Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Pouilly-Fuisse, Chiles Valley Cabernet Duo

Jean-Paul Paquet Domaine les Vieux Murs Pouilly-Fuisse, Chiles Valley RustRidge Cabernet Duo Offer High QPR Complement to Business Dinner

Visiting our nation's capital on the eve of important client meetings, we dined with dear friend and alliance partner Jim K at his favorite neighborhood eatery and our regular meeting point, Idylwood Grill and Wine Bar in Falls Church (VA), where we dined regularly together for years.

Tucked away off the sidestreet in a strip mall behind a shopping plaza, Idylwood touts itself as French, Italian and Modern American Cuisine. Not overextended, they do all these very well with attentive service in an comfortable and intimate setting.

Idylwood Grill offers a modest but excellent, imaginative and well selected winelist to accompany the range of menu offerings, with many high QPR, great value selections. The wine list includes 44 white wines and nearly 70 red wines, with selections from California, Oregon and Washington among the U.S. wines, as well as international wines from Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Italy and Spain.

I ordered one of my favorite dishes and it was outstanding, truly delightful in the style that I prefer, Flounder Francaise, Flour-Egg Dipped with Lemon Butter Sautéed. Vegetables and Potatoes. What a treat to have one of my favorite entrees twice in a week, both served my way. Tonight's selection was as good as last week's dinner at Rosebud Steakhouse in Chicago at almost half the price!

Prior to dinner we enjoyed grilled calimari and the avocado salad, both were excellent. 

Idylwood Sautéed Flounder Francaise
From the winelist we ordered this Burgundian Pouilly-Fuisse Chardonnay, a good value high QPR selection.

Jean-Paul Paquet Domaine les Vieux Murs Pouilly-Fuisse 2018

From the Fuissé region in the south of Burgundy is 250-300 metres above sea level, this appellation is often overlooked. This is 100% Chardonnay grown in the limestone and clay soils of the Mâconnais vineyards. The Domaine Les Vieux Murs vines are 30 to 50 year old.

Producer Jean-Paul Paquet is joined by his son Yannick in the family business. Yannick has travelled widely to broaden his knowledge and has earned a great reputation. 

Straw colored, medium bodied, a predominant mineral and citrus character, complex with notes of fruity lemon, apple, tropical fruit, nut, grass, and wet stone, hints of vanilla and smoke, nicely balanced with crisp acidity and good texture.

RM 91 points.


RustRidge Estate Chiles Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

For a red selection, as a regular VIP diner, Jim was offered this special vintage selection that was not on the winelist.

This Cabernet Sauvignon is from the reputable but lesser known Chiles Valley,  just over the hill and to the east of Napa Valley, that as a result of its lower profile, offers good value over its high priced neighbors.

The estate winery sits about 1000 feet above the Napa Valley floor on the eastern side of the divide between Napa and Chiles Valleys. The day time climate is similar to the Oakville and Rutherford areas but the temperature are several degrees cooler at night. The cooler nights and the higher elevation delay bud-break which occurs two to three weeks later than the rest of Napa Valley. As a result, the grapes are harvested later in Napa Valley which, in part, lends distinctive flavor and character to the wines.

The secluded property was once a large thoroughbred horse ranch. Grape vines were planted in the mid 70's to Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.

The property was purchased by the Meyer family in 1972 and the winery was founded by Stan and Grant Meyer in 1985. Their daughter Susan Meyer, Winemaker and her husband, Jim Fresquez, took over the operation in 1990. Helping Susan handcraft the estate-bottled wines produced by RustRidge is distinguished consultant winemaker Kent Rosenblum. The winery is housed in a renovated cattle barn.

Today, Susan and Jim follow their two passions: wine and horses. They produce about 2000 cases of craft wines annually, as well as breed and race thoroughbreds. Each spring; about the time new buds form on the grape vines, new foals are born. 

At thirteen years of age, this vintage release showed deep dark garnet scarlet colored, medium full bodied, concentrated rich blackberry and black cherry fruits. seductive dark chocolate and cola notes, hints of dried sage and black olive tapenade with gripping but ripe tannins are followed by a long and complex lingering finish.

RM 91 points.

This was aged 32 months in 25% New American and French Oak, 474 cases were produced.