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Hoke

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WTN: Cassoulet at Kesslers 2014

by Hoke » Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:51 pm

The Kesslers completed their run of three cassoulet dinners and here's the wines we had at our evening.

Pieropan La Rocca Soave 2010, understated, soft, flexible with the foods; not as taut and structured as I’ve had from La Rocca in the past, but quietly delicious.

Pichler Riesling Loibner Steinertal Smaragd 2007 from the Wachau in Austria. Silky-smooth, with the fatness of smaragd almost disguising the stony acidity, refreshing, bracing in the mouth, and a perfect companion to the lime and scallop ceviche!

Eric Texier’s Cotes-du-Rhone Brezeme Roussanne 2000. Would it hold? Yes, it would. The high aromatics of youth were toned down a bit, of course, but the trade was a ripe fleshiness, a juicy, peachy-floral character with a bit of melon muskiness. I love Roussanne, and of the Rhone triumvirate I much prefer it over Marsanne and Viognier, although the three are usually best when blended. This one stands just fine on its own and it holds its age quite nicely; it was a lovely surprise having a fully matured and not at all tired Roussanne from Eric.

Huet Vouvray Le Mont Demi-Sec 2002, wondering if it had avoided the deadly plague of premox. It was drinkable, but not all that lively and without the electricity that Huet usually brings. Plenty of acidity, of course, but lacking a succulence of fruit and that pleasing contrast of sweet-sour that the demi-sec does so well.

2012 Cow Horn Spiral 36 white blend from the Applegate Valley in Oregon. Whoo! Lively florality, waxy and reeking of lily of the valley, plush fruit, touch of spice---a really gorgeous blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne, voluptuous, dry but fat, Lime citrus, peach, but also a distinct honeyed note. A hit; a palpable hit!


The Beaucastel 1998 was shy and bashful at first, despite having been opened hours earlier, and hesitant to reveal all its charms of aromatic complexity and black-fruit density, and it kept emerging until it was all gone. It was simply elegant with the cassoulet, stepping up admirably when called on, handling the richness, the salt, the fat.

2001 Le Vieux Donjon. Altogether different; lush, and blowsy and fruit-drenched, with some Rhone funk-spice (technical term) that made it indulgent, although I think the tightwound nerviness of the Beaucastel was better with the cassoulet.

Rudi Pichler Wösendorfer Hochrain Grüner Veltliner Smaragd 2001, that rare example of a well-aged Grüner at full resolution. Discussion ensued about the smaragd-ness of the wine, that Austrian combination of fat texture and dryness (Steve declared at least .04 or lower and no one disputed him) that made it tightly structured but soft and pillowy. It was luxurious and deceptively unctuous…until the fruit, and herbs and minerality registered. The pairing with the cheeses was perfect, and occasioned great comment.

If you're interested in the Full Meal Deal, the full writeup is here:
http://violentfermentation.blogspot.com/2014/03/that-time-of-year-cassoulet-at-kesslers.html
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David M. Bueker

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Re: WTN: Cassoulet at Kesslers 2014

by David M. Bueker » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:32 pm

Sigh
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: WTN: Cassoulet at Kesslers 2014

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:24 am

A three-night run of cassoulet? When are they opening the restaurant?

As always, sounds like a great evening.
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

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Re: WTN: Cassoulet at Kesslers 2014

by Jenise » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:22 pm

Jealous!

Did you bring the Cowhorn Spiral?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Michael Malinoski

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Re: WTN: Cassoulet at Kesslers 2014

by Michael Malinoski » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:34 pm

I really enjoyed the write-up, Hoke.

We had a bottle of the 2002 Huet last night and I thought it was very nice. Not as thrilling as the last time we had it about 2 years back, but still quite enjoyable.

-Michael
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Hoke

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Re: WTN: Cassoulet at Kesslers 2014

by Hoke » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:05 pm

Jenise wrote:Jealous!

Did you bring the Cowhorn Spiral?


Nope, that was Lou. He picked some up when he was in Southern Oregon.
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Lou Kessler

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Re: WTN: Cassoulet at Kesslers 2014

by Lou Kessler » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:07 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:A three-night run of cassoulet? When are they opening the restaurant?

As always, sounds like a great evening.

Actually Mike the three dinners are spread out over a period of three months Jan, Feb. March. This last dinner was probably served following the warmest March day I can remember in Napa. Thankfully by 7 pm temps had cooled greatly.
We do have a short waiting list of people waiting for a spot to open, you're welcome to apply. Each dinner is 10 people sometimes 12 including ourselves. No vegetarians or people with restrictive diets need apply. That format just puts too much pressure on my wife.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: WTN: Cassoulet at Kesslers 2014

by Mike Filigenzi » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:58 pm

Lou Kessler wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote:A three-night run of cassoulet? When are they opening the restaurant?

As always, sounds like a great evening.

Actually Mike the three dinners are spread out over a period of three months Jan, Feb. March. This last dinner was probably served following the warmest March day I can remember in Napa. Thankfully by 7 pm temps had cooled greatly.
We do have a short waiting list of people waiting for a spot to open, you're welcome to apply. Each dinner is 10 people sometimes 12 including ourselves. No vegetarians or people with restrictive diets need apply. That format just puts too much pressure on my wife.


Holy cow, I missed this post. Yeah, I'll take that waiting list over the Screaming Eagle one any day!
"People who love to eat are always the best people"

- Julia Child

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