Monday, August 17, 2020

Carnival of Love for Anniversary Dinner

 Mollydooker Carnival of Love Shiraz 2011 for Anniversary Celebration Dinner

We have fun with the whimsical labels of Mollydooker with their cartoonish characters and circus poster themed labels. But, there is nothing whimsical about their big full-throttle Shiraz in their premium label Carnival of Love. We adopted this and the companion Enchanted Path years ago for family celebration dinners. So it was that we pulled this bottle from the cellar to take BYOB to our anniversary dinner. 

My interest in and appreciation for this label has been heightened recently when I learned that one of my protege's who manages the greater ANZ/APAC region for me is a personal friend of Sparky Marquis, founder and previous co-owner of Mollydooker, but since departed.

We dined at the whimsically named Carnivore and the Queen neighborhood fine dining restaurant, dining outside on the lawn due to the Coronavirus rules. 

This created what could have been the tongue twister headliner for this post - Carnival of Love at Carnivore and the Queen during Coronavirus pandemic

As I wrote last winter on an earlier post, Carnivore & The Queen Supper Club is designed after a bygone area of nostalgic dining, a contemporary revival of a classic prohibition-era supper club with a 'casual vibe & approachable classic food'.

Carnivore & The Queen is the work of husband-and-wife team Chris Matus and Kelli Lodico-Matus. It is located down the street from Lisle (Illinois) in adjacent Downers Grove.

They offer daily menus featuring their recipes and the seasons' local ingredients from localvor  farmers, fishmongers & ranchers. They strive to deliver an experience that both their mothers provided, like gathering the family around the dinner table every night. There is a price-fix three course and a five course offering. There is also a menu offering with wine pairings accompaniment.

Linda order the price-fixe dinner with the baked chicken special of the day. I ordered the BBQ ribs with house fingerling wedge potatoes. The five course dinner came with a cerviche' and then their signature relish tray with olives, marinated mushrooms, relishes, radishes, cauliflower and a vegetable spread with dinner crackers. 

We both followed with their wedge salad with blue cheese, maplewood bacon and tomatoes. 

After dinner dessert was their signature home-made key-lime pie, the 'best ever', according to Linda. 

Mollydooker Carnival of Love McLaren Vale South Australia Shiraz 2011

The 100% Shiraz grapes for Carnival of Love are from the Gateway Vineyard in McLaren Vale. It was aged in almost entirely new American oak. 

This release was awarded 94 points by Wine Spectator and 93 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.

Consistent with my earlier tasting notes from 2014, This was dark inky garnet purple colored, full bodied, expressive fragrant floral notes, dense, deep concentrated, complex fruits of sweet black cherry, black raspberry and hints of blueberry fruits accented by creme de cassis, cinnamon and clove spices with a layer of charcoal that detracts from the harmonious desirable fruit and spice notes. The finish is long with crisp acidity and soft silky tannins,

RM 92 points.