The diversity of the small plate dinner menu selections provided a tasting pairing experience for three wines with different styles and profiles - roasted beets, three pastas including the special highlight Torteloni with guinea hen and mushrooms, charred Octopus and sweetbreads.
We took BYOB this winemaker signed bottle that we tasted and acquired at a winemaker dinner with owner/producer Delia Viader in Chicago back in 2004.
Our visit to the winery on the lower reaches of Howell Mountain overlooking Napa Valley (shown right) was a highlight of our Napa Valley Wine Experience back in 2008.
Viader Estate Proprietary Red 2002
Appellation: Nape Valley Howell Mountain
Winemaker Notes: Scents and flavors of that classic Howell Mountain terrior sweet currant, black cherry, raspberry and hints of plum and mocha with a long smooth polished finish.
Garnet colored, medium bodied, blackberry and black raspberry fruits accented by spice, hints of black olive, bacon fat and dark mocha chocolate on a pleasant acidic moderate tannin lingering finish.
Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon 51%, Cabernet Franc 49%
RM Rating 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate gave this 91-93 points
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar gave it 90 points
Bodegas El Nido 2015
Frank and Marylisa brought one of their favorite selections, this big bold El Nido.
From Jumilla, Spain, this is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell. This is the premium flagship El Nido label that consistently gets extraordinary ratings (96-100 points) from The Wine Advocate. This is a big bold concentrated fruit forward style that we love - much like a big Shiraz/Syrah; no wonder as this is a project of the Gil family of Jumilla and Australian Chris Ringland (R Wines) as chief winemaker who also makes big bold Aussie Shiraz's.
|Jumilla El Nido - from the 2014 vintage|
This El Nido wine is not for the feint of heart with its 16%+ alcohol and bold forward profile and style. We love this style with bold hearty cheeses or spicy pasta dishes such as some of our selections this evening.
Bright ruby colored, full bodied, powerful, ripe and concentrated yet nicely balanced, forward bright black berry and currant fruits accented by expresso, black pepper, dark mocha, hints of cinnamon clove spices, cigar box and mineral with smooth approachable lingering tannins.
RM 94 points.
This received 95 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Wine Spectator gave it 93 points.
Argiolas Turriga Isola dei Nuraghi IGT 2013
Interesting red blend from Sardinia. I had selected no less than three wines from the wine list shown on the website earlier, but couldn't find them on the actual wine list. I described my preference to the Sommelier and she presented this bottle. Ironically, we tasted this exact label at Italian Village in Chicago last year.
Bright ruby colored, medium full bodied with bright, vibrant, bold and expressive forward sweet cherry and black currant fruits, integrated with notes of earthy spice, herbs and leather, bright acidity but moderately smooth tannins.
RM 89 2013 points.