Diverse Reds for Duck Inn Hot Dogs and Ground Sirloin Burgers
Returning from a overnight trip to Indiana, a day in Lafayette and a day in Indy, we stopped in St John to visit fellow Pour Boy Dr Dan and Linda for a impromptu dinner. Dan grilled 'Duck Dogs', produced by Duck Inn in Chicago as a tribute to the classic Chicago Hot Dog, all beef hot dogs with a small amount of duck fat, and grilled sirloin beef burgers. Both were delicious.
We dined at Duck Inn with the Pour Boys together back in 2021 as presented in this blogpost - Duck Inn Chicago Unique Dining Experience.
With dinner, Dan pulled from his cellar a medley of diverse reds. Putting a call out for requests, I asked if we could start with a California Pinot Noir, following our recent tastings of a flight of such wines.
Dan served an ultra-premium Seasmoke Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir, followed by an ultra-premium Aussie Shiraz.
SeaSmoke 'Ten' Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2015
This is from Sea Smoke's estate vineyard in the Santa Barbara's Santa Rita Hills AVA.
Dan is a member of their wine club and gets access to these highly allocated very popular wines.
Owner/producer Bob Davids acquired the property in 1999. They produce Pinot Noir grown exclusively on the south-facing hillsides of the estate vineyards.
Sea Smoke notes is "the most masculine wine of their multiple labels, brooding and intense, with firm, mature tannins and a long, velvety finish. Ten is not for the faint-of-heart and has been known, on occasion, to convert even the most fanatic Cabernet lover."
The wine was aged for 16 months in
60% new French oak before bottling.
This was rated 95 points by the Tasting Panel and 94 points by Wine Enthusiast and a Cellar Selection.
Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, bright concentrated black cherry and black plum fruits with notes of clove spice, vanilla bean, pepper and earth.
RM 92 points.
Next Dan pulled one of our favorite labels, a big hearty Aussie Shiraz.
Clarendon Hills "Piggott Range Vineyard" Syrah McLaren Vale South Australia 2011
RM 91 points.
Dan then pulled from his cellar this surprise label. We both acquired this label as part of our wine club allocation from the producer. Linda and I actually took this label to Florida on our recent trip to enjoy but never got the chance to drink it and brought it back to have at a future occasion. Tonight, we got to try this new label bottling we've been eager to try!
Force Majeure Walla Walla Estate Syrah 2020
This is from Force Majeure, an ultra-premium producer winery located in the Walla Walla Valley, specializing in estate-grown, single-vineyard Bordeaux and Rhône-inspired wines. Force Majeure wines are the handicraft of Todd Alexander, former winemaker for Bryant Family Vineyards and a couple of other notable Napa producers. He and his wife Carrie relocated their family to Walla Walla to take on the Force Majeure estate and brand. I featured Todd in these pages when he took on that role back in 2016 - Todd Alexander joins Force Majeure Winery.
We visited the Force Majeure Walla Walla Estate back in 2018 and wrote about that visit in this blogpost at the time - Force Majeure Vineyards Site Visit and Tasting, as part of our Walla Walla AVA Visit
that provided the opportunity to visit this vibrant emerging wine
region, meet some
legendary winemakers on the Washington wine scene, and experience
the best of Red Mountain and Walla Walla appellation wines. We walked the estate
vineyards, source for this wine with the rocky soil, and thus were
excited to eventually receive this release of this wine as part of our
Force Majeure had recently acquired two new vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley. The site is within the
boundaries of the The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVA, just across the
Oregon side of state line border. The portion of the vineyard outside The Rocks District is
within the borders of the Walla Walla Valley AVA.
unique riverbed of cobblestones and pebbles is as much as two hundred
feet deep, formed 12,000 years ago from massive floods that swept
through the region caused by ruptures in the ice dam that held Montana's
glacial Lake Missoula.
The Rocks District is a 12-square mile alluvial fan of 3,770 acres.
Force Majeure Walla Walla Estate Syrah 2020
The property is partially within the boundaries of the The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVA, on the Oregon side of the border, and is located adjacent to the site of our new winery. The portion of the vineyard outside The Rocks District is within the borders of the Walla Walla Valley AVA. The Rocks District is an alluvial fan, and the cobbles that define the area are a result of deposits left by the Walla Walla River.
This vineyard was planted between 1992 and 1994, and has a diverse soil profile covering the cobble stones, highest at the north end of the property and most shallow at the southern end. This gives us a lot of diversity within a small area, and the grapes will have different characteristics depending on the soil composition where they are grown. This vineyard is in an area proven to have very distinct terroir.
The unique topography and geological variants in these vineyards provide fruit characterized by stunning intensity, depth, concentration and complex flavors.
This wine was rated 20/20 points, Rand Sealey, Report on Washington Wines
All Syrah that saw 30% stems and roughly 30% new barrels,
Inky dark purple garnet colored, medium to full bodied, bright vibrant complex black cherry with some blue fruit tones, with notes of earth, violet, pepper and herbs, with chalky minerality and tannins on the lingering finish.
RM 93 points.@ForceMVineyards