Last week I attended the Enotria Winecellars tasting lunch at the House of Tides in Newcastle.
House of Tides has been awarded its first Michelin star only the day before. Enotria were showcasing some of their wines from Napa, Oregon and Washington State and Vriend Sander, the export manager of Washington State’s Chateau Ste. Michelle was there to present them.
We started with a glass of Michelle Sparkling in the downstairs bar and moved two floors up to a smart private dinning room for the tasting and lunch. We sat at a long table and drank Eroica Riesling and Karia Chardonnay with a ‘soup’ of peas, pine nuts and chives. Erath Pinot Noir and Columbia Valley Syrah were served with venison tartare, beetroot, blackberries, sourdough and bitter chocolate. A main course of sweet, tender lamb, sprouting broccoli, grelot onions, kohlrabi and mint accompanied Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon and Col Solare. Four Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignons – Artemis, Fay, SLV and Cask 23 were poured with a dessert of dark chocolate, strawberries, rosewater and rose ash meringue.
- *Michelle Sparkling NV, Chateau St. Michelle, Washington State (11.5%): Grapes for this Traditional Method sparkling wine come from the Columbia Valley and the blend of 63% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir, 18% Pinot Gris is aged sur lie for 18 months. It is well made, dry, has fine persistent bubbles and a hint of autolysis and was a pleasure to drink. A wine to buy. (16.5)
- 2012 Eroica Riesling, Ste. Michelle, Washington State (12%): Made in collaboration with Mosel’s Dr. Ernest Loosen, it is a full, juicy, grippy and ripe Riesling with a hint of sweetness and naphthene. Enjoyed by most present. (16)
- 2013 Karia Chardonnay, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Napa Valley (14.5%): 86% barrel fermented. 65% of the wine was allowed to undergo the malolactic and was aged in 21% new French oak for 7.5 months. It is an austere wine with a slightly bitter finish and the high alcohol stood out. (15)
- 2012 Estate Selection Pinot Noir, Erath, Willamette Valley, Oregon, (13%): Aged 13 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Burgundy nose. Even though the wine was decanted two hours before the tasting, it tasted harsh and closed. (15)
- *2012 Columbia Syrah, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington State. (13.5%): 1% Viognier. Aged for 18 months in 16% new French oak, 15% new American oak, and 69% neutral oak barrels. It is a lovely wine closer in style to Syrah from new Zealand. Well worth buying (16.5)
- *2012 Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau St. Michelle, Washington State (14.5%): 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, made in the “New World” style and aged for 16 months in 51% new American and French oak barrels. It is a lovely soft, rich wine which matched the lamb beautifully. Well worth buying. (17.5)
- 2012 Col Solare, Col Solare (15%): Col Solare is a collaboration between Washington state’s Chateau Ste. Michelle and Italy’s Marchese Piero Antinori. The 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot and 4% Syrah blend spent 22 months in 100% new French oak barrels. It is a soft, well balanced and complex wine, beautiful to drink now. (17.5)
- 2012 Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Napa Valley (14.5%): 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% merlot and 2% malbec aged in 25% American and French new oak barrels.(14.5%)
- 2012 Fay Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Napa Valley (14.5%): 100% cabernet Sauvignon aged for 21 months in 85% new French oak barrels. Perfumed. Delightful. (16.5)
- 2012 SLV Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Napa Valley (14.5%): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 21 months in 100% new French oak barrels. Mineral notes. Beautifully poised wine. (17)
- 2012 Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Napa Valley: Combines the signature perfume notes of FAY vineyard with the structure and minerality of S.L.V. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 21 months in 95% new French oak barrels. Fabulous! (18)