Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Siduri Pinot Noir at Catch 35 Naperville

Siduri Pinot Noir at Catch 35 Naperville     

Finishing a successful real estate closing, we had a mini-celebration dinner at Catch-35, the local Naperville location of this seafood eatery, not to be confused with their downtown Chicago locale. 

We selected this restaurant despite the tremendous seafood entree at nearby La Sorella the week before last. We feel a bit duty bound to support this establishment as it seems to be lacking a bit in support and we would hate to lose it as a fine dining option in our community. They have another sister restaurant in the city downtown Chicago. 

The vibe in the restaurant is a bit benign, serene, bordering on comatose - a feeling perhaps exacerbated by the dim lighting and perhaps drap, somewhat dated decorating. I feel I am being overly harsh here but I don't know how else to describe it.  We joked that it has an 'old folks' vibe and indeed, it seemed to be an older clientele. 

In any event, the service was exemplary, professional, pleasant, knowledgeable and attentive. Admittedly, one of the drivers for us selecting Catch-35 on a Wednesday night was their half price offer on specified wines. Scouring the on-line winelist as we explored dining options, I found a suitable candidate for dinner worth exploring, and a great value in light of the special offering.  

Once on-site and seated, we ordered the wine featured on their on-line web winelist, and lo and behold, it was no longer available. This is precisely why I typically, often, ask two questions of our server when dining in a restaurant with a winelist; 1) do you have all the wines featured on the winelist? and 2) are there any other wines on offer not shown on the wine list. Typically the answer is yes, and no. Occasionally, a server will qualify that certain labels are no longer available. Or, the server will check on the status of any potential new arrivals. Once in a while some great surprises are discovered! 

Tonight, we settled on an alternate, second choice wine selection. Our server was very apologetic and upon pressing the wine director, offered us a complimentary dessert, to make up for the shortcoming. A nice gesture and much appreciated. 

The wine selection was going to drive my entree choice and the redirection forced a change in my dinner plans as well. For our entrees, Linda selected the Charbroiled Oysters with house herb butter, parmesan cheese and charred lime.

I ordered the Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut with Spiced Asian Marinade and Cauliflower gratinee. From the description, I was concerned about the "spiced" marinade description to complement the white fish. I had the forsight to inquire, and as a result, I ordered a cup of the Buerre Blanc Sauce, the accompaniment to the other seafood entree, and asked that the Spiced Marinade be served on the side.

In the end, asking for the "Spiced Marinade sauce" be served on the side, and asking for a cup of the Buerre Blanc Sauce proved to be a saving grace for my dinner. Linda described the original sauce to that from Buffalo Wild Wings, more akin to Buffalo Chicken Wings sauce. The Beurre Blanc sauce was thick and a bit heavy, the consistency of tapioca, rather than a buttery white wine lemon sauce, that I imagine. In any event, it was a good prescient call.

Perhaps not a fair fight, but we couldn't help but keep comparing, and lamenting, the Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut to the extraordinary and delicious Halibut Ippoglosso al Limone* - sautéed halibut with lemon white wine sauce, capers and sautéed spinach, Linda had at neighboring La Sorrella restaurant a couple weeks earlier. 

The Catch 35 (N) winelist is somewhat limited and uninspiring, which made the lack of our desired selection even more frustrating and challenging. The few desirable bottles that I would otherwise normally select, we've already had during past visits to the restaurant. (A week later, the on-line wine listing is still incorrect and out of date, offering the bottle that is no longer available, and showing an older vintage three years earlier than the one actually served for our back-up bottle). 

Hence, for our wine pairing selection, we chose the Siduri Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir - one of a broad selection of labels from this producer. 

Once served, despite their whole wall wine cooler, the wine was served at restaurant room temperature, much warmer than desired - most certainly stored in the wine wall, rather than the wine cooler. We prefer our wines served at cellar temperature at least (58F), and ideally, several degrees cooler, slightly above refridgerator temp. Our server provided us a stone wine cooler to help 'chill' our wine.  

Catch 35-N (dining room) wine wall

Catch 35-N wine cooler

Siduri Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir 2021 (not the 2018 as published and promoted)

Siduri is named for the Babylonian goddess of wine, homage to,and the result of the founders' Adam and Dianna Lee's mutual love of Pinot Noir, and a shared dream to make their own great wines. 

In pursuit of that dream Adam Lee and Dianna Novy left their native Texas and moved to the Sonoma County wine country and spent years working at small, family-owned wineries, using any and all free time learning everything they could about growing grapes and making wine.

Adam and Dianna founded Siduri Wines in 1994 starting with just four and a half barrels of Pinot Noir that first vintage. Today, production has grown to over 10,000 cases annually of Pinot Noir crafted by Winemaker, Matt Revelette. The portfolio offers over 20 single-vineyard and appellation expressions of Pinot Noir from West Coast vineyard sites stretching from Santa Barbara County, Santa Rita Hills and Santa Lucia Highlands AVAs., to the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, to Willamette Valley in Oregon. 

They source their grapes through long-term relationships with some of the West’s most sought-after growers and vineyards, and have arrangements to purchase the majority of their fruit by the acre rather than the ton.

Each Pinot Noir is crafted with the goal of reflecting the unique terroir of each particular vineyard. Siduri Wines and its sibling, Novy Family Wines have received the Wine Spectator's New York Wine Experience "Critics Choice" recognition a combined seven times since 2004.

Winemaker notes - "Siduri explores two exceptional areas within Santa Barbara County that are exceptionally well-suited for growing Pinot Noir - Santa Maria Valley and the Sta. Rita Hills. Pinot Noirs from the Santa Maria Valley provide "crunchy" fresh fruits that are laden with spice notes, while Pinot Noirs from the Sta. Rita Hills provide opulent red and black fruits that jump from the glass with tremendous energy. The marriage of these two distinctive growing areas provides a portrait of a beautiful place to grow cool-climate Pinot Noir. The 2021 vintage provided tremendous freshness and ample acidity - a vintage that will age beautifully.'

"Each vineyard section was vinified separately, with pumpovers being used on the Santa Maria Valley fruit and punch downs on the Sta. Rita Hills. The 2021 vintage provided tremendous freshness and ample acidity - a vintage that will age beautifully."

Garnet colored with a slight brownish hue, medium bodied, black plum, black cherry and black raspberry fruits are accented by notes of black tea, dusty rose, dried cranberry, spice, herbs and hints of anise on the dusty finish with medium acidity.

RM 89 points.

For our gratis dessert I had the Flourless Chocolate Lava Cake - Chocolate hazelnut center - crème anglaise - raspberry sauce -crushed hazelnuts. This begged for more tangible raspberry sauce.

And Linda had for a revenue dessert, the Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake - Toffee pieces – Crumbled dates - butter caramel sauce. This was especially delectable.

Both were highlights of the meal.