Friday, October 10, 2014

Cabs Bistro BYOB Wine & Dine Experience

Cabs Bistro BYOB Wine & Dine Experience

We revisited Cab's Bistro and Wine Bar in tony Glen Ellyn, Illinois, for a wine and dine experience. Ownership has changed since the early founding days when the two Dave's combined their wineshop with the adjoining wine bar and bistro. The wineshop is gone, as is the extensive and imaginative award winning winelist, but a new manifestation of Cabs Bistro and Winebar remains, downtown on Main Street just south of the commuter rail-stop.

Looking forward to a wine and dine experience, we took advantage of the BYOB policy and brought a couple of quality sippers. Bill brought from his cellar a Chateau Giscours Margaux 1998. I brought a rare special Premiere Napa bottling of Ladera Two Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon 2000.

Opening with the salad course including the Spinach Pear Walnut Salad with sliced pear, blue cheese, walnuts, raspberry white wine vinaigrette, we selected this Sonoma County blend from the winelist. 

Gundlach Bundschu Sonoma County Mountain Cuvee 2011

We met and had an enjoyable visit with producer Jeff Bundschu back in February 2005 in Chicago at the Silicon Valley Bank hosted wine producer wine tasting and networking event held at the One North Wacker restaurant.

We stopped in at the winery and vineyard during following Sonoma Valley visits. We need to schedule a tour and tasting on an upcoming Sonoma trip.  

This cuvee is a complex blend of 45% Merlot, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Zinfandel, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Syrah, 3% Petit Verdot, and 2% Malbec, sourced primarily from the estate (72%), but including fruit from other local sources.

Not the least bit subtle and lacking polish, this begs for pairing with expressive food, cheese or dark chocolate. Beth liked this a lot. This was garnet colored, medium-full bodied, bold, forward black cherry, plum, and blackberry fruit with tones of smoke, black tea and hints of anise and subtle mocha on a tangy finish.

RM 88 points.

With our entrees Bill & Beth enjoyed the food and wine pairing that matched the Margaux with the daily special beef bourgnogne with garlic mashed. I had the Seared Maple Leaf Farms Raised Breast of Duck with potato melange, red cabbage and grilled asparagus in a delicious sweet red berry wine sauce that paired perfectly with the Ladera.

Linda enjoyed the Scottish Salmon on wild rice, saying it was as good a Salmon entree as any she remembers.

Afterwards we matched both wines with the creme brulee (on a layer of dark chocolate) and the Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake.

Chateau Giscours Margaux 1998

True to its heritage, the Giscours exhibited classic Bordeaux nuances of floral, subtle earth and leather on a core of black berry fruits - dark inky blackish colored, medium bodied, smooth, polished and complex, turning to a lingering tongue coating powder dry soft silky tannin layer that filled the mouth with a berry-floral tone that lingered for minutes on the finish. No signs of diminution in this sixteen year old.

RM 91 points.

Bill's Cellartracker notes - "Dark inky color. Quite surprising for a 16 year old. Only when side by side with a 2000 Napa Cab did the color difference become evident. Typical Margaux floral nose. Earthy and full of minerals but still surprisingly full of blueberry, plum and cassis. Long, lingering, layered finish that slowly reveals layer after layer."

Ladera Two Mountains Premiere Napa Valley Lot 64 Cabernet Sauvignon 2000

We've been fans of Ladera since the Montana rancher Stotsmayers took over the classic old stone barn winery and vineyards of Chateau Wolter high up on Howell Mountain back around the Milennium. 

Ladera Winery was one of the highlights of our Napa Valley Howell Mountain Appellation Wine Experience 2008. We then hosted them here during their Chicago visit the next summer.

One of my favorite picturesque Napa Valley screensaver photos is this one of the old winery building set amongst the estate gardens. 

This was a select bottle from a barrel sourced from fruits from Howell Mountain and Mt Veeder that went into a special bottling donated to the Napa Valley Premiere charitable auction by Ladera Vineyards and Winery. The fruit from the 2000 vintage was bottled and auctioned in the 2002 auction, Lot 64.

My wine tasting notes were consistent with earlier posting at

This wine was dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, bold, expressive and aromatic with full forward flavors of classic Howell Mountain terroir predominating - black cherry, currant, black berry fruits with a layer of spice, and hints of earth and tea on the finely integrated smooth tannin finish.

Like last week, my preference for the bolder brighter Napa Cab style was favored over the more polished, subdued and civil Bordeaux style.

RM 92 points.