Marinus is nestled into one of the many vineyards that spangle Carmel Valley, so it’s not surprising that wine – with its power to enhance the enjoyment of a meal – and food play co-starring roles. The Wine Cellar has been honored with Wine Spectator’s Grand Award since 2001 and offers wines from around the world, including the front yard. There are endless opportunities to compare and contrast; making the experience of wine tasting so dynamic. The team at Marinus Restaurant recently tasted through these classic wine comparisons.
Champagne verses Sparkling Wine
MV Champagne Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs Cuvée de Réserve
Champagne Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs Cuvée de Réserve is a crisp and vibrant sparkler sourced from Grand Cru Chardonnay fruit from the Côte des Blancs. A fine bead provides excellent texture and persistence. A tight mineral undertone in the wine, rare for Champagne, sets it apart from the mass-produced wines of the region.
2008 Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Noirs North Coast
Bridging the gap between their famous Blanc de Blancs and Rosé, the Blanc de Noirs is sophisticated and elegant. A light salmon hue provided by the Pinot Noir grape that this wine is based on just glows in the glass. Bright citrus flavors are backed by high toned acidity, with wilted rose petal permeating the tasting experience. Barrel fermentation provides a sense of maturity, richness and depth.
Austrian verses German Riesling
2009 Weingut Bründlmayer – Riesling, Zöbinger Heiligenstein, Kamptal, Austria
Austrian Rieslings are mostly dry, unless stated otherwise on the bottle. This version is definitely dry, with crisp acidity and taut fruit. Aromas of peach, tangerine and wet river stones leap from the glass. Those aromas translate to the palate as well, with tart peaches and saline minerality stretching out on the finish. So mouthwatering… this wine just begs for another sip!
2006 Weingut Josef Leitz – Riesling Auslese, Rüdesheimer Klosterlay, Rheingau, Germany
German Riesling at the Auslese level can be considered dessert wine when young, though is fantastic with savory items like cheese when mature. This wine is still very youthful, featuring sweet citrus fruits, honey, and mineral tones all draped on a lush texture. Bright acidity keeps everything in balance, providing a crisp and clean finish. Very complex today, but given time, will be truly special down the road (10 years).
3 vintages of California Pinot Noir, Bernardus Winery
While California doesn’t suffer the “vintage dilemma” that Europe does, that doesn’t mean a vineyard in California isn’t suspect to whatever mother nature brings to the table. Located at the entrance to Bernardus Lodge, Ingrid’s Vineyard is less than 12 mile away from the Pacific Ocean, giving it a decidedly marine influence.
2010 Vintage – A long cool vintage produced a more compact Pinot Noir. Deep color belies a wine of fresh black cherry, subtle earth and a balance towards elegance. As this vineyard matures, the wines show much more aging potential.
2009 Vintage – A vintage of sunshine and warm temperatures produced a wine of prodigious strength. Again, dark color marks the wine, though this follows the track with deep dark berry aromas, saturated mouth feel and structured tannins. It is a wine for the cellar, but for the short term.
2008 Vintage – The year of forest fires, though smoke taint was less of a problem at this location. Black cherries, present again, though on a finer and more delicate scale. The wine is starting to hits its stride now, with the benefit of a few years in the bottle. The earthier components of this red are starting to take center stage over fruit and oak influences.