Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Report from … California / Trinchero Dinner at Bb33 – July 27, 2010

Tonight’s Bb33 dinner featured the wines of the Trinchero Family Estates with a meal prepared by executive sous-chef Derek Martens, all hosted by the director of sales and marketing for Trinchero, Brett Marshall.

The Trinchero family are the folks behind the multi-million dollar invention we all know as White Zinfandel, a wine that dates back to 1974 and was the result of a stuck fermentation.  Tonight 6 wines were poured and a fabulous dinner was served (minus any white Zin) and it all started with the 2009 Seaglass Sauvignon Blanc, a light and fruity white that had a sweet sensation on the tongue – a really delightful summer sipper served during the pre-dinner half hour (***½).

Moving on, wine-wise, there was the 2008 Main Street Chardonnay (Los Alamos Vineyard) from Santa Barbara; funny story here: somebody poured the dessert wine instead of the dry white, so we all got a sneak peak of the delicious sweetie to be served later on.  Once rectified, the Chardonnay proved to be loaded with toasted vanilla notes and baked apple and pear fruit, a very nice Chardonnay for the price ($17.95).  The wine sees 6 months of French oak and goes through partial malolactic fermentation to soften its acid edge (***½). 

This wine was paired with  “House Smoked” Cypress Island Salmon Tower Minted Sweet Pea Froth & Heirloom Beet Vinaigrette Tender Organic Baby Seedlings.
Second course:  Oven Roasted California Bison Tenderloin Sweet Potato & Apple Wood Smoked Bacon Stack Sweet Cipollini Onion Relish & Raspberry Mustard Glaze; was paired with two radically different Cabernet Sauvignons.  The first, a Napa Cellars 2007 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon – 16 months French and American oak with 14% alcohol, is you basic Cali-Cab with black and red cherry fruit throughout (****) … it’s part of a 15,000 case production.  There was also the Napa Cellars 2007 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, this was a brute of a wine, not just alcohol-wise (14.5%) but with the plum, black fruit, chocolate, caramel and toasted vanilla; 20 months exclusively in new French oak has produced a lovely, smooth, big fruited and elegantly flavoured wine.  Each year there is no more than 3000 cases (36,000 bottles) made, in 2007 only 1265 cases were made (****½).

Next came the cheese tray paired with a Napa Cellars 2007 Zinfandel.  This grape is a California favourite of mine, but not much is made in the Napa Valley, that land is far too valuable for the lowly/inexpensive Zinfandel grape and is thus used for more high priced varietals like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, so this wine is a rarity for the area.  Plums, spice, raspberry, vanilla and cinnamon make up the flavour profile, quite a nice little sip – but you’ve gotta like Zin – though I’m not sure how you couldn’t. (****)

Finally, we got our dessert wine back: Terra d’Oro 2006 Moscato – this is a very pretty wine with pink grapefruit, sweet ginger ale notes, crisp apple and perfumed peach – most surprising, and very welcome - was the white chocolate aroma found on the nose – yum (****).  This was served with a triple medley of mini-sweets:

Mascarpone Meyer Lemon Cheesecake - Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta & Huckleberry Jam - Monterey Strawberry Mousse & Praline Crunch … all very tasty.

Another delicious dinner at Bb33.

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