The Clever Root

Fall / Winter 2015

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Page 15 of 111

WHITES 88 Washington Hills 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Washington State ($9) Why pay big bucks for Sauvignon Blanc when you can get this crisp, fresh, and herbal version with juicy, grassy style for a virtual song? PAIRS WITH: Chef Kobayashi's abalone tostada, with grilled corn, chopped cherry tomatoes, and slices of avocado from Artisan in Paso Robles, CA (page 13). 90 Murrieta's Well 2013 The Whip, Livermore Valley ($22) A ripe and ready seven-varietal white blend with tangy fruit and nicely balanced flavors. PAIRS WITH: Dungeness crab terrine with melted spring onions, petite herb salad, and Taha'a vanil- la sea salt from Chef Mark Stanton of Heathman Restaurant in Portland, OR (page 40). 91 Tablas Creek 2014 Côtes de Tablas Blanc, Adelaida District, Paso Robles ($27) This Paso Robles pioneer is still one of this red hot region's best wineries. Elegant, seamless, and aromatic with stony minerals underlying its soft acidity. 42% Viognier, 30% Grenache Blanc, 23% Marsanne, 5% Roussanne. PAIRS WITH: Grilled and pickled watermelon dressed with chive blossom vinegar, with Bu- dapest pepper, Coomersdale from Bonnieview Farm, jalapeño and arugula, made by Chef Andrew Whitcomb of Colonie in Brooklyn, NY (page 97). REDS 88 Casillero del Diablo 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, Central Valley, Chile ($12) Chile is a leader for value Caber- net; dense, supple, and showing nice spice, ripe blackberry, soft herbs, and chocolate notes. PAIRS WITH: Chef Patel's grilled beef tenderloin with morel mushrooms of Selland Family Restau- rants in Sacramento, CA (page 86). 90 Bodegas Salentein 2013 Killka Col- lection Malbec, Valle de Uco, Mendo- za, Argentina ($15) This progressive Argentine producer delivers the goods with this fresh and generous Malbec with spice, chocolate, dark plum, and cassis; a remarkable value. PAIRS WITH: Crispy rolled pork belly, surrounded by caramelized fennel, tomatillo purée and cilantro made by Chef Anda of The Partisan in Washington, D.C. (page 34). 90 Michele Chiarlo 2013 Le Orme Barbera d'Asti Superiore, Italy ($16) Barbera's bright acidity and juicy raspberry tones make it an ideal food wine; clean, tangy, and fresh with balance and lots of charm. PAIRS WITH: Jeremy Fox's presentation of Ben- ton's Country Hams 14-month country ham with figs and molasses at Esters in Santa Monica, CA (page 49). 90 Kuleto Estate 2012 India Ink, Napa Valley ($25) A dusky, mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon–Syrah blend with round blackberry and supple texture; ripe flavors, keen spice, and a long finish. PAIRS WITH: "The Dirty Burger" from Chef Duskie Estes at ZaZu. Bacon from Black Pig Meat Co. is ground into the fresh beef from Stempe Creek, then coated with Liberty Duck Paté, and topped with a pickled quail egg (page 92). 91 Justin Vineyards & Winery 2012 Jus- tification, Paso Robles ($55) You'll need no justification for laying into this dense blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot with rich, spicy plum and notes of chocolate. Another Paso Robles winner. PAIRS WITH: Anderson Ranch lamb loin with charred ramps, Sweet Tooth mushrooms, harissa, and takesumi bamboo carbonized deep sea salt from Chef Mark Stanton of Heathman Restaurant in Portland, OR (page 40). ROSÉ AND SPARKLING 88 Fairview 2015 Goats do Roam Rosé, Western Cape, South Africa ($10) South African vintner Charles Back has a thing for goats and puns; crisp, juicy, and bright with strawberry and tangy acidity. Consume copiously year-round. PAIRS WITH: Chef Tuohy's harrisa spiced chicken salad with figs and heirloom tomatoes, in Sacra- mento, CA (page 85). 92 Schramsberg Vineyards 2011 Blanc de Noirs, North Coast ($40) Juicy fruit and a rounded style characterize this Pinot Noir–dominant sparkling wine; racy, generous, and long with pedrigreed poise and elegant style. Just don't call it Champagne. PAIRS WITH: Strozzapreti with lump crab, Bu- dapest pepper, onion confit and toasted bread crumbs, topped with savory chives and capers made by Chef Andrew Whitcomb of Colonie in Brooklyn, NY (page 97). ■cr REVIEWS clever 1 6 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t + + + + + + + + + + A selection of food-friendly wines, matched with recipes from this issue. by Anthony Dias Blue

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