Well, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so we’re in store for six more weeks of winter. Even as a child, I felt the annual practice of seeking a rodent’s climatologic predictions was a bit odd. If spring officially begins on March 20, how can we not have six (six and a half, to be exact) more weeks of winter? That said, I really dig the 1993 movie of the same name, maybe ’cause I’m a sucker for a pretty girl with a Southern accent and Saturday Night Live “not ready for primetime players;” and a guy that convinced a major television network to run two seasons of a show about a 30-something man-child paperboy who still lived with his parents. Oh, and Ned “The Head” Ryerson—you sure as heckfire remember him, right? That guy was a hootie-hoot-hoot!
2007 Nicolas Rossignol Bourgogne, Burgundy, France
The Nicolas Rossignol Bourgogne is a Pinot Noir (surprise) from Burgundy. I decided to have this one with a nice lunch, so M.C. came over and we went all “KLG and Hoda” by getting a touch ‘daytime drunk.’ To be fair, M.C. didn’t partake of any wine until he arrived shortly after noon; I however, snuck a little taste when I poured this wine through the Vinturi into the decanter (a few minutes before 11:00). I’m probably not the best influence.
The nose on this wine had some nice dark berry/black cherry notes. Early on, there was a distinct earthiness and very slight cream/vanilla.
The palate gave me some really bitter fruit (cranberry, unripe cherry), firm acid, and a medium, slightly puckery finish. Even an hour into this one, it was a bit bitter.
Being that I’m “full-time fancy,” I paired today’s lunch with pan-seared tuna steaks, a rice medley, and green beans. Definitely a bit fancier than my usual sandwich while watching My Name is Earl (you’ve all seen my tweets on this) but I’m pretty enough to pull it off.
Even though the wine was still coming across as a bit bitter, the Nicolas Rossignol Bourgogne showed very well with the tuna steaks (recipe to follow). The richness of the tuna really softened the bitterness of the wine, which showed some nice, round dark fruit notes with the meal. I really liked this pairing, as did M.C. (who, to be fair, admits to always enjoying a meal someone else cooked for him).
Two and a half hours into this wine, it began to round out a bit more and was much less bitter than it was earlier on. The tannins were still a touch rough around the edges, but oak notes began to emerge, giving a nice ‘bottom end’ to this wine. Overall, I enjoyed this wine, but will admit that the meal and the company made it better (I’ll hear from C-Squared and The Rib on this one).
I’ve recorded a drinking window on this wine through 2013—it will more than make it. If you were to open this one sooner, give it 2 to 3 hours in the decanter before pouring—you’ll be glad you did. I was happy to open this wine, especially with the “full-time fancy” lunch. For about $23 per bottle, the Nicolas Rossignol Bourgogne is a decent value. If you have the foresight to decant this wine for a while (and patience to wait after you pull the cork), it will reward you for your efforts in the glass.
Cheers from the Corkpit,
Pan-Seared Tuna Steaks
(adapted from recipe found here)
2 (4-5 ounce) tuna steaks
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1. Season the steaks with salt and chili powder
2. Melt butter in olive oil in skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cook the peppercorns in the oil and butter until they pop and get a bit soft.
3. Add tuna steaks and cook to desired doneness (depending on the thickness of your steaks; 3-4 minutes per side resulted in a slightly pink center without overcooking the edges)