Sunday, February 6, 2011

Coopers Hawk - Wine and Dine

Okay its not really a winery by many standards - Coopers Hawk Winery and Restaurant buy grapes or they buy grape juice from producers and then put it in bottles with their own label. All are non vintage selections. They serve a purpose educating many about wine - witnessed by the crowds in their popular eateries and wine bars. They provide a broad wine list all at reasonable modest prices with an extensive menu. For those (of us) that may be more discriminating and wish to bring our own wine to enjoy with their food - they are graciously accommodating and inviting with reasonable corkage fees. So you can have it both ways. We selected Coopers Hawk at Burr Ridge Village Center as it's a favorite of our kids who live nearby. They're also CH Wine Club members, and, for their Wine Cellar private dining room that provided a fabulous atmosphere for our gala family and friends multi, three birthday party celebration. Good food, good wine  - some our own BYOB - great selection of both at fair prices, decent service. They serve over forty different wines of all styles and varietals. They offer five different wine flights - for each type, and a Design Your Own Flight. Whats not to like? 

Coopers Hawk Petit Syrah - definitely consensus favorite of the group (of the Coopers Hawk selections) - great value at $26/bottle. RM 88 points - Medium-full bodied, dark inky color; flavors of black berry, black raspberry fruits - slight mocha and spicy oak - hint of cedar and earthiness on a smooth moderate tannin finish.

Coopers Hawk Shiraz - medium bodied - red and dark berry fruits, hint of sweet mocha. $26/bottle. RM 86 points.

Coopers Hawk Cabernet Sauvignon - The only selection they offer in large formats - all the way up to a nine liter Salmanazar (great fun for a special occasion - $219). Medium-full bodied - black cherry and black berry fruits, turning to subtle tone of vanilla on the lingering moderate tannin finish. $26/bottle. RM 85 points.

Coopers Hawk Merlot - Medium body - black cherry, spice and hint of cedar - a slightly tart edge detracts from the fruit - with a lingering modest tannin finish.  $25/bottle. RM 84 points.

Liparita Napa Valley Howell Mountain Merlot 1995 - BYOB from our cellar in magnum. Great benchmark wine against which to compare the CH wines - it was definitely a stand-out. Dark color - medium-full bodied - black cherry, black berry fruits still holding for this fifteen year old - perhaps aided by larger format magnum, tones of cedar, spicy oak, subtle leather and earth - moderate smooth well integrated tannins on a lingering finish. $66 at Dean & Deluca in Napa (upon release) RM 89 points.  

Not pictured/taken by Will C.