Saturday, October 29, 2022

Beau Vigne Proprietary Red BYOB at Herrington Inn Atwaters Restaurant Geneva

Beau Vigne Proprietary Red BYOB and Inniskillin Icewine at Herrington Inn & Spa Atwaters Restaurant Geneva

We met with friends John and Kathy McM for dinner at a mutually convenient halfway point, in Geneva, IL. We dined at Atwaters Restaurant in the chic Herrington Inn & Spa that looks over the scenic Fox River at the bridge in downtown Geneva.

John and Kath are from Scotland and I love the English or Scottish feel of Atwater's elegant intimate dining room, so fitting for the occasion, with its stone fireplace, dark wood beamed ceilings and surround glass windows, and rich warm tapestry high backed chairs.

The only drawback might be the room is a bit tight, full of tables that are minimal in size so to be a bit crowded, yet its is amazingly quiet and still has a cozy intimate feel. 

Atwater crafts farm-to-table American cuisine with a broad selection of three courses of beef, seafood, pork, duck and vegetarian selections, assortment of soups, salads and deserts. Prime steaks are cut in-house and only wild-caught seafood is served. Seasonal menus include locally sourced produce and product when available, and from the chefs garden! All desserts are handmade.

We had the butternut squash and the tomato basil bisque soups - both delicious. 

 We also shared the Atwaters salad (1/2 shown above) with tomato basel soup, which was also delicious. 

For our entree courses, we covered all the bases with the Faroe Island Salmon, the Duck Breast, the Filet of Beef and the Risotto Venison Sausage. All were delectable.

Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast Butternut Squash Puree,
Braised Sweet and Sour Cabbage,
Blood Orange and Sarsaparilla Reduction

I often order Duck Breast when in fine dining restaurants since it is something I won't get at home or at moderate restaurants. Tonight's Braised Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Blood Orange and Sarsaparilla Reduction (shown above) was spectacular, delicious, and perhaps the best Duck sauce accompaniment I've ever had!

Grilled Filet Mignon White Truffle Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes,
Grilled  Asparagus, Green Peppercorn Demi-Glace,
Horseradish Parmesan Crisp

Venison Sausage Risotto with Rapini, Roasted Garlic,
Caramelized Cipollini
Onions, Charred Red Peppers,
Grated Pecorino Romano, Arrabiata Sauce Grilled Baguette

Faroe Island Salmon Plum Glazed with Ginger Kimchi Jasmine Rice,
Cucumber Wakame Salad,
Miso Broth,
Charred Snow Peas, Sweet Chile Reduction

While the winelist was not posted on-line, I was not able to plan ahead our potential selections, so, I brought BYOB a couple of wines to pair with our dinner. The Atwater winelist was largely American, imaginative and extensive, broad and deep and with several choice labels across all the wine groups to pair with every menu selection - sparkling, red, white, aperitif and after-dinner selections, all at reasonable prices - averaging 2x retail price, with several lower for good values. 

Several unique labels that caught my attention were McGaw Scarlett and several labels from the Long Shadows Vintners Collection, Cliff Lede and more.

Executive Chef Kevin Gillespie leads the culinary team with 25 years of culinary experience in the area. He is joined by Sous Chef Gianfranco Aniello who earned a culinary arts degree at local College of DuPage and trained under numerous great chefs.

Our server Val provided excellent, friendly, professional service and graceously served my BYOB wine selection. 

Beau Vigne Reserve Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2013

Beau Vigne, (pronounced bo-veenya), translated from French means beautiful vineyard, is the same wine I received just last week from the producer and I was eager to share it as a perfect accompaniment to our diverse dinner. 

I wrote about this wine and producer in detail the other day upon receipt of this wine. This producer first caught my attention when buddy Bob brought it to our Pour Boys OTBN - "Open-That-Bottle-Night" 2022 in Charleston and I pegged it as WOTN - Wine of the Night, my personal favorite.

Beau Vigne Reserve Proprietary Red Napa Valley 2013

This 2013 is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc. The producer cited it amongst the best wines Beau Vigne had made to date. That says a lot since Robert Parker awarded the 2013 Beau Vigne "Cult" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 96 points in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate. He also awarded the Beau Vigne Reserve Cabernet from this vintage a stellar perfect 100 points.

Parker wrote about that wine: "Profound, with a stunning aromatic display of blue and black fruits, charcoal, graphite, and spring flowers. The wine has a flawless entry and mouthfeel, with a full-bodied density, opulence and an incredible finish of close to a minute."

He also awarded the 2013 Beau Vigne "Cult" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 96 points in Robert Parker's Wine Advocate . That wine too contains the same Cabernet Sauvignon as in this blend. That blend contained 98:2% while this one is 70:30. Parker wrote of that wine: "Similarly styled is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Cult, which is 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. The biggest cuvée of any of these wines, the color is blackish/purple as a moonless night. It offers fabulous fruit and incredible density and richness, with lots of camphor, blackberry and cassis fruit, hints of espresso bean and chocolate as well as some background oak. This is a big, full-throttle, savory style of wine that should age effortlessly for 20-25+ years (RP)."

As a blend of the same fruit as those wines, it has a similar profile. Dark blackish purple colored, full bodied, dense, rich concentrated black fruits accented by a layer of camphor that initially may be a bit unnerving to some, with notes of cassis, expresso and dark bitter mocha with some graphite and oak on the full lingering finish. 

RM 93 points.

After dinner we had the Chocolate Gateaux and I ordered from the winelist a glass of sweet dessert wine. 

Inniskillin Vidal Niagara Peninsula Ontario Icewine 2019

This is a classic authentic Icewine from the Niagara Peninsula appellation which lies on the peninsula formed between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario between Buffalo, NY and Toronto, ON. 

Inniskillin has a storied history putting the Niagara Peninsula Appelation on the map, and bringing global notoriety to their classic Icewines. Winemaker, Karl Kaiser harvested the first Icewine in 1984, from Vidal grapes frozen naturally on the vine at the winery site (Brae Burn Vineyard).

Inniskillin Icewine went on to become “ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT WINES” as featured and coined by the title of a book published in the 1990’s that featured Inniskillin Icewine. The first attempt to make Icewine was actually in 1983 but the birds ate all the grapes from the vines that were not netted for protection.

In 1991, Inniskillin received the most prestigious award in the wine world at Vin Expo, France - the Grand Prix d'Honneur for Karl’s 1989 Vidal Icewine.  This was the major turning point thrusting Inniskillin into the international limelight clearly establishing major credibility as a serious wine producer as well as lifting the profile of Canadian wines at the same time.
Inniskillin produce a portfolio of Icewines from several grape varietals, Vidal, Cabernet Franc and Riesling, in still and sparkling, white and Rose variations. 

Vidal is a hybrid grape varietal, produced from Ugni Blanc and Seibel varietals, that has a thick skin suitable for harvesting late in the season. It is the most popular Icewine grape grown in Ontario. It’s noted for good natural acidity that gives great structure to the lusciousness of its tropical aromas and flavors of mango and lychee.  Inniskillin produces Vidal Icewine in two distinct styles, one without oak aging to highlight the fresh fruit emphasis, and with oak aging for added complexity.

Winemaker Notes - "This popular Inniskillin Icewine boasts a variety of tropical fruit including orange, mango, and lemons. Flavors of peach and apricot are balanced by a fresh, crisp and lively acidity. Pairs beautifully with aged cheddar, peach tart, and baked cheesecake with a peach compote."

This 2019 vintage release was awarded 93 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and 92 points by Wine Enthusiast.
Pearl straw colored, medium full bodied, unctuous, intensely flavored with signature notes of peach, mango and hints of apricots, with classic residual sugar and honey sweetness, and nuances of pineapple and citrus. 
RM 91 points.