Saturday, June 18, 2022

Signorella Hope's Cuvee at Marco's Kitchen

Signorella Hope's Cuvee at Marco's Kitchen La Grange (IL) Dinner

Friday night datenight, we dined at chic Marco's Kitchen in nearby suburban LaGrange (IL). Expecting to order seafood I took BYOB from our cellar a ultra-premium Napa Chardonnay. 

Marco's is a stylish, chic, trendy casual and comfortable dining experience with imaginatively crafted and artfully presented food, a basic but sufficient carefully selected winelist including WBTG offerings, with a reasonable BYOB policy, and professional friendly attentive service. The broad menu offers a selection of seafood dishes as well as duck, lamb, pork and beef entrees, with a range of salads and starter dishes.

We ordered from the menu the Chicken Liver, Shitake Mushroom Cognac Mousse Pate that was delicious, the highlight of the evening for me from our previous dining experience there last winter. To accompany this, I ordered from the WBTG selection (Wines By the Glass) the Böen California Pinot Noir from Joseph Wagner (son of) of Caymus fame, which was an ideal pairing.

Linda loved the Gezpacho with shrimp as her salad course. I ordered the Cous Cous & Orange Arugula Salad with dried mango, cucumber, orange, tomatos and pomegranate ginger vinagrette (above).

For our dinner entree we shared the Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi and Gulf Shrimp with Basmati Rice, Coconut Lime and Basil Broth with Crushed Macademias and blanched asparagus. 

The salad and seafood dishes were perfectly accented, paired with the Signorello Napa Chardonnay.

Signorello Hope's Cuvee Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016

As posted in an earlier blogposts, we discovered and acquired (the then current release vintage of) this wine during our visit to the Estate on Silverado Trail in Southeastern Napa Valley during our Napa Valley Wine Experience in 2013. At that time I wrote about this label: "I am predominantly a red wine drinker and while I enjoy an occasional glass of white, most often with appropriate food, I don't normally get excited about a white wine. This chardonnay was the exception,  memorable and special."

(Former) Signorello Estate overlooking vineyards
and valley floor.

The Signorello winery sits at the very southern end of Napa Valley and has 43 acres of vineyards, including some of the oldest Chardonnay vines in all of Napa Valley - fruit from 37-year-old vines goes into his Hope’s Cuvée.

The magnificent Estate was destroyed in the fires that engulfed much of sections of Sonoma and Napa in 2017. Fires came down the foothills to the property that sat up the hill back from the highway.

The fire reached the winery and completely destroyed the hospitality center that also housed offices, a wine lab and a family residence upstairs. The adjacent  crush pad and stainless steel tanks survived intact along with the barrel cellar and equally if not most importantly, the vines of the adjacent vineyards. 

In the wake of the destruction from Napa Valley’s October 2017 Atlas Peak Fire, Ray Signorello vowed to rebuild. We're relieved to read about the Phoenix of Signorella Estate, rising from the ashes, literally, and being rebuilt, even grander and larger than before. Signorello said he viewed the tragedy as an opportunity to do something new and exciting and is rebuilding with a larger fermentation facility, wine caves and a stunning expanded hospitality center.

The winery has kept almost all of its team employed as an interim step toward returning to normalcy and they have been operating out of a modular building was brought in to serve as a temporary hospitality center.

The adjacent Darioush property nearby the sits at the valley floor closer to the highway and similarly situated properties were untouched.

Signorello "Hope's Cuvée" Napa Valley Chardonnay 2016

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate gave the 2015 release 98 points and said, "The best Chardonnay I have ever tasted from Ray Signorello has to be the 2015 Chardonnay Hope’s Cuvée." Vinous gave it 91 points.

This Hope's Cuvée Chardonnay was full bodied but nicely balanced and polished for very pleasant drinking. It is bursting with flavorful fruit with layers of peach and poached pear giving way to hints of honey, almond, nutmeg, vanilla and creamy soft spicy oak. There is very pleasant full mouth-feel with rich texture on the palate with a long lingering finish of sweet mellow oak.

Golden colored, full bodied, rich and concentrated caramelized citrus, honeysuckle, white peach, pear and melon notes with a touch of almond and brioche.

RM 92 points.