Notes From the Winemaker - January 31st, 2012
January 31, 2012
Cabernet Franc Tops Again – Different Vintage, Same Pinnacle – and Viognier!
With news of the 2008 Cabernet Franc's "Best in Class" citation from the San Francisco Chronicle competition, we suspected redundancy in our mail system, when we were told in the following week, that the 2009 Cabernet Franc had won "Best in Class" in San Diego's Winemaker Challenge International Competition. But there, Viognier Reserve 2010 was also "Best in Class" and Octagon 2009 happened to win the Gold Medal.
News of this kind calls for exuberant celebration, and fortunately, two great occasions presented themselves right away, to showcase the wines and toast their success. The first, in Washington, was a night of historic importance, which I am thrilled to report. But we see Valentine's Day in the same light, and I write to announce special plans for its celebration here this year.
One restaurant has remained at the inspirational forefront of gastronomy in the United States for 40 years, and when legendary founder-executive chef Alice Waters was to be honored by the installation of her portrait in theSmithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery on January 20th, we were selected to furnish the wines for that historic occasion. Many of the leading chefs of the Washington dining establishment were present, to serve their most creative dishes. Since 1971, her Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley has energised and transformed the way we order food in any restaurant we visit, how we select it for our home, how we prepare it and share it with friends. "Fresh, local, humane, and sustainable" are words which any Google search now links first to food, because of Alice Waters and the decades of contributions she has made to American dining, in 9 cookbooks, teaching from kindergarten through college, the training of an endless honor roll of world-famous chefs, and the encouragement of whole local economies of nutrition throughout America.
We took this historic occasion to furnish our two standout wines from the international Winemaker's Challenge Competition in San Diego, Best-in-Class Cabernet Franc Reserve 2009 and Best-in-Class Viognier Reserve 2010, along with our non-vintage Barboursville Sparkling Brut, previously Gold-Medaled in San Francisco.
Now, I'm happy to announce that our Valentine's Day dinner menu at Palladio Restaurant will feature all 3 top-class wines, along with the Cabernet Franc 2008 vintage, Best-in-Class in this year's San Francisco Chronicle competition. At Palladio Restaurant and at our winery, we are commited to the fruition of a dream our native Italian culture undeviatingly shares with this great and beloved American chef, as if every day were Valentine's Day. But for this occasion, celebrating 3 Best-in-Class prizes from 2 different juries in the West Coast's leading competitions, Chef Melissa has outdone herself. Call Taz (540) 832 - 7848 to book your reservation, for a single seating February 14th, 7:00pm.
Photos Courtesy NPG and Daniel Schwartz Photography