When #1 son Ryan invited us over for a gourmet dinner if I'd bring the wine, the deal was done. The menu selection was endive and radish salad in lemon dill dressing, scallops in a beet and parsnip purée with crispy bacon, filets of beef with balsamic and rosemary, potato and carrot mash, finishing with bananas foster.
I pulled from the cellar the following wine flight to accompany the dinner courses: Robert Craig Durell Vineyard Sonoma Valley Chardonnay 2005, Viader Proprietary Red Wine 1996, Chateau La Rose Lussac-St Emilion Bordeaux 1982, and to finish, Linden Cellars Late Harvest Vidal 2005.
Robert Craig Durell Vineyard Sonoma Valley Chardonnay 2005
We tasted and obtained this wine at one of several visits over the last decade at the winery up on Howell Mountain during our Napa Valley Wine Experience 2008, and later acquired an additional case at auction.
RM 89 points.
Viader Napa Valley Proprietary Red 1996
Delia Viader at a tasting hosted by Binny's Chicago Lakeview back in 2005, and visited the property on lower Howell Mountain in 2008. Our collection of Viader dates back to the 1990 vintage so it was with interest to see how this vintage has held up over the years to calibrate the lifespan of the other vintages. In the style of many Viader releases, this is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon and 41% Cabernet Franc.
While sited on Howell Mountain, since Viader sits below 1200 feet elevation, their wines carry the Napa Valley rather than Howell Mountain Appellation. This is because the fog rise up to but sits below that level and thereby affects the micro-climate and growing conditions of the grapes - characteristics that help make up what is known as terroir.
RM 90 points.
Chateau La Rose Lussac-St Emilion Bordeaux 1982
Having low expectations, we weren't disappointed since it was drinakable despite lacking any redeeming characteristics. Brownish garnet in color, medium bodied, remnants of berry and black cherry fruit flavors hid beneath the layer of smoky creosote, tar, wet wood and leather with moderate lingering tannins. It was a tasting adventure in perserverance on the agabilty of Bordeaux wines suitable for a tasting experience but not as an accompaniment to food or standalone as a drink. It wasn't flawed, rather passed its suitable drinking window. Surprisingly, it was still approachable.
RM 81 points.
Linden Vineyards Vidal Late Harvest 2005
Linden Vineyards. At a visit to the vineyards and winery, we discovered impressive well crafted wines including this late harvest Vidal dessert wine which we tasted in the winery cellar with owner/winemaker Jim Law.
Light butter colored, full bodied thick tongue coating almost syrupy, sweet - subtle aromas of dried apricot, lychee, and hint of mango - flavors of tangy persimmon, lychee, hint of apricot.
RM 91 points.
|Ryan's scallops in a beet and parsnip purée with crispy bacon|