Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fantesca Spring Mtn Napa Cab for Anniversary Dinner

Fantesca Spring Mtn Napa Cab for Anniversary Dinner

For our special anniversary dinner, we took BYOB a favorite festive bottle of Fantesca Napa Cabernet. We have numerous fond memories of our visits to the Fantesca Chateau and Vineyards up on the middle slopes of Spring Mountain above St Helena. We've enjoyed the hospitality of proprietors Duane and Susan Hoff and hosted Duane at our home during his one of his early marketing trips to Chicago.

Amazing how time flies ... gets better every day ...
We dined early at Chez Joël Bistro Francais, a favorite bistro in the Little Italy district on Taylor Street in Chicago, near the city campus of UIUC.

Even though the weather was threatening we chose to dine outside in their courtyard next to the soothing sounds of the trickling fountain, one of our favorite dining spots.

Despite warnings from the staff, we continued to dine under the umbrella during a sudden cloudburst and torrent of rain that only lasted a view minutes, while they scurried to clear the rest of the tables.

As mentioned often in these pages, our visits to the spectacular Spring Mountain Estate of Duane and Susan Hoff have been highlights of our Napa wine excursions in 2007 and 2009. We hosted Duane at our home on one of his first release tours when he was traveling the country building the Fantesca brand. Their classic packaging with their etched glass oversize bottles provide a festive bottle for such a gala dinner.

I can be at peace at working down our collection of Fantesca - I just picked up several bottles of newer vintages at the auction recently so I'll have a bottle to replace this one open slot in our cellar rack. 

Fantesca Spring Mtn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

The Fantesca was wonderful, a perfect selection for our intimate occasion, and a perfect complement to the Pate plate and then my New York Strip Steak with roquefort, as well as Linda's Salmon and asparagus entree.

Dark garnet colored, medium-full bodied, a mouthful of sweet red currant, spicy cinnamon, black cherry, black berry, cedar and lively acid with a long sweet spicy oak finish held together by finely integrated firm tannins.

Interestingly as I write this I pulled and compared my tasting notes to an earlier review of this wine when I wrote' "Over a eleven hundred different wines in the cellar and I chose this one for our intimate anniversary dinner ...."

RM 93 points.

Fantesca and New York Strip Roquefort

After the deluge, 'private' dining on the terrace
The wall overlooking the courtyard terrace

Chez Joel Salmon and asparagus entree