We recently enjoyed another fabulous wine and food dinner with our dear friends Mark and Cherie. Mark and I are the oenophiles so between the two of us whoever is hosting plans a lovely evening of intentional wine and food pairings. My husband likes to say he and Cherie are along for the delicious ride. This gathering was hosting by Mark and Cherie and as usual the food was outstanding and paired perfectly with the wine.
We began our evening with some crudités and antipasto paired with a delicious Champagne.
P Lancelot-Royer Cuvee De Reserve R.R.: This Blanc de Blanc had a beautiful golden sparkle in the glass; met the nose with a lively bouquet of orchard fruit and spice. On the palate it was lively, crisp and refreshing with flavors of apples, pears, peaches with a hint of citrus and soft baking spice on the back of the palate. It had well rounded acidity and a lingering finish. Delicious!
When we sat down to dinner our first course was a delicious pumpkin soup with steamed mussels. Mark did his homework in order to find the perfect wine to pair with this course.
Banfi Principessa Gavi de Gavi 2013: This wine was crafted of 100% Cortese. It was so light it was almost clear in the glass yet it met the nose with an inviting bouquet of orchard fruit, citrus and fresh cut herbs. On the palate this refreshing wine was an excellent pairing with our soup and mussels. It offered bright flavors of pears, Granny Smith apples, honeydew melon and white peaches along with a mild lime zest and fresh herbs. Cortese is a white Italian grape from the Piedmont region. It offers bright acidity and lively flavors that are pleasing to the senses. You can purchase this wine at Total Wine for $11.99.
Now for the main course and the featured wines of the night. For dinner Mark prepared a succulent filet that he wrapped in Applewood bacon and grilled; it was tender, juicy and filled with mouth-watering flavor. To accompany the steak he prepared ratatouille and a Wolfgang Puck potato recipe, both were equally yummy!
Walt 2012 La Brisa Sonoma County Pinot Noir: This rich Pinot Noir poured a deep ruby with garnet highlights into the glass. It met the nose with a brooding bouquet of dark fruit and spice. On the palate this full body Pinot Noir delivered full mouth flavors of ripe blackberries, black plums and sautéed red cherries wrapped around nutmeg, cinnamon, cherry cola and a touch of anise and toasted oak. This is what I call a Cabernet Sauvignon lovers Pinot Noir; big, full of concentrated fruit, dark and alluring with round acidity with a lingering finish. It actually paired beautifully with the steak. The La Brisa (meaning the breeze) Pinot Noir was crafted of 100% Pinot Noir grapes from select vineyards in the Russian River Valley: Widdoes, Kozlowski, Martinelli, and Gregori as well as Gap’s Crown vineyard in the Sonoma Coast. It was aged in 40% new French oak, underwent natural yeast fermentation, was unfined and unfiltered. This Pinot Noir contained 14.9% alcohol and will age beautifully for years. It received 90 pts from Wine Spectator and 91 pts from Pinot Report. SRP $40. I encourage you to visit the Walt web site to order this wine, learn more about them and view their entire portfolio of wines. If you love Pinot Noirs that are bold, smooth and full of flavor than you will enjoy this Pinot Noir. I recommend this wine.
From the Hall web site:
WALT is dedicated to the production of premier Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Pacific Coast’s most distinctive vineyard sites, spanning nearly 1000 miles and including Sta. Rita Hills, Sonoma County, Anderson Valley, and the Willamette Valley. Our philosophy is that of precision, non-interventionist winemaking, thereby allowing the wines to naturally and honestly express the character of the site where the wines are grown. Under the artisanship of Director of Winemaking Steve Leveque and Winemaker Megan Gunderson, WALT Wines will continue to evolve and develop. The four sections of the circle, four colors, represent the four appellations from which we source our fruit: Anderson Valley, Sonoma County, Sta. Rita Hills and Willamette Valley.
The second wine we enjoy with dinner also took us through to dessert. I made a chocolate bread pudding with caramel cream sauce and cinnamon chocolate sauce. You can find the recipe to this decadent dessert on my Pinterest page. The dessert paired beautifully with both the Walt Pinot Noir and our next wine.
Kathryn Hall 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: This exquisite wine was quintessential Napa Valley. It poured a deep garnet into the glass and opened with alluring aromas of ripe fruit with hints of candied violets, cassis and smoke. On the palate this smooth drinking, well balanced Cabernet Sauvignon delivered with round flavors of ripe blackberries, black cherries, red plums and raspberries along with black pepper, tobacco, cassis and hints of toasted cedar and vanilla on the back of the palate. The acidity was ripe and the tannins were refined making this a beautiful meditational wine as well as highly food friendly. This was Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at its finest! It was complex, flavor full, yet sophisticated and relaxed. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for 22 months in new French oak, underwent natural yeast fermentation and was cold soaked. This wine received 93 points from Wine Spectator. It will age beautifully for years. SRP $135.00. I encourage you to visit the Hall web site to learn more about the winery, order this wine and view their entire portfolio of wines. This was a beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon and I highly recommend this wine!
From the Hall web site:
In 2005, Craig and Kathryn Hall unveiled a state-of-the-art winery amid the legendary Sacrashe Vineyard in the hills of Rutherford that is dedicated to making single vineyard and limited-production wines. The Halls acquired the historic Bergfeld winery in St. Helena in 2003, and are merging history and innovation with the completion of California’s first winery to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold Certification. (Learn More about HALL Wines LEED Gold Certification). HALL’s estate vineyards encompass more than 500 acres of classic Bordeaux varietals; Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc. As winegrowers, the Halls have a strong respect for the environment and a commitment to cutting-edge vineyard technology to yield the highest quality grapes. Through meticulous attention to detail in the vineyards, HALL wines are able to express the unique and diverse character of Napa Valley’s soils and climate.
My Song Selection: My friends Mark and Cherie are country music fans. My husband and I are not big fans of country music. However, growing up in Texas I certainly recognize the influence country music has on Texas homegrown music! So for this post I am going to honor my friends, my taste in music and Craig and Kathryn Hall’s deep ties to Dallas (I live just a few short miles from Craig Hall’s office park and his beautiful Texas Sculpture Garden) by choosing to pair this wonderful evening of great friends, food and wine with Lookin Out the Window by the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Get your own bottles of all of these delicious wines but especially Walt 2012 La Brisa Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Kathryn Hall 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and let me know what song you would pair with them. Cheers!