Thursday, December 1, 2016

November 30, 2016 Lunch - Nellie's. Dinner - Turkey and Oyster Dressing with Gravy

November 30, 2016 Lunch – Nellie’s in Las Cruces.  Dinner – Turkey with Oyster Dressing and Gravy

Today was a good day.  I slept well in the Queen sized bed at Motel 6.  I awoke at 6:50, showered, dressed and ate ½ of a bagel with lox heated in the microwave provided in the room and drove to court.  I arrived at 9:00 and found out that the hearing was scheduled for 9:30, so Sammie Singh and I went back out to the parking lot and loaded a 40 lb. bag of Pecans into my car.

We had hearings from 9:30 to noon and broke for lunch.  I suggested we go to Nellies, which is among the top five rated restaurants in Las Cruces.  I love their Chile Rellenos, although today the effect of the soft fried batter coating was diminished by putting the green chili sauce on top of the chile rellenos.  As I recall the last time I ordered Chile Rellenos at Nellie’s the Chile Rellenos were laid on a puddle of green Chile, so the soft fried egg batter was still toothsome. Today there was evidence that Nellie’s is a top restaurant.  After the meal the waitress asked if everything was okay and I told her my concern about the Rellenos being covered with Stacie and she said, “You can ask for them to be fried a little more.
I asked, “Or have the sauce on the side.”

To which, she answered, “Of Course, on the side.”

A great restaurant can and will make it right; whatever your preference may be.

We went back to court at 1:30 and I made my presentation on the .Motion to Strike Scott’s participation in SSI 107 adjudicating whether any pre-federal water rights survived the initiation of the federal project, which I ended with the  quote by Aldous Huxley that Bill Turner recently sent me, “Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored.”

I got a chuckle from Judge Wechsler.  Thank you Bill.

At 3:00 the hearing ended and I drove home at 3:30 after getting gas and made it in three hours, thanks to the Mini.

Suzette arrived as I was unloading the car.  We unscrewed the hoses because it was going to freeze and then we discussed dinner.  I suggested we could go out, but Suzette said, “What about a Turkey Sandwich?”

I loved the idea and in no time at all, she has warmed two plates of turkey and oyster dressing covered with gravy.  I opened a bottle of Naked Grape Pinot Noir that someone has given us.  I did not like it because it had a fairly high percentage of some other red grapes like merlot that gave it a heavy unpleasant taste to me.  I prefer the lighter colored, unadulterated taste of 100% Pinot Noir, but Suzette liked the wine, so I let her finish my glass of wine.

After dinner I drank a cup of chai and ate two chocolate chip cookies and inspected the two lovely shrimp molds Suzette has made for Thursday night’ soirée with the Palmers and Rembes and read the new New Yorker and went to bed around 9:30.

Soon Suzette came to bed also.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 29, 2016 Lunch – Turkey Dinner, Dinner – Panda Buffet in Las Cruces

November 29, 2016 Lunch – Turkey Dinner,  Dinner – Panda Buffet in Las Cruces

I ate yogurt, granola, blueberries, vitamin powder, and milk for breakfast.  Today I let the milk sit with the yogurt until the yogurt enzymes eat the lactose and turn it into a light yogurt, which I find interesting.  It takes about ten minutes usually with a good yogurt.

I worked and packed up some food and my suitcase until 11:30. Then I filled a plate with PPI turkey, wild rice and fruit dressing, sweet potatoes with red chili marshmallows, corn flan and a scoop of gravy and heated that in the microwave using the sensor reheat function, which I like very much, because it works well.  I enjoyed yet another Thanksgiving turkey dinner with ½ glass of Clos du Bois Sauvignon Blanc.

At 12:11 I left for Las Cruces in the Mini Cooper an arrived at Scott’s house at Radium Springs in less than 3 hours, which is a new record for me.  The sand under the RR trestle in the roadway to the Radium Springs Hotel where Scott lives was deep, so I drove the last fifteen miles into Las Cruces to the Motel 6, where Sammie had reserved me a room.

I rested and read until 5:30 and called Scott, who drove to town to take me to dinner.

Today proves that there is good food everywhere there are capable cooks who care about what they serve and use the freshest ingredients.

I offer as an example Panda Buffet in Las Cruces.  Don’t let the name fool you, this a small family run restaurant that features fresh interesting Chinese food cooked with fresh good quality ingredients.

There are about thirty hot items and about 15 cold items and four ice creams and four soups, so a rather wide selection of items.

Lunch is $6.69 and dinner is $8.69 and for that you get a really fine selection of items.  Among the items I saw or tried were twice cooked pork with vegetables, Orange chicken with fresh orange peel and orange juice in the sauce, baked fish, baked mussels (green lip mussels coated with a congealed cream sauce and a dash of paprika that was out of this world delicious), my favorite - sautéed mung bean sprouts with mushrooms and a few chopped vegetables, an interesting stir fried battered pork with mushrooms, beef and broccoli, dry fried shrimp, coconut shrimp, and many other dishes.  I avoided the spicy dishes after getting blown away by the spiciness of the ladle of Hot and sour soup I added to the bowl of wonton soup.  I ate as much as I could and then, when Scott looked at me askance as he brought bowls of ice cream and pudding to the table for his dessert, I tried those desserts also.  The chocolate and vanilla puddings were the typical Sysco large batch institutional pudding with their preservatives and ersatz flavorings, but the ice creams In five gallon boxes in a freezer unit were wonderful.  There was chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and green tea.  I tried all but vanilla and loved them all.

I ate too much but enjoyed Panda Buffet tremendously, especially for the price, and consider it one of the best food values in any city.

Scott is an enthusiastic Trump supporter, perhaps because he is poor and sees that the system is rigged against poor people, but after Scott told me about some of his medical difficulties due to lack of proper medical care I realized that there was not much Trump was going to be able to do to fix a broken medical system and felt even worse for the poor who can not get good medical care.

My fondest hope would be for Trump to make one of his first infrastructure projects, building a new water treatment system for Flint, Michigan, one of the states that gave him his victory and arguably is in greater need of a drinking water system than any other city in America.

I wonder if America has the will to fix the broken systems we now are saddled with, such as the healthcare system, the infrastructure system, and our political system and whether Trump is the man to successfully address those challenges.

We shall soon see.

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 28, 2016 Lunch – PPI Shrimp Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup, Dinner – Sautéed Scallops with Chard, tomatoes, garlic, onion, Mung bean sprouts, PPI lasagna noodles, sorrel, and baby bok

November 28, 2016 Lunch – PPI Shrimp Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup,  Dinner – Sautéed Scallops with Chard, tomatoes, garlic, onion, Mung bean sprouts, PPI lasagna noodles, sorrel, and baby bok

I ate yogurt, blueberries, vitamin powder, milk, and granola for breakfast.

For lunch I heated the PPI Shrimp and fish ball Pho flavored Miso soup containing wakame threads, soft tofu, white miso, chard, fish balls, shrimp, onion, and three types of noodles ( Japanese wheat Somen, bean thread, and Chinese wheat noodles).

I thawed out the six sea scallops I had bought at Sprouts last week after lunch.

At 6:00 I refreshed the guacamole with one finely diced clove of garlic, the juice of one lime, a dash of Cholulu and salt plus parts of the last four avocados.  I ate a bit of the reconstituted guacamole with organic corn chips from Costco.

Suzette called to say she was going out with the girls for dinner and would be home around 8:00.  I told her I had thawed the scallops.  She said she would eat lightly and eat some dinner when she came home.

At 7:00 I went to the garden and picked a handful of chard and de-stemmed it and cut it into bite-sized pieces. I then separated two stalks of baby bok choy into the heavy white portion and green leafy sections.  I then sliced and diced 1/8 of an onion, about ¼ cup of fresh parsley,  and sliced two cloves of garlic into thin rounds and diced one Roma tomato.

 I began cooking by adding the onion, garlic, and bok choy’s white portion to a large skillet with 1 T. of butter and 1 T. of olive oil.  I sautéed these ingredients and added the tomato and partially thawed scallops with their liquid  to the skillet and continued to sauté.  I asked Suzette to heat the puréed sorrel and added two spoonfuls of it to the skillet and then added the chard, parsley, and green leafy portions of the bok choy.  The mixture was a little dry so we added some white wine to loosen the sauce.

Finally I added ½ cup of mung bean sprouts and 1 1/2 cup of chopped up PPI lasagna noodles from last week and covered the skillet with the wok cover so the mixture would steam and heat thoroughly.  In three to five minutes more the mixture looked heated and cooked and I served it.

While I was cooking, Suzette had opened the bottle of Clos du Bois Sauvignon Blanc the Cynthia and Ricardo had brought last night and poured glasses of it.  That was the wine I added to the scallop mixture to make the sauce.

Dinner was not very elegant looking but tasted pleasant, with all of its green leafiness.

We drank glasses of the Clos du Bois Sauvignon Blanc with dinner.  It was very clean tasting with good minerality/tannins.  Thanks to Cynthia and Ricardo for such a nice bottle of wine.

The idea behind the menu was to prepare a light meal that would feature the Sauvignon Blanc with the scallops with an assortment of leafy green vegetables and I think I succeeded in that regard.

The Roadshow and baking show were not on TV tonight, so we went to bed at 9:30.

Bon Appetit

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 27, 2016 Brunch – Bacon, Asparagus, tomato, mushroom, cheese, onion, and avocado Omelet, Lunch – Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup Dinner – a Second Thanksgiving Dinner with Cynthia and Ricardo

November 27, 2016 Brunch – Bacon, Asparagus, tomato, mushroom, cheese, onion, and avocado Omelet, Lunch – Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup  Dinner – a Second Thanksgiving Dinner with Cynthia and Ricardo

We slept until almost 8:00, I then watched news shows until 10:00.  Suzette did not want any bread so I decided to make a sort of BLT omelet by substituting asparagus for the lettuce.  I fried four slices of thick cut bacon from a Costco covered with a wok cover which reduced the oxygen and I diced ¼ onion, four or five stalks of asparagus, two large portobello mushrooms.  Suzette handed me the last tomato from the garden, which I diced and I sliced 7 or 8 slices of Comte’ cheese.

I whisked 4 eggs and drained the cooked bacon and crumbled it with a knife.

I then sautéed the onion and asparagus for a couple of minutes and added the mushroom slices and finally the tomato, bacon, and a diced avocado.

After the ingredients had cooked for a few minutes to make sure they were soft, I added the egg and the slices of cheese and cooked the entire mixture until the edges stiffened and I was able to turn ½ onto the other half.  I let the omelet cook another couple of minutes until all of the egg had congealed and cut it in half and served it.

Suzette had made a Bloody Mary and I flavored a glass of Clamato with the juice of a lime.

At 11:00 I went to El Super to buy roasting bags in which to cook the 17 lb. turkey I had bought at Albertson’s last week for $.79/lb. if you bought at least $25.00 of other goods.  My other goods had been 4 rib steaks that weighted 4.5 lb. and were on sale for $6.77/lb. plus a carton of Java Chip ice cream for $3.49.

At El Super today I went a little wild in the produce department and bought a pineapple (2lb./$.99), a papaya ($.99/lb.), 3 altaulfo mangoes for 2 for $.89, 5 naval oranges at 2 lb. for $.99, broccoli crowns at $.59/lb., three red onions for $.50/lb., a bunch of green onions for $.33,  a cucumber for $.25, 5 nice tomatoes for 2 lb. for $.99.

I then went to the deli department and bought a lb. of Mexican salted Crema for $1.99/lb. and ½ lb. of Oaxacan string cheese for $2.99/lb.  Finally, I went to the fish department and bought 1.3 lb. of 71 to 90 count shrimp for $4.27/lb.

After I returned home and put up the groceries we discussed how to bake the turkey.  We decided at 15 minutes per lb. it would take 4 ½ hours.  While I was shopping Suzette had removed the giblets from the turkey and was cooking them in water and some sage leaves to make turkey broth.  She had also made a wild rice dressing with the three cups of wild rice we cooked last night, plus onion, rehydrated dried cranberrIes and cherries and some chopped sage leaves.

Suzette had put the turkey into a large roasting pan. We stuffed the dressing into the back and stomach cavities and trussed those areas closed with trussing needles and string.  Then Suzette put a handful of flour into the bag and shuck it to coat the bag and we slid the turkey  into the bag and sealed the bag with the provided plastic clasp, poked a few holes in the bag to let it breath, and put the roasting pan into the oven around 1:00.

Everything else was made last week, so I cooked a lb. of the shrimp I had bought at El Super for the shrimp mold for next Thursday’s dinner party with the Palmers and Rembes. I put ¼ onion diced and a cube of pho seasoning into the pot of water in which I cooked the shrimp to give them a little flavor.  After the shrimp were cooked left a few shrimp in the pot of water and added a handful of chard leaves I had de-stemmed and cut into bite sized pieces plus a small handful of sliced wakame seaweed, a large T. of white miso, two fish balls, a large sliced portobello mushroom, three kinds of noodles, and about 3 oz. of diced soft tofu (Sprouts for $.99 for a 14 oz. chunk in a plastic carton filled with water).  I had also picked some basil leaves and five or six chives, so I chopped two of the green onions and the chives and added the basil leaves for garnish and ate a bowl of soup at around 2:30 and the lay down for a nap.

Suzette came and awakened me from my afternoon nap at 4:30 and we went to the basement to select wines.  She selected a Benton Lane 100% Pinot Noir Rose and suggested a White Burgundy, so I selected a 2012 Wellington Winery’s Roussanne, that is a Rhone varietal but raised in Sonoma.  This particular bottling won the Gold medal at the Sonoma Harvest Fair, so it was a lovely bottle of wine great minerality and character with good tannins.  Everyone loved the Benton Lane Rose and Ricardo decided to buy a case of it in the 30% off sale on Monday.

Cynthia arrived at 5:30 with her cranberry chutney, carrots, mashed potatoes and turnips, and three kinds of pie plus a bottle of Clos de Bois Sauvignon Blanc.  We had chilled a bottle of Gruet Brut and Suzette fetched the Cassis liquor from the basement and I made Kir Royals for us.  Soon Ricardo arrived and I made him one also. Then Willy arrived to join the feast, but drank water with a slice of lemon.

Here is some info on cassis: Cassis fruit is the French name given to the black currant berry. It is a member of the genus ribes and its taxonomic classification is ribes nigrum. There are approximately 150 shrub species in the genus ribes that consists of the two groups currants and gooseberries.

I then looked up the difference between cherries and berries.  Although cherries and berries are both considered fleshy fruits, cherries are drupes, which are a type of fruit that contain a single seed in the center surrounded by a hard core. Berries are a type of fruit on which the seed (or seeds) are located on the outside flesh ( I think, kiwi fruit).

Suzette had checked the turkey and it had not quite reached an internal temperature of 180 degrees so we cooked about ten minutes more until the small thermocouple in the turkey popped out and it had reached 180 degrees.  We removed the turkey to a cutting board and removed the wild rice dressing and I carved the turkey while Suzette made gravy in the roasting pan using all the cooking juices.

We heated the vegetable and dressings that were not already hot, like Suzette’s sweet potato casserole with red chili marshmallows, corn flan, and oyster and pecan dressing and Cynthia’s carrots, and mashed potatoes and turnips and carrots.  We laid the table with all the stuff and I poured the Benton Lane Rose’ and we enjoyed our second Thanksgiving feast and Cynthia and Ricardo enjoyed their third.

After we drank the Rose I asked Cynthia what she wanted to try next and she said, “the white Burgundy, so I opened the Wellington Roussanne and poured it.  Everyone loved it also.  I was proud for our Cellar.

After dinner and a lot more conversation, mostly about death, because Cynthia had recently visited a friend from the Outpost who was dying of brain cancer, Cynthia made whipped cream and sliced slices of pumpkin pie and pecan pie and we ate them with fresh whipped cream.  We forgot to put water on the table but this crowd usually prefers wine.

Willy and Ricardo left at around 7:30, because they have to go to work early and soon Cynthia followed soon thereafter.  Suzette and I watched the Poldack series of Masterpiece theater and went to bed at 9:30.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, November 27, 2016

November 26, 2016 Breakfast and Lunch – Bagels with Lax, red onion, cream cheese, and tomato. Dinner – The Cellar

November 26, 2016 Breakfast and Lunch – Bagels with Lax, red onion, cream cheese, and tomato. Dinner – The Cellar

We had bought a dozen Einstein bagels at Costco earlier this week. For breakfast I sliced into thirds and toasted  three bagels.  I then smeared them with cream cheese, and layered them with slices of gravad lax, red onion, and tomato and studded them with capers.  We could only eat three of the six open faced sandwiches at breakfast.  I worked and Suzette went to Joann’s Fabrics to find a pattern for a kimono and where she found that patterns are now available on line and are cheaper on line. Her reaction when she got home at noon was, “I could have stayed home with a cup of coffee and found the pattern more easily and cheaply.”  God bless the internet.

After lunch I rode to Montano and back and showered.  At 4:00 we went to the art museum and listened to a man play piano and saw the Mabel Dodge Lujan exhibit again.  This exhibit is so extensive and so encyclopedic that it requires several viewings to see and absorb its full breath.  This time I just looked at the art and did not read the labels, but read some of the gallery signs I had missed the first time and discovered that Mabel Dodge Lujan was the Vice President of the artists organization that organized the 1913 Armory Show and she and Tony Lujan organized the 20 pueblos to oppose the Bursum Bill that would have destroyed the reservation system in 1922 and in 1940, she and Tony were part of the American delegation to the first International Conference on Indigenous people in Patzcuaro, Mexico.   Also Mabel wrote four books and published many periodicals, including the first book ever written on the artists of Taos in 1947. As Suzette said after today’s visit to the show, “All our lives pale in comparison to Mabel Dodge Lujan’s.”

At 5:00 we drove to the Cellar, which is the relatively new tapas restaurant located next to Lowe’s grocery store on Lomas at 11th.

We ordered a bottle of the house red, which is Campo Viejo Tempranillo for $28.00 and a tapa of figs, goat cheese, and fried pancetta.  Willy joined us after we ordered and had just received the tapa.  Bread slices were also served with two small bowls, one filled with a balsamic reduction and olive oil and the other a fiery hot green chili aioli.  We the ordered three more tapas, a bruschetta of goat cheese, a tomato slice and lots of strips of fried Serrano ham, chicken skewers wrapped with Serrano ham accompanied by sautéed blanched chunks of zucchini and crock neck squash, and a lamb dish combining sautéed chunks of lamb and a grilled slice of onion in a lemon sauce. Each of the tapas was $12.00 or $13.00 and the total bill with tax was $79.00 before tip.

We finished dinner at 6:30 and then drove to the Hotel Andaluz bar and had a drink and listened to Hillary Smith and her brother play mostly blues, many of which were duets.  We really enjoyed the lazy, calming blues standards instead of the high powered Honey House presentations for a change.

At 8:30 we went home and cooked the wild rice for the turkey stuffing for tomorrow’s dinner.

I stayed up until 12:00 to make sure the wild rice was fully cooked.  The recipe calls for 3 to 1 of water to wild rice and it took three hours to full absorb the water and for the kernels of wild rice to burst open and curl into their fully cooked shape.

Bon Appetit

Saturday, November 26, 2016

November 25, 2016 Lunch - PPI Lasagna. Dinner - Carrot Soup garnished with Sorrel and Pomegranate Juice and Caesar Salad

November 25, 2016. Lunch – PPP Lasagna Dinner – Cream of Carrot Soup garnished with Pomegranate Juice and Sorrel Juice and Cesar Salad

We rested until about 8:30 trying to synchronize pictures from my phone into the iPad and inserting photos into the blog, which is still a challenge for Suzette.  I am clueless and rely on her expertise.

I had a 9:00 appointment with Al that ended a bit after 11:00.  Suzette had been working making pillows in her basement sewing space.  We were both hungry, so we decided to heat up the PPI lasagna and eat it with the PPI Waldorf Salad Amy had sent us home with from Thanksgiving yesterday.

We then adjusted the plastic over the small section in the old garden where the basil and chard are planted and looked under the plastic covering the two newly planted raised beds.  We were surprised to see how well the sorrel we planted in May was doing and picked two large handfuls.

Suzette worked in her sewing area and I rested until she awakened me at 3:00.  I rode to Rio Bravo and back from 3:30 to 4:30 and at 5:00 discovered that the markets had been open today and my portfolio had benefited from the extension of the Trump Bump. My portfolio is now up 11% for the year and a little over 9% from the beginning of 2015.  2015 was a down year.  We watched news until 7:00 and decided to prepare the thawed carrot soup.  Suzette decided to dress it up with a drizzle of pomegranate and sorrel juice, so she puréed the sorrel, heat the soup and drizzled zigzag lines of pomegranate and sorrel juice over the top of the carrot soup for a lovely presentation and interesting flavor combination.

While Suzette was preparing the soup, I prepared a Cesar salad, using the slightly damaged old romaine lettuce,  2 tomatoes diced, 1/3 of a cucumber and an avocado sliced and diced and five or six anchovies fillets plus about ½ cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese.  I even found a few old croutons in the cheese compartment that I heated up.

We enjoyed the soup tremendously.  Suzette had created a new wonderful dish out of a PPI. I rejuvenated the Cesar Salad dressing by adding fresh lemon juice and Spanish olive oil and dressed and tossed  the salad.

I drank the last of the2010 Nessa Albariño that was past its prime and tasting more like sherry than Albariño.  Suzette opened the bottle of 2013 Hatfield Creek Estate Zinfandel from the Ramona Valley AVA in Ramona, CA given to us by Karen, Suzette's niece by marriage.  Suzette noted the Hatfield Creek had the high tannin characteristic of 100% California Zinfandels.

After dinner I made a batch of chocolate chocolate chip cookies with raisins and chopped pecans in addition to Nestles chocolate chips by adding Cocoa to the dry ingredients, which makes a drier denser dough that rises better.

I scorched the first batch of cookies, so Suzette read the manual and we changed the oven setting to convection bake, which was recommended for cookies and reduced the temperature 25degrees, as recommended, to 325 degrees and the rest of the cookies turned out beautifully.

We watched the documentary “Sour Grapes” about the first person to be tried and convicted for selling fake wine.  It was a fascinating look at the fine wine auction business and the guys who collect and drink fine wine, usually from $6,000 to $100,000 per bottle.  Bill Koch was in the movie because he did most of the initial research and he showed three bottles from the 1780’s and that had been in Thomas Jefferson’s cellar that he paid $100,000 each for.

I like wine and I collect some wine to drink, but I definitely do not pay much for it, nor do I collect or drink the great Burgundies and Bordeaux’s like the guys in the movie.  The other interesting person in the movie was the French Burgundy wine maker Ponsot, who went on a personal crusade with Bill Koch to expose the wine faker.  The wine faker, Ken, ended up being convicted and is now serving ten years in federal prison.

We ate a few cookies and I drank some tea and we went to bed around 10:30.

Bon Appetit

Friday, November 25, 2016

November 24, 2016 Thanksgiving Dinner at Amy and Vahl’s

November 24, 2016 Thanksgiving Dinner at Amy and Vahl’s

 Amy and Suzette worked out the menu for our Traditional Thanksgiving Family Dinner with little input from others because little input was needed.  There was an agreed division of labor; Suzette and I would make Chef John’s Corn Pudding, oyster and pecan dressing, sweet potatoes with melted red chili marshmallows, an Italian Cloud cake with a vanilla pouring custard and pomegranate glaze, while Amy and Vahl agreed to roast the turkey and make cranberry compote, cornbread dressing, a Waldorf salad with romaine lettuce, diced apples and pear and walnuts with a poppy seed dressing prepared by Harry’ Road House and a store bought Key Lime Pie.

I brought three bottles of wine, a 2009 Londer Corby  Vineyards Chardonnay, a 2009 Londer Corby Vineyards Pinot Noir, and a Gruet Brut champagne to be drunk with the Cloud Cake.

My only input was a request for oyster and pecan dressing which is one of my childhood favorites.

Valley loves key lime pie and he made the cranberry compote with a family recipe. He also is the master at cooking turkey, which is why we decided to eat our dinner at their house in Santa Fe.  Vahl has a very easy and successful prep for turkey.  He encases the turkey and the rack on which it sits inside brown paper bags, the kind they put groceries in at the supermarket that he has greased with butter or oil to keep the turkey skin and drippings from sticking to and bakes the turkey for 15 minutes per pound at 350 degrees.

November 24, 2016 Thanksgiving Dinner at Amy and Vahl’s

Other than that it was all Amy and Suzette’s prep and cooking with some help from me and Vahl.

The Londer Chardonnay was really lovely, clean and fruity without much oak flavor.  I drank mine cold and others, closer to cool room temperature.  The Pinot Noir was also incredibly clean tasting but lacked that lingering Pinot Noir after taste at the back of the throat that the great French Burgundies have.  A small shortcoming when one is using it to wash down large amounts of food, but less than an optimum drinking experience.  I recall the description by Rick Davis, who was Londer’s winemaker about how they came up with Londer’s famous Parabol Pinot.  He said they had two wonderful Pinots, one with a very lovely fruit forward flavor and another with almost no fruit forward flavor but with a powerful finish, so they mixed them until they had a wine with both a fruit forward flavor and a powerful finish.  I bet that the Corby Vineyards Pinot was the fruit forward part of that equation .

Perhaps that is how the French vintners make their great burgundies.

Most wineries buy most of their grapes from growers, so they are able to buy grapes from many different locales raised in many different ways.

Here is an article that describes this relationship between growers and wine makers in Oregon’s Pinot Noir country:

Bon Appetit