Under the gun, like Chardonnay capped five and a half atmospheres of pressure, I have been writing furiously to detail my triumphant race to the finish and on the cusp of 2012 I have completed my resolution. Between Chinon and Champagne I cleared the hurdle with two great French wines.

Dinner called for a Chinon—a Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley—to makeover the simple meal I made. The wine was an ambassador, not a king from the Loire because I simply spent my last penny on great Champagne. 2008 Charles Joguet “Cuvée Terroir” Chinon from, whom else but Kermit Lynch. Surprisingly, the wine called for a decanter or at least a careful pour because it kicked a ton of sediment. Despite the coarse sediment the wine balanced fruit and greens on the nose and palate perfectly. It was masculine and paired sensibly with the meat.

Content with second, the Chinon would play supporting role to my toast. I have been enchanted with the wines of Vilmart et Cie and was hell bent on concluding an amazing wine-filled year with an excellent bottle of 2001 Coeur de Cuvée. Although I have not had it yet, I imagine it will provide a special end to the year.

With 2012 I am going to make a couple changes to my wine program, counting up instead of down to alleviate pressure and to surpass the total of 500. I hope to be a little more consistent with posts and not rush to the end of the year by catching up. All things considered… a major first for me to follow through on last year’s resolution! I hope you continue reading and have a healthy New Year.