Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Father's Day Grilled Steak Wine Dinner

 Early Father's Day Grilled Steak Wine Dinner 

Son Alec and Vivianna will be out of town this weekend so we were invited over for an early Father's Day dinner. 

Alec prepared grilled rib-eye steaks and sweet corn and Viv prepared fabulous sour mashed potatoes. Alec pulled from his cellar a Napa Bordeaux Blend for the occasion. 

To celebrate family events including Alec and Viv returning to Illinois from New York, and Father's Day, I brought an Alec birthyear vintage bottle of Champagne.

Charles Heidsieck Brut Millésimé Champagne 1990

It is a bit frustrating that I have no inventory record of this bottle in my cellar data, especially for a designated birthyear vintage collector's bottle (s). I have no less than six bottles of this label in the cellar and no record of acquiring them, or drinking any either. The bottles are not marked as having come from an auction. This does not happen often but indicates perhaps that my acquisition of these bottles predates my electronic record keeping. Indeed, they are 31 years old! 

Sharing and enjoying this bottle tonight with son Alec, was especially memorable as he was with us when we visited the Champagne wine region in northeast France back in 2006, shown adjacent, and below at Champagne house Moet Chandon.

This vintage release was awarded 97 points from Wine Spectator and 94 points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar. 

The last time I opened an aged vintage bottle of Champagne, it was a magnum of 1976 Moët & Chandon Dom Perignon Champagne. Regretably, the cork of that bottle had failed earlier and the bottle was corked, due to an aged and failing cork. 

Tonight, this was a delightful surprise showing and drinking well, meeting all my expectations for this bottle. I was a bit concerned when upon opening and releasing the cork under pressure, the seeming pressure and resulting 'pop' were less than expected. Never-the-less, as hoped, the foil, cork, label, fill level and resulting wine were all ideal, showing no signs of diminution from aging. 

Amazing, impressive life left in this 31 year old vintage Champagne. 

The color was dark gold colored with intense, complex, dry, finely integrated layers of zesty citrus fruits accented by notes of roasted almonds and paine grille with hints of fresh dough, smoke, and pineapple with a long bright vibrant finish. 

RM 92 points.


With the grilled steak dinner, Alec served this Napa Valley Red Blend. 

Hill Family Red Door Estate Napa Valley Red Wine 2017

This is a special limited release premium label available to Hill Family Diamond Club members that Alec acquired as part of his club allocation. Alec and Vivianna tasted and subsequently acquired this wine during their visit to the Hill Family estate winery and tasting room in downtown Yountville during their fire shortened honeymoon trip to Napa Valley. I wrote about their Hill Family visit and in an earlier blogpost.

This is the Hill Family premium label red blend comprised of Bordeaux, Rhone and Napa varietals from across the Napa Valley. 

It is a blend of  78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot, 3% Petite Sirah and 2% Merlot. 

It is sourced from Hill Family Estate vineyards across the Napa Valley AVA:  Windy Flats, Baker, Apallas, Beau Terroir & Knubis Vineyards.

This label release was awarded 94 Points by Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate.
The winemaker's notes for this label from an earlier vintage release: Winemaker’s Notes, "Red Door is a wine blended to take advantage of our best small lots that work together in the most rich and flavorful way, regardless of variety or appellation.'
"In 2013, Cabernet Sauvignon was once again rich and elegant, with the new Windy Flats vineyard pulling in the intense flavors, and Baker (vineyard) providing the mountain structure. But Apallas, Beau Terroir, and Knubis (vineyards) have wonderful individuality that would be lost in a big blend, so the Red Door can give them a place to show off. “Inky bluish/purple with notes of blueberry liqueur, black raspberry, licorice and incense, this full-bodied opulent wine hits all the sweet spots on the palate, but is dry and full bodied with voluptuous texture, terrific palate presence and complexity.” - Winemaker Alison Doran

Robert Parker's Wine Advocated wrote, “The 2013 Proprietary Red Estate is another big-time winner, tipping the scales at 15.5% alcohol. This is the blockbuster of the entire portfolio and a sensational effort. Yes, it’s the most expensive, but is also the most promising for long-term development of, say 10-12 years. This is a beauty and another top-flight effort. The color is opaque purple and the wine is just explosive in the mouth with its richness.”

This was dark inky purple garnet colored, full bodied, bold, rich concentrated, bright, vibrant, ripe black berry and black raspberry fruits with sweet floral, notes of perfume and a layer of cassis on a lingering tongue puckering tangy acidity silky tannin laced finish. 

RM 93 points. 

A perfect complement to the grilled rib-eye beefsteak and grilled corn.