Thursday, June 18, 2020

Covid Breakout - Engagement Celebration Dinner

Covid Breakout - Dual Engagement Family Celebration Dinner

With son Alec and fiance Vivianna visiting from Manhatten, we met son Sean and his fiance Michelle for dinner at Angelis Italian, our favorite neighborhood trattoria. This  was our first dinner out since the opening restaurants for outdoor dining only in Illinois as the Covid lock-down is relaxed. For Alec and Viv this was their first dinner out since NYC is still shut down.

This was our first time getting together since both Alec and Sean got engaged so it was also a special celebration dinner. Alec and Viv were due to get married next weekend but due to the Covid disruptions, their event has been postponed. Sean and Michelle's is slated for September but the outcome remains to be seen due to the uncertainties of the Illinois handling of the crisis and associated regulations.

For the celebration we took a Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rose Champagne.

Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut Rosé NV

We served this last month at a Bridesmaid's Luncheon for Michelle. 

This got 91 points James Suckling, Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast, and 90 points from John Gilman and earlier from Wine Spectator.

This is a a blend of 53% Pinot Noir, 32% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier.

Rustic orange color, crisp, full-bodied, complex and zesty, lively red currant, red berry and citrus fruits with a good core, fine acidity, crisp texture, chalky minerality and hint of apple, smoke and spice with a long, vibrant finish.

RM 89 points.

For the dinner entree's I took BYOB from our home cellar this Piazza Del Dotto Petit Verdot. Below is from my posting of this label from a BYOB dinner tasting on Linda's birthday earlier this year.

Del Dotto Piazza Napa Valley Petit Verdot 2014

We tasted and acquired this wine as part of  our Del Dotto Piazza DELICACIES Food and Wine Experience Tasting at the winery during our Napa Wine Experience in 2018. 

Readers of these posts know we can be over-indulgent, even obsessive, we have fun with wine. Part of the fun is serving wines with 'V' when dining or tasting with Vivianna. Popular labels are from Venge or Viader for such occasions. Tonight, on a different twist, we served a Petit Verdot. 

This was a big hit for our dinner tonight, everyone loved this wine. 
Of course, Petit Verdot is one of the Bordeaux varietals, appellation authorized for inclusion in the blend. Most often, Petit Verdot is the fourth varietal in the mix, subordinate to the primary Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and the secondary Cabernet Franc.

Petit Verdot is added to a red blend for structure, backbone and colour, to round out, augment and enhance the profile of the blend. Standing alone, without the core Cabernet, and the softening roundness of Merlot, and the hint of tangy spice added by Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot comes across as huge, bold, muscular and forward, perhaps awkward or obtuse and overpowering to some.

Indeed, those are the characteristics we love in a wine and while lacking polish and balance of the harmony of the overall blend, its a wonderful wine with bold and full flavored food such as tonight. I wish I had ordered more and will savor what we have, and miss it when it is gone. I'll be looking to top up our holdings of this label.

Dark blackish garnet colored, full bodied, reasonably balanced, firm forward concentrated black berry and black currant fruits, with notes of licorice, spice and hints of mocha and subtle pepper spice with bold but approachable lingering tannins.

RM 92-93 points.

We also acquired some of the 2015 vintage of this label which I took to a gala tasting of which I blogged about last winter in this posting below.

We also ordered from the wine list a white wine to accompany dinner, a Jordan Sonoma County Chardonnay.

Jordan Sonoma County Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2016

This is a popular widely available label from a long time iconic Sonoma County producer.

The winemaker's notes for this label, "Mirroring the classic elements of a grand cru Chablis, this is a rare expression of Chardonnay that shyly but exquisitely excites the senses. Pretty aromas of citrus blossom and passion fruit spring from the glass. Its elegant palate reveals flavors of lemon, Asian pear and kumquat with a beautiful weight and roundness—all supported by an attractive, crisp backbone of acidity. A lingering finish laced in succulent citrus begs you to take another sip.“

"There’s a beautiful balance to this wine. The opportunity to work with such delicately spiced fruit with such lively acidity was especially fun, offering so many aromas and flavors to employ on our vintage canvas. Similar to 2015, the 2016 Jordan Chardonnay will be remembered as very Chablis-like upon release. Expect this wine to take on more Puligny-Montrachet qualities with another 1-2 years of bottle age.” —Winemaker Rob Davis