Jeez. There is so much to say. I just can’t stop talking about boutique wineries. I mean, really, if you love wine, really good wine that is created with a consciousness and awareness of sustainability there is no way you will not try to find out more about good wine-making and exceptionally talented winemakers.
We have beautiful wines, here on the West Coast, and I will do my best to illuminate the reader and drinker. So, we went to a wine maker’s dinner and it was pretty spectacular. Great food to compliment the incredible wines. Baker and Brain was the featured winery. They define their passion and green approach to winemaking here:
“The Baker & Brain family is committed to utilizing scientifically based sustainability practices in every aspect of our business, this includes partnering with ecologically responsible growers, utilizing winemaking practices that are environmentally friendly, making our wines at a solar powered and sustainably certified facility and promoting the brand in an
environmentally conscious manner.”
We were fortunate enough to taste five of their amazing wines.
Starting with the Gruner Veltliner we experienced traditional slate tastes. It is crisp, flavorful and absolutely delicious. A lovely wine that cuts through any heavy fats like those that you might find in melted cheese, to bring you back to reality, that is the flavors of meadow flowers and fresh grasses. Remarkable nose and really quite soft. A California GV, which is a good thing. If you’ve never had a GV, you must try this. It will expand your palate and take you into another dimension of wine. Paired with Grilled Flatbread with Speck and Carmelized Shallots we started off happy.
Next we tasted the Central Coast Pinot Noir, 2011. These grapes are grown in Monterey County which is a very good place for Pinot Noir, BTW (By The Way). It presents very well, not overly assuming or over powering, a good introductory Pinot Noir. If you’re just drinking this, you won’t be disappointed. It’s friendly, open and has the established and expected flavors of raspberries and strawberries which add that delicate seductive fruitiness. What sets it apart is its’ jewel like clarity and light refined finish . We had it with a Passionate Berry Salad ( Raspberries, Blueberries and goat cheese with Fried Shallots (loved those). Pretty sexy.
We followed with the McIntyre Pinot Noir 2010 (Santa Lucia Highlands). It is truly is spectacular. Really, I do not throw that word around flippantly. The flavors of ripe blackberries and secondary rich red berry flavors continue to expand on the palate. This wine is complex with spices, earth, leather and perfectly balanced tannins. While dense, the oak grounds the wine; otherwise you’d just be spinning off to heaven. Rebellious Asparagus, Romesco Sauce and Saracena Aioli added a challenging note. This is so satisfying.
Now comes the Le Mistral Vineyard Grenache. Uber yummy. From the Joseph
Phelps vineyard, this Grenache delivers a very deep concentration of fruit. It is bright and sophisticated at the same time with stabilizing tobacco, ash and developed tannins. This wine stays on the palate and finishes beautifully. Paired with Lamb Chop over Sticky Cabbage and Wild Mushroom Ravioli it was a victory.
We finish with the Le Mistral Vineyard Syrah, which is my favorite. this one is brambly, like thickets of wild berries and vines. Super concentrated, with that dried fruit body and jammy flavor. Once oxygenated; which the presenters did, it developed that plummy and spicy flavor that is so traditional to Syrah. Rich and full mouth with a velvety lingering mouth finish, this wine stood up to the Quail stuffed with Chorizo and potato.
Brief: Baker & Brain produce exceptional wines that are gorgeous and delicious.
Very small production makes for exclusive and elusive wines. We want these wines, but we want this winery to stay true to their values, vision and esthetic.
♥ Check out Stonecreek Kitchen for fabulous wine maker dinners, classes, deli and wines.