A friend invited me to attend a "seminar" wine tasting for Quintessa, the large estate in Rutherford, at Enotria Wine bar and Bistro in Sacramento. Very enjoyable!
After starting the event with a quite "minerally" and powerful Sauvignon Blanc, we moved to the main tasting. Very interesting presentation. Quintessa is a 280 acre estate in the heart of Rutherford which offers quite diverse terroirs and even microclimates. They blend their estate lots into a single "red wine" each year (which could be legally labeled Cabernet Sauvignon) with a blend which varies each vintage. We viewed some interesting videos about the history of the state and their winemaking philosophy.
So...they basically gave us barrel samples from the forthcoming (in good time) 2011 vintage. Two cabernets, a Cabernet Franc, and a Petit Verdot. I really enjoyed the barrel samples! The first lot was amazingly fresh...tannic and powerful but quite elegant with a fine hint of pyrazines adding freshness. The second cabernet was much softer and fruiter. The standout, though, was the Petit Verdot, with its powerful violet aroma and juicy acidity.
Moving on to finished wine, we sampled the 2006 and the 2009 vintages. I am not sure I cared that much for the 2006, it had some notes that I did not like that almost suggested oxidation or something?????? But the 2009 was very firm and structured yet fresh, confirming again, imho, the quality of the vintage.
Im liked the 2009 wine quite a bit...it has a very restrained and elegant style. If one likes wineries like Corison, Clos Du Val, etc, this is a fine style of wine. I did not purchase any wine, even though they were giving a very good price, Quintessa is high $$$ stuff.
A note on Enotria....We repaired to the restaurant after the tasting and sampled the five course tasting menu from Enotria's new chef (two weeks). Not very familiar with the latest trends in high end dining, but the focus was on high tech and unusual preparations. Foams and crisps and other unique textures and preparations. Very "intellectual"
But, which, imo, worked very well...delicious and unique food! Even the house-baked bread was delicious. I would not do the complex menu justice, but I had a mushroom salad course, beef carpaccio, squab, a sorbet, and a bourbon desert which was the only course I was not wild about. And, we had a bottle of 2009 Corison Napa Valley which I had brought as a gift for my friend (since he paid for the tasting event) but which we proceeded to drink with the meal. Not sure a bold, rich, but so balanced Napa red was the best wine for the tasting menu courses, but darn it is good. At half the price of Quintessa, too.
A fun experience. Thanks to my friend John for dinner and the event!
...(Humans) are unique in our capacity to construct realities at utter odds with reality. Dogs dream and dolphins imagine, but only humans are deluded. –Jacob Bacharach