Yesterday, Rob, Greg and I joined Micheal Caine of Rosenthal Wine Merchant for a lovely dinner and wine tasting at the Union League Cafe in New Haven. We shared some fantastic French-inspired cuisine, good laughs and really impressive wines. Here is a highlight of some of our favorites that we will soon carry in store:
Monastero Suore Cistercensi Coenobium Lazio Bianco 2012- a traditional blend of Malvasia, Verdicchio, Grechetto and Trebbiano grapes from central Italy. Volcanic soils, warm climate and extensive contact with the grape skins create a rich, complex wine with a gorgeous display of citrus and tropical fruit, a creamy
mouthfeel and an earthy undertone. Would be perfect for a variety of spring vegetables such as asparagus or artichokes. The texture and weight will stand up to cream sauce or a rich seafood dish fantastically.
Jean Dauvissat Chablis 1er Cru “Vaillons” 2009- the entire dinner table was “wowed” by this wine, a truly complex and special white Burgundy. According to Rosenthal, “Vaillons is perhaps the most typical “Chablisien” with its clear reference to the Kimmeridgian subsoils … an intensely mineral wine with a persistent finish.” Layers upon layers of complexity truly remain on your palate and compliment a variety of dishes including a delicate trout dish we enjoyed at the restaurant.
Tellus Vinea Bordeaux Rouge 2010- This is the ideal Bordeaux under $20. Described as a “baby Pomerol’, this wine’s primarily Merlot composition (90%) gives you an all-enveloping experience for your palate. What is better, the tannins grasp and hug your tongue, “like a Mourvedre”, according to Micheal. Friendly, fun and affordable- what’s not to like?
DeForville Barbera d’Alba 2012- This outstanding wine struck us all, as it has in past vintages, for its remarkably full body, lush fruit, subtle earthiness and preciseness. It is a true character. I loved it with my steak and the Bearnaise sauce that accompanied it, complimenting the tarragon in the sauce rather than clashing with it.
Another favorite is the cherished Paolo Bea Montefalco Sagrantino Secco “Pagliarino” 2007, showing just as beautifully as the 2006 vintage we currently carry in the shop. Ripe notes of fig and prune and a subtle green, herbal quality are accentuated with hints vanilla and a long lasting finish. The passion of the winemaker is clear in the wine’s structure and style: determined, robust, focused. Great with rich second course dishes such as roasted duck or rack of lamb.
What more is there to say? Fantastic wines, wonderful food, good company…there is nothing better in life.