Saturday, July 1, 2023

Pour Boys Impromptu Wine Dinner on the Desk

Pour Boys Impromptu Wine Dinner on the deck features top flight Napa Cabernets and medley of reds and whites

We hosted a short notice impromptu wine dinner with Pour Boys Dan and Lyle Saturday evening on the deck. Linda prepared grilled New York Strip beefsteaks with stuffed mushrooms, toasted cheese bread, mashed potatoes, gezpacho soup and tomato and burrata salad.

Following our recent gala Pour Boys Winers and Diners Cityscape wine dinner where Cos d' Estournel was one of the WOTN - Wines of the Night, I was eager to try this aged vintage Cos our cellar, but held it for a special occasion such as tonight when I could share it with fellow oenophiles. 

Similarly, I recently acquired this 100 point Alvaviva Concho y' Toro Chilean red wine, the Chilean property of the legendary first growth Bordeaux producer Baron Phillip Rothschild, that I was eager to try and share. 

Lyle brought from his cellar a premium Beringer Private Reserve Napa Cabernet so I matched it with a David Arthur from the same vintage, 2008. I also opened this aged vintage Cos that I was eager to try following the WOTN (Wine of the Night) showing of this label at Terry and Lyle's gala Pour Boys dinner recently.

Dan brought from his cellar a vintage premium Aussie Shiraz, Clarendon Hills Clarendon Piggot Range so I pulled a near age label, Montes Folly. 

For a starter, prior to dinner and with the chilled gezpacho soup and a tomato, burata balsamic salad course, we opened a casual easy sipper Napa Valley Rutherford appellation Sauvignon Blanc. 

And, to close the evening with the grilled peaches on angel food cake and fresh chocolate brownie desserts, I opened another Beringer label, Nightingale Sauterne blend style dessert wine. 

The flight:

  • Long Meadow Ranch Napa Valley Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc 2018
  • Beringer Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
  • David Arthur Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
  • Chateau Cos d' Estournel St Estephe Bordeaux 1979
  • Clarendon Hills Clarendon Piggot Range Shiraz 2011
  • Montes Folly Shiraz 2010
  • Baron Phillip Rothschild Alvaviva Concho y' Toro Chile 2017
  • Beringer Nightingale Botrytized Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2004


Long Meadow Ranch Napa Valley Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc 2018 

Beringer Private Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

This is the flagship Cabernet from one of the most storied producers in Napa Valley. Beringer dates back 1868, when Jacob Beringer, emigrated from Germany, and settled in Napa Valley 1869 where the rocky hillside soil and fertile valley floor resembled that of vineyards back home in Germany. He became cellar foreman for Charles Krug, one of the first commercial winemakers in Napa Valley. In 1875, he and his brother Jacob purchased 215 acres adjacent to Charles Krug in St. Helena for $14,500. The Beringer Brothers' first harvest and crush followed in 1876 producing nearly 40,000 gallons of wine, or 18,000 cases, that first year. 

The Beringer Cabernet was named #1 Wine of the Year for the 1986 Cabernet by Wine Spectator (1990 edition). Six years later, Wine Spectator named the 1994 Chardonnay #1 Wine of the Year (1996 edition) - this is special because not only is it the first time a white wine has ever garnered that top spot, but Beringer was the first and only winery to ever have both a red and a white wine in that top slot. 

Former Chief Winemakers Myron Nightingale and Ed Sbragia created the Private Reserve program in 1977 as the flagship labels of the portfolio. The Private Reserve Chardonnay was introduced with the 1978 vintage, and together these wines have earned three decades of extraordinary accolades, including two "Wine of the Year" awards. The 2015 and 2016 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon vintages were awarded back to back 99-point scores.

The fruit for this 2008 vintage release was predominantly (80% St. Helena, 18% Steinhauer) sourced from the Home Vineyard on the Beringer estate just on the outskirts of St. Helena. This vineyard was part of the original 215 acres Jacob Beringer purchased in 1875. The Cabernet Sauvignon planted on the sloped sedimentary soil of this 48-acre vineyard has been a key component of our Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon since 1982.

The remainder of the Cabernet was sourced from the Steinhauer Ranch vineyard, located at 1,800 feet on Howell Mountain, this 36-acre vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc sits above the fog, exposed to cool mountain temperatures and high solar radiation. The vineyard is named in honor of Beringer's longtime vineyard manager Bob Steinhauer.

The final blend includes a touch of Petit Verdot  1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc sourced from the Howell Mountain AVA Bancroft Ranch Vineyard. The mountainous 89 acre vineyard has nutrient-poor, rocky soils at 1,800 feet, and produces the intense Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc in this Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaker Notes - "The 2008 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon shows youthful characters of fresh blackberry, black cherry and blueberry, and has bright characteristics of blackberry and blueberry aromas, accented by notes of toast, graphite, cedar and brown spices. The palette is rich and supple with seamless, mouth-coating tannins. The rich, juicy fruit core is highlighted by flavors of cassis, blackberry, sweet cocoa and a light savory note. A nice acidity lifts the fruit and carries it into a prolonged, pleasing finish."

This was awarded 93 points by Stephen Tanzer and 92 points by Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator. 

Dark inky purple colored, full bodied, dense concentrated but superbly balanced and integrated, bright expressive ripe sweet blackberry and black raspberry fruits predominate with layers of cassis, dark mocha, with hints of oak, vanilla and graphite. Wine Spectator set the drinking window through 2023 and it certainly appeared to be at its apex. 

RM 94 points.

David Arthur Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

The superb Beringer Cabernet was ideally matched by this premium label from the southern end of the Vaca Mountain range of Napa Valley. I pulled this 2008 vintage release to compare with the Beringer for a mini-horizontal tasting. 

We have fun with this label produced by the Long Family on the Long Family Ranch, high atop Pritchard Hill. We visited the David Arthur Napa Valley Estate Vineyards and Winery during our Napa Valley Wine Experience in 2013. We were joined on that trip by the other of  the Ned Long daughters, wife Linda and sister Pat, who grew up on the Long Family (no relation) farm in Indiana.

David Arthur Vineyards was founded in 1985 by brothers David and Bob Long on land their father Don Long purchased in the late 1950s. David settled in Napa Valley in 1977 and learned the wine business from the ground up working at nearby Chappellet, Joseph Phelps and Schramsberg. 

David prepared the Long Family Ranch site in 1978-79 and planted the first grapes in 1980. Don’s youngest son, David Arthur, founded the winery with his then wife, Joye Dale, in 1985 with the purchase of 30 French oak barrels. The first vintage was the 1985 Chardonnay followed by the first red wine, Meritaggio, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sangiovese in 1992 and then Cabernets.

David and Joye’s daughter, Laura Long, now works side by side with her father running the day-to-day operations of the winery and vineyards.

This David Arthur Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 was awarded 93 points Wine Enthusiast. 

This was a great comparison tasting of the same vintage Beringer, both showly superbly at fifteen years of age, likely both at the apex of their drinking windows.

This is blended with 11% petit verdot and 5% cabernet franc.

Dark ruby purple colored, medium full bodied, slightly softer and more focused and less complex than the Beringer, since this is sourced from but one single vineayard site, black raspberry and black currant fruits with notes of vanilla, cocoa, hints of mineral, mint, toasty herbs and oak, to the tune of 100%,

RM 93

Chateau Cos d' Estournel St Estephe Bordeaux 1979

Also tasted ...

Clarendon Hills Clarendon Piggot Range Shiraz 2011

Montes Folly Shiraz 2010

Baron Phillip Rothschild Alvaviva Concho y' Toro Chile 2017

Beringer Nightingale Botrytized Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2004 

In 1971, Myron Nightingale joined Beringer as the 5th winemaker. He developed a special French Sauternes-style wine called, aptly, Nightingale, which is still made and bottled at the winery today. Ed Sbragia joined Myron as assistant winemaker. Together, they launched the Private Reserve collection, using specifically selected Cabernet and Chardonnay grapes. Ed, of course, then got promoted to winemaker in 1984. Laurie Hook became the 7th winemaker in 2000, with Ed staying on as Winemaker Emeritus. In 2015, Jacob Beringer's great, great grandson, Mark Beringer, joined the team as our Chief Winemaker, with Laurie Hook staying on as Winemaker Emeritus. Finally, in 2021, after six years working side-by-side with Mark, Ryan Rech took the reins as Chief Winemaker.