I was recently fortunate enough to be invited to a private wine dinner at the home of a family that holds one of the finest private collections in our Valley. They own many prestigious collectable bottles that have trmemndous auction value, but it is the diveristy and depth of their collection that makes it so special. They didn't simply acquire every cult wine that got hot on the auction market or buy every first growth Bordeaux when the "experts" said the vintages were good. Instead, they took a thoughtful and artistic approach to building their collection.
They invited eight of us to attend a dinner at their home. Six of the eight wines poured were paired with a dinner course. Here's a look at what we ate and drank:
1. 1998 Charles Krug Brut Champagne
Paired with fried cauliflower and broccoli with lemon aioli.
The bubbly was incredibly expressive with deifned orachrd fruit, angel food cake, and buttery toast on the finish.
2. 2005 Chateau D'yquem "Y"
Paired with King Crab and Corn Hash
Complexity on several levels with defined layers of fruit, flora and subtle citrus spice. Evolved continually in the glass once the food was introduced.
3.2011 Antica Terra Erratica Rose'
Flavor packed and full bodied with concentrated berry and red cherry fruit from front to back pallate. Finshed long and invited another sip.
Paired with Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad with Balsamic
4.2006 O'Shaunessy Mount Veeder Syrah
Surprisingly beautiful and delicate with only a hint of the boldness and spice one might expect. Wonderfully refined and intricate.
Paired with Roasted Red Pepper and Corn Soup
5.2003 Ridge Paso Robles Zinfandel
Aged to perfection with delicate tannins and baked fruit intertwining with subtle spice and earht undertones.
Grilled Pork and Coleslaw with Barbeque Sauce.
6. 2005 Chateau Coutet Suaternes
An absolutely full mouth of apple and bosc pear with incredible viscosity and a lush mouthfeel. A little known and under appreciated Sauternes.
Paired with Pound Cake with Lemon Mousse and Fresh Strawberries
As the evening was winding down our host invited me to assist him in selecting two bottles to finish the evening. We selected:
1992 and 1994 Ridge Montebello - All I can say is wow! Each was unique and special in its own way. The '92 was more delicate and evolved. The '94 took far more time to open up and was bolder with fuller tannic structure.
It was a great night of wine and food. I was lucky to be there!