I mentioned earlier that we had an incredible night of wine while on the Big Island of Hawaii, but this one in particular took the cake for spectacular. In the midst of sipping a bottle of Moet and Chandon our friends arrived with what may simply be one of the most spectacular selections of wine for one night that we have had an opportunity to enjoy.
And, that is saying a lot….we get to taste a lot, and have many favorite experiences in wineries, like the incredible tasting we had with Ann Colgin in her home drinking 100 point wine at 10am, or a tasting at Staglin, or an amazing tasting in the under ground cellar of my friend wine maker Walter Bressia in Mendoza, Argentina, but these didn’t have food.
We still comment on an incredible white Bordeaux and 1992 Herb Lamb Colgin we had in Las Vegas a few years ago with the Winspears while dining at Robuchon, and it still may be the best complete meal – as we were cooking for this one and I would never dare compare to Robuchon.
But wine wise, outside of a traditional tasting, this may have topped the list of wine with food for us.
We started dinner with a Montrachet, a 2001 Croits-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru to be exact with a bit of age on it giving it a deep golden color and aromas of ripe apricot, peaches, pears and golden apple.
Then a 1992 Harlan Proprietary Red – I wrote about one of the Bond wines recently. This was the original from Bill Harlan of Napa Valley fame. Intense and powerful with big black cherry, licorice and leather aromas and solid structure. Though a ’92 the tannins were still bold, but we all agreed we opened it just at the right time. A big wine to be enjoyed with grilled meat, lamb or a perfect roasted beef tenderloin.
Then a stunning magnum of 2000 Araujo Eisele Vineyard silky smooth Cabernet Sauvignon. This was my first time to have this wine and I am an instant fan. Delicate, elegant and graceful, much like the palm trees that blew throughout the night outside out window, this is a wine that we savored every drop of, filled with subtle layers of red cherries, red plums and Cassis, with chocolate and toasted nuts on the finish.
Then a 2004 Peju Province Estate Cabernet Sauvignon which has been carted around quite a bit. I had bought this wine several years ago in Napa, brought it home with me, moved to Gary’s, then on another plane to Hawaii. I was a little unsure how it would hold up. To our delight, it was delicious. A good go to Cab from Napa Valley with lots of expressive fruit, good structure and balance.
And ended with a 2006 Fiddelhead Cellars Fiddlestix Seven Twenty Eight Pinot Noir from Santa Rita Hills. We love the wines that come out of Santa Rita Hills. Though many AVAs really shine with what their terroir tastes like, this one shines with earthy, smokey, ripe red fruit characteristics. Paired with balsamic strawberries and shortbread, this fruit and earthy filled Pinot was a great way to end this over the top, extravagant wine dinner.