Thursday, April 7, 2016

Vin Chicago Rombauer Wine Dinner at Adelle's Wheaton

Vin Chicago Hosts Rombauer Vineyards Wine Dinner at Adelle's Restaurant, Wheaton

Vin Chicago hosted a wine dinner at Adelle's Restaurant in nearby Wheaton, featuring Napa Valley Rombauer Vineyards' California Wines.

Six Rombauer wines complemented the five dinner courses crafted and presented by Adelle's Chef John Anderson and owner Debbie Fitzgerald Williams. On hand to present Rombauer wines was Clyde Gilbert, Rombauer National Sales Manager and Mike Baker and Kathleen from Vin Chicago, Naperville. Besides being manager of the Naperville store, Mike is also a lead buyer for Vin Chicago and is also an Advanced Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers.

We'll look forward to picking up our Rombauer order, and visiting Adelle's Restaurant again, especially on Corkage Fee free Tuesdays!

The dinner and wine paring flight:

Rombauer Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2015 

 Served with passed canapes, parmesan gougeres, chilled red bliss potatoes, creme fraiche, chives, accented by caviar, and honeydew melon ball skewer. See comments of the tasting course pairing with the Chardonnay below. I wonder if the pairing detracted from the tasting score.

This is the second release of a Rombauer Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Their 2014 inaugural release was their first new nationally-released white wine from Rombauer since they launched their Chardonnay in 1982, and the first new varietal introduced since their Zinfandel in 1990.

They spent five years seeking out top-quality Sauvignon Blanc vineyards across Napa Valley to source the fruit for this label and they kept production low in the 2014 release to ensure they would meet their quality standards. 

Based on the success and response to the initial release, they increased production in this, their second vintage, 2015, to expand into select markets. Still, this Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc remains a limited release wine. This expands the Rombauer portfolio diversity and breadth for more choices in pairing foods with wine. 

Straw colored with a slight greenish hue, light-medium bodied, aromas and flavors of tropical fruits with hints of grapefruit citrus, pear and white nectarine with a subtle tones of what the winemaker calls fresh-cut grass, with somewhat flat acidic layer on the lingering finish.

RM 87 points.  

Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay 2014  

Served as a complement to the seared U12 scallop, vanilla bean butter sauce, and mango-pineapple salsa. In retrospect, we felt the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc would've best been switched, with the bigger fuller Chardonnay being served with the more obtuse forward caviar above, and the Sauvignon Blanc with the more moderate subtle scallop course. In any event, the Chardonnay was one of the highlights of the flight. 

From the 2014 vintage, another ideal growing season with warm, dry conditions that resulted in excellent fruit quality that resulted in wine with rich flavors and a creamy texture for great QPR - quality price ratio in a quality Napa Chardonnay.

Butter colored, medium bodied, pleasant aromas and rich bright flavors of citrus with tones of pear and creamy vanilla, with hints of mango, melon, spice and butter with nice acidity on the tangy finish. 

RM 90 points. 

Rombauer Vineyards Carneros Merlot 2012

Served with seared pork tenderloin medallion, sweet potato mash, and cherry-herb demi-glace. The sweet potato was especially nice against the Merlot.

This Rombauer Vineyards Merlot has been produced since 1983. The Merlot fruit is sourced from Rombauer estate and select partner growers' vineyards in the Carneros region, at the top of San Francisco Bay where the Napa and Sonoma Valleys meet, at the bottom of the Mayacamas Range that separates and helps form the two. 

The Carneros Appellation has a cooler climate, moderated by the gentle breezes and fog that creep in off the bay. The area is more known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay than Bordeaux varietals such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Blends of these wines indicate their profile and relative relative positioning as Merlot is used to soften the firmer tighter Cabernet Sauvignon, while Cabernet is used to provide a bit of backbone and structure to the softer Merlot. Petit Verdot is generally used to provide color and structure to both.

Dark ruby colored, medium bodied, complex, moderate soft tones of black raspberry, plum and cherry fruits with subdued tones of tobacco, floral, oak and spice turning to a smooth polished tannins on the finish. 

Blend of 92% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot, aged 16 months in French oak barrels.

RM 89 points. 

Rombauer Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Served with grilled hangar steak, red peppercorn-shallot maitre d’Hotel butter, oven roasted beets, and herb demi-glace. The peppercorns were a bit much for my preference as I feel they detract from the wine experience. Never-the-less a fine complement to the the flagship Rombauer labels, this Cabernet a consistent achiever with reasonable QPR - quality price ratio for Napa Cabernets.

Representing the ideal 2013 vintage where all boats rise with the tide - a near perfect growing season that should prove to be one of Napa's best in many years. 

Dark garnet colored, medium bodied, complex but nicely balanced, flavorful pleasant drinking black berry, black cherry fruit flavors highlighted by tones of cassis, mocha, vanilla and toasty oak on a smooth tannin finish. 

RM 90 points. 
89 rating from Wine Spectator
Blend of 87.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, 3.5% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Merlot aged seventeen months in 70% new oak.

Rombauer "Diamond Selection" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 

Served side by side the Cabernet with the grilled hangar steak, red peppercorn-shallot maitre d’Hotel butter, oven roasted beets, herb demi-glace.

This Diamond Selection is the Rombauer flagship signature reserve label featuring the select best representation of the finest lots from the harvest. This reserve bottling has been produced since the 1994 vintage, sourced from estate and top grower vineyards from the Stags Leap, Calistoga, Atlas Peak, St. Helena and Howell Mountain appellations (AVAs). 

This showcases the best from the near-perfect 2012 vintage with its long, warm growing season with consistent moderate temperatures that produced high-quality fruit that made for soft, rich wines with well-developed flavors. 

Dark purple garnet colored, medium bodied, elegantly balanced, smooth polished wine, aromas and flavors of black fruits - nicely integrated blackberry, black currant and black cherry fruits accented by subtle tones of mocha, tea, sweet oak and spice turning to smooth polished silky tannins on the lingering finish.
RM 91 points. This was the consensus favorite of our table.
Blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and 6% Petit Verdot, aged 18 months in 100% new French oak.

Rombauer California Zinfandel 2014

Served with el Cotijo Spanish Manchego, Don Juan Drunken Goat, Entrepinares Cured Iberico, house smoked thyme dusted walnuts, and dark fruit compote. A pleasant tasty finish course, but the sweetness of the Zinfandel screamed for dark mocha chocolate! 

As noted above, the ideal 2014 vintage growing season with warm, dry conditions resulted in excellent quality fruits.

Note its called a California Zinfandel, as opposed to Napa Valley or Sonoma or Amador County; that's because rather than being from one or more appellations within one region, this Zinfandel release is a blend from lots from select vineyards from several of the top growing regions known for Zinfandel: El Dorado (39%), Amador (35%), Lake (16%) and Napa (10%) counties. 

Dark purple ruby colored, medium full bodied, full forward complex concentrated black berry bramble fruits - sweet black berry and black raspberry with tones of mocha, anise, vanilla and spice with hints of pepper on the smooth chewy tannin lingering finish.

Right up there with the Chardonnay as one of the highlights of the evening,  it was actually too sweet for the rest of our group, but for me, this was delicious and cries for barbecue or dark chocolate.

I can't believe we've overlooked this label. This, or wine like it, should be a staple in every cellar for such pairing occasions! 

RM 91 points.