Saturday, April 16, 2022

Smith & Wollensky Chicago lunch w/ WBTG

Smith & Wollensky Chicago lunch w/ WBTG

We hosted niece Becky and Keith for the weekend so we took them into the city (Chicago) for a quick tour, introduction, having never been there before. We love and are proud of our hometown and enjoy taking in and sharing its culture, arts, architecture and attractions. We showed them the magnificent lakefront skyline and various cityscapes. 

We took them for a power lunch in a scenic setting at Smith & Wollensky on the river adjacent numerous iconic buildings and spectacular architecture - Trump Tower, Wrigley Building, Marina City and many more. 

Our dinner featured classic beef and seafood selections and an extensive extraordinary winelist. 

We selected for our lunch entrees the Scallops, BBQ Ribs, Salmon (shown below) and the Grilled Beef burger along with side dishes creamed spinach, whipped potatoes and the asparagus spears. 

For pairing with my entree selection I ordered from the WBTG offering this hearty Napa red.

Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot 2019

Dan and Margaret Duckhorn founded Duckhorn Vineyards in 1976, crafting classic Bordeaux varietals from the Napa Valley since then for 40 years. They have been steadfast producers of high-quality, dependable Merlot ever since.

Duckhorn Vineyards produces a portfolio of top-tier Napa Valley wines, with roots anchored deep in Merlot varietal wines. Since the winery was established in the late 1970’s, Merlot has been a key varietal in the red blends as well as a standalone Merlot based labels. Founder Dan Duckhorn has been a great fan of Merlot since traveling through St. Emilion and Pomerol in Bordeaux where Merlot is the predominant varietal in the blend. 

Duckhorn felt that the varietal known for elegance and soft velvety texture and structure was under-appreciated in North America and was a pioneer in producing Merlot as a standalone or predominant label. 

Duckhorn has been producing Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot since 1978 sourced from estate vineyards in Napa portion of Carneros where they are influenced by the cooling effect of the Pacific Ocean San Pablo Bay. Carneros is ideally suited for growing exceptional Merlot, yielding a wine with beautiful structure, velvety texture and lovely layers of plum and mulberry.  

This 2019 vintage release is composed of 90% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.

Winemaker's Notes - "From its tantalizing aromas of ripe cherry and black plum to its fine-grained tannins and lively complexity, this is a lovely expression of Napa Valley Merlot. On the palate, the flavors are rich and fleshy, with luxurious layers of black currant, red licorice, fig compote, blueberry and crushed rose petal flowing to a long, elegant finish.'
"2019 brought another exceptional vintage to Napa Valley, resulting in wines with alluring polish and poise! The season began with a wet winter followed by a mild spring. While this led to a slightly later-than-normal start to the season, ideal summer weather with no significant heat spikes ensured ideal flavor development, yielding complex and vibrant whites, and refined reds with elegant tannins, enticing aromatics and beautiful fruit flavors."

This was aged 15 months in 100% French oak 40% new, 60% neutral.
This release was awarded 92 points by James Suckling, 90 points by Wine Enthusiast, and 89 points by Wine Spectator. 
This was a delicious ideal complement to my Bar-B-Que ribs. 
Dark garnet colored, full bodied, rich concentrated elegant, nicely integrated and balanced black raspberry, ripe plum and black cherry fruits with notes of dark chocolate, sage and clove spice with toasty oak on silky smooth tongue coating polished tannins on the lingering finish. 
RM 91 points.