Sunday, May 27, 2012

Steak Night Red Wine Flight

Steak Night Flight ranges from Right Bank Bordeaux to Napa Valley and Mountain to Central Coast

For a summer late night grilled steak dinner poolside with Mark and Shirley, we selected a flight of wines starting with floral elegance of a right bank Bordeaux St Emilion Grand Cru Classe, a classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon followed by a big bold Napa Howell Mountain mountain fruit Petite Sirah, and closing with a bold spicy Central California Cabernet Franc.

Antipasta featured Shirley's bruschetta with prosciutto, pancetta, and roasted red peppers (below), artisan cheeses with fresh bread and fruits. The main dinner course featured Allen Brothers aged steaks, sweet corn on the cob, baked potatoes and grilled asparagus. 

Shirley prepared a fruit compote with fresh whipped cream for desert.

The wines:

  • Château Larmande St Emilion Bordeaux Grand Cru Classe 2005 
  • Oakville Ranch Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
  • Opolo Paso Robles Cabernet Franc 2005
  • Outpost "The Other" Howell Mountain Petite Sirah 2005

 Château Larmande St Emilion Bordeaux Grand Cru Classe 2005

Château Larmande produces about 9000 cases per year and is known for consistent quality and generally a good value. The estate is planted predominantly in Merlot covering 60% of the vineyard, with 30% Cabernet Franc and just 5% Cabernet Sauvignon making up the balance. The 2005 vintage was above average and produced a wine that is already approachable but should last another ten to fifteen years. Bottles are recognizable by the unique lavender colored foil

Medium bodied, full aromas of floral perfume, moderately complex flavors of red berry and plum fruits accented by subtle spice and hints of cherry-cranberry, nice texture and smooth moderate tannins round out the finish.

RM 90 points.

Oakville Ranch Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Heaven on earth - the garden at TraVigne
We first discovered this wine during our Napa Wine Experiences in the mid-nineties, sitting out in the garden of TraVinge (left) in St Helena, selecting bottles from the Cantina wine shop on the premises. We have a half dozen of Oakville Ranch Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon vintages from that era through to this one. This is our first tasting of the '04 release.

Oakville Ranch located is located above the Silverado Trail up on the eastern slope overlooking Napa Valley.

The Oakville Ranch property was purchased in 1989 by Bob and Mary Miner. The 350-acre ranch is planted in 55 acres of vineyards of Chardonnay and Bordeaux varietals − Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. The vines have been small vineyards and managed to produce small yields of few bunches per maximize the quality of the fruit to be derived from the shallow red volcanic soil on the rocky mountain slopes.

The 2004 Oakville Ranch Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Estate's vineyards - 100% Oakville Ranch: 84% Vista, 9% Terrace and 7% Plateau blocks.

The juice was aged 18 months in 100% french oak barrels, 67% new.

725 cases, plus 8 cases of magnums were produced

The wine is medium to full bodied, dark ruby in color. Aromas of floral, red raspberry and cherry fruits give way to soft oak. Dense full flavors of blackberry, black cherry, black raspberry fruits are accented by tones of spice, cassis and soft sweet oak and a hint of black pepper on a long lingering silky tannin finish. 

RM 90 points.

Outpost "The Other" Howell Mountain Petite Sirah 2005

We discovered Outpost wines when we visited their mountaintop vineyards high atop Howell Mountain 2,200 feet above upper Napa Valley, beyond the town of Angwin, across from Lamborn and midway up the dead end road to Robert Craig's mountaintop winery. The volcanic, rocky red soil, high altitude, gentle cooling breezes and sunny western exposure produce fruit of incredible complexity and richness. Outpost creates world-class Zinfandel, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah from their hand-cultivated, organically farmed 42 acre estate vineyards. The Other is named for this 'second' or 'Other' label, made  from Petite Sirah "H" clone grown on Outpost Wines' Howell Mountain estate.

Big, bold, full bodied, dark inky purple with a garnet colored rim, a nose of mineral, this wine packs dense concentrated sweet fruit of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry with hints of mineral, dark chocolate and nuances of molasses.Bright acidity is brought into focus with fine-grained tannins and a hint of toasty oak on the lingering finish.

100% Petite Sirah, estate grown, 50% new French oak barrels, 50% 1 year-old French oak barrels.

RM 90 points.

Opolo Paso Robles Cabernet Franc 2005

Still work in progress - stay tuned.... 

Shirley's Bruschetta