not going to discuss other experiences in town in fear it might taint this post.

Erik Olsen the Winemaker for Clos du Bois presented his case just as approachable as the vintages itself developed at the winery. His presentation was a delicate balance that highlighted the basic horticulture of the vines, definition of soil types, ways of discerning the pairing wines with food, as well as the phases of seasonality of vintages and the final tasting itself.

There were four tastings presented:

2004 Clos du Bois Sauvignon Blanc

2006 Clos du Bois Riesling

2003 Clos du Bois Briar Crest Cabernet Sauvignon

Cockburns 10 year old Tawny Port

I asked the winemaker what the standout vintages were in the past ten years at the winery; thus mentioned:

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (Briar Crest as noted above) - VERY GOOD: produced from a cool growing season and warmer towards the tail end

2004 Cabernet Sauvignon and the Merlot are great - the season was warmer than usual

2005 Cabernet Suavignon

2006 Merlot had a great year - the best season ever seen

Also in attendance: Southern Wine & Spirits. A quite exuberant representation of SWS and I only hope they continue to bring the same caliber of wine tastings to the area to match Jacksonville's growth of those in wine adoration demographics.

(c) 2007 photo credit Melt Into Arts Inc.