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#390257 - 07-15-2019 10:36:01 Seven wines with a milestone birthday dinner
Charlie Chadwick Online   content

Registered: 12-15-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 1482
Loc: Charlottesville, Virginia
This past Friday we met our good friends Joan and Terry Hyde at Clarity in Vienna, Virginia for a special dinner. Joan and My Sainted Wife, Pat, had recently celebrated milestone birthdays and we were getting together to celebrate. The chef/owner of Clarity, Jonathan Krinn, does “raid your cellar” dinners where he will prepare a special meal to match your wines with no corkage. We had a private room just off the kitchen where, through the glass wall, we could see the chef and staff at work on a busy Friday night. The dinner did not disappoint, nor did the wines.

We started with the 2003 Eric Rodez Champagne Grand Cru Empreinte de Terroir Ambonnay. Rodez does two versions of this, one Pinot Noir and the other Chardonnay. This was the Pinot version (blanc de noir). Beautiful honey color. There is a light caramel note on the nose. A very fine bead. Granny Smith apples and fresh bread dough flavors. A precise and very fine acidity. Long subtle finish. “A”

The first course was a Carmelized Scallop Sashimi with heirloom melon consommé and pickled jalapeno slaw. This was paired with the 2007 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Blanc Le Méal. The pairing was great. The wine was a deep gold in color. I found it a bit shy at first on the nose, but that developed with time in the glass. The palate was gorgeous, viscous with honey, pepper, tangerine. Nice mineral notes. Lovely acidity and beautiful balance. Finishes long and deeply flavored. “A-“

Second course was a Pan Roasted Alaskan Halibut with coconut risotto, cordyceps mushrooms and a coconut citrus emulsion. The pairing was the 2015 Kesner Chardonnay Heintz Vineyard. I’ve written about this wine before and nothing has changed my opinion. A gorgeous bottle of wine. A beautiful nose, light lemon zest and a hint of basil. On the palate there is melon, lemon, basil, thyme and honey. Very nice acidity, beautiful balance and a lovely mouthfeel. A bit of spice comes into play. A long and lovely finish. The oak is barely noticeable, serving as a spice and nothing else. “A”

The third course was an Earth & Eats Rabbit Duo with cippolini onions, thumbelina carrots, Parisian gnocchi and a madeira jus. I believe “Earth & Eats” is the farm in Pennsylvania where the rabbit and produce was sourced. This course got a special bottle that had been gifted to Pat and me on our 30th wedding anniversary, the 2001 Domaine Leroy Corton-Renardes Grand Cru. I worry about Burgundies this old, but I shouldn’t have done so (in this case at least). The nose is subtle and yet still a bit exotic with cherries and brown sugar and spice. Velvety on the palate, cherries, spice, bright acidity, smooth tannins and gorgeous balance. A long, lovely finish that is subtle and elegant yet full of fruit. Oh, the pairing was fabulous. “A+”

We were only halfway at this point. Next up was a Cast Iron Seared Alina Duck Breast with sour cherries, lions mane mushrooms and a port reduction. This was accompanied by the 2003 Torbreck Runrig. This drank beautifully, but even after 16 years it still needs time to peak. Deep, beautiful nose, dark cherries, eucalyptus. Dark fruited on the palate, black cherries, blackberries, a hint of that eucalyptus from the nose. The tannins still need 3 or 4 years to fully resolve, but it didn’t interfere with enjoying the wine now. Great acidity and great balance. A very long finish, smooth, elegant, dark fruited. “A”

Then came the House Made Orecchiette Duck Egg Pasta with Portland, Maine morel mushrooms and a roasted pepper morel sauce. Just a fabulous dish. We had the 2014 Wrath Pinot Noir Boekenoogen Vineyard with the pasta. A beautiful nose of violets and cherries. Rich cherry and strawberry fruit. Smooth on the palate, firm tannins, bright acidity, great balance. Moderately long finish of red fruits. A great pairing with this dish. “A”

Close to the finish now, with a Charcoal Grilled Painted Hills Bavette Steak with roasted candied onions, herb roasted fingerling potatoes, wild mushrooms and a red wine sauce. The pairing was classic, the 2008 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. I love the Quilceda Creek Cabs and this did not disappoint. A deep blackberry nose. The palate showed deeply flavored dark fruits, black cherries, some currants, tobacco, coffee. It mellowed with the food. Long, lingering finish of dark fruits. “A+”

No wine with the desert. In truth, not much memory of the desert which featured a passionfruit sorbet. The service was great and friendly, the pacing of the meal close to perfect – we were there for about 4½ hours! Chef Krinn popped in 3 or 4 tines to check on things and talk (and that was on a busy night for the kitchen).


#390258 - 07-15-2019 18:22:51 Re: Seven wines with a milestone birthday dinner [Re: Charlie Chadwick]
Sean_Devaney Online   content

Registered: 09-10-2005 19:46:35
Posts: 433
Loc: Silicon Valley
Great notes Charlie! This sounds like a perfect evening of combing the love of your life, wonderful friends and great wines with a fantastic meal. Bravo!


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