An Unexpected Duo at Dutton-Goldfield

Rightfully best-known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Dutton-Goldfield is a winery with a few tricks up its sleeve. Well, not tricky-type tricks, because that implies some kind of sleight-of-hand or tomfoolery. Rather a couple of surprises. Two unique bottles were part of a recent samples shipment the winery sent to me. (Thanks, DG.)

If you could smell these flowers they’d prolly be a bit Gewürz-y. / Photo via winery

Dutton-Goldfield 2018 Dutton Ranch Shop Block Pinot Blanc (Green Valley of Russian River Valley) $30

That’s kind of a mouthful for the name of a wine, but Pinot Blanc is kind of a mouthful. So that’s good. I always wonder what’s the deal with Pinot Blanc, where it lies on the spectrum of white grapes. On a basic level, Pinot Blanc has a little more richness and roundness to it. There’s no heaviness, but something more than a light beam on the palate. Of course, it depends on where the grape is grown and how the winemaker handles it. Pinot Grigio can be lighter than water, though in Alsace, as Pinot Gris, it’s sometimes a (benevolent) monster. There are exceptions to every rule, which makes wine interesting/maddening.

Reaching into the recesses of my middle-aged mind, I don’t recall having a Pinot Blanc from California. So this was a treat in many ways.

Let me go back to the wine’s name. So Green Valley of Russian River Valley is the place (AVA) where the grapes come from. The Shop Block is a vineyard within the larger Dutton Ranch property. The Pinot Blanc was planted in 2003. There’s no oak on the wine, so how the heck does it get so dang textured? It comes from the magic of malolactic fermentation. This converts racy, zippy malic acid into more milky/silky lactic acid.  Science! Dutton-Goldfield, however, pumps the brakes on the malo so it doesn’t go off the cliffs and leave you with a limp creamsicle.

An Unexpected Duo at Dutton-Goldfield

Not Pinot Blanc nor Gewürz, but I like the evocative photo. Sue me. / Photo via Facebook/Dutton-Goldfield.

Dutton-Goldfield 2018 Dutton Ranch Green Valley Vineyard Gewürztraminer (Green Valley of Russian River Valley) $30

Gewürztraminer was one of the first unfamiliar grapes I became familiar with. Back in the days of Grinnell College, I recalled reading in The Wine Bible that Gewürz, particularly from Alsace, was a good match for spicy cuisine. My only problem with the grape is that, particularly in Alsace, you don’t know if it’s going to be an aromatic quaffer kind of Gewütz or a massive, oily wine with a little bit of sweetness and plenty of alcohol. (Some producers list the level of sweetness on the back label, and it’s a process that the region is trying to codify.)

Though the issue with completely dry Gewürztraminer is sometimes you get a little bit robbed of those delightfully perfume-y, lychee-y aromatics that make this probably the best smelling white wine in the world. (Fight me, Riesling.) This is not the case with the DG Gewürz, thankfully. The grapes are similarly sourced from Dutton Ranch in the GV of the RRV, but the specific site is the Green Valley Vineyard.

I should have known that things were going to be alright when I read that DG had a “hedonistic” goal in making this wine. It’s incredibly aromatic, yet bone-dry. And very spicy when you first drink it. Not spicy like cayenne but cinnamon. Then it finishes super-clean. Honestly, whoever writes the copy for the technical sheet I’m reading makes me think this grape is a living person I want to be friends with or possibly swipe right on. “Gewürztraminer is all about the vineyard fruit personality, and what a charming personality it is.” Moving on….

Say Cheese, Please, with DG GT

I’m also into the suggested food pairings, particularly recommending cheese. If I could drop a controversy bomb, I’d say that white wine is FAR SUPERIOR than red wine when it comes to cheese. (Fight me, red wine.) The tip to pair this wine with any cheese sporting a salty bite (esp. Parm) is a very good one.

In conclusion, it’s cool a winery like Dutton-Goldfield that has a mastery of/over Chardonnay and Pinot Noir will decide in the early 2000s, “Screw it, let’s graft over some Gewürztraminer here and, what the hell, plant some Pinot Blanc over there.” (This is not a quote from anyone at Dutton-Goldfield. But I’d like to think that’s how it happened. I doubt it, however, as they are astute and I am impulsive.) Also from a business, tasting room, and wine club perspective, it never hurts to have a few extra quivers in your arrow to entice and reel in adventurous wine drinkers.

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Rigor and Reward: Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

I was fortunate to receive a sample bottle of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon from the winery’s director of marketing and communications, Lisa Mattson. You should also know she’s the author of a wine-soaked dating memoir, The Exes in My Glass: How I Refined My Taste in Men & Alcohol. Perhaps I should take a stroll down the memory lane of my dating experiences leading me to the 47 year-old bachelor I am today? I’d call it The Exes in My Flute because it would be very narrow.

This is a very nice place to visit.

I digress. This is what I want you to know.

2013 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley) $65

Rigor and Reward: Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2013Winemaker Rob Davis called this wine “the richest, most complex Jordan I’ve tasted upon release.” That’s saying something considering Rob’s been the winemaker at Jordan since its first vintage in 1976.

What I like about Jordan Cabernet, which I’ve had a few vintages of going back to 2003 (bragging/boasting), is its old-school feel and flavor. (SIDEBAR: I think my mom has a bottle of 2003. Mom, can I open it next time I visit?) It has a lot of things going on. (Unlike my dating life.) Like intriguing flavors and textures. To dumb down what Rob said, it’s a wine that’s ready to rock right now. It also drank great on day two, which is a fair way to see if a wine has what it takes to go the distance. Just cork it after day one and keep it in the fridge. The cold slows down oxidation aka the death of your wine.

The reason I put “rigor and its rewards” in the title of this post was due to some digging into the details of how this wine was made. Here’s an excerpt from the winery’s website:


Lots kept separate by vineyard; 15 days extended maceration; every lot reevaluated after 11-day primary fermentation; malolactic fermentation completed over 16 days in upright oak casks before assemblage to create our “barrel blend.”


Post malolactic fermentation, individual lots were blind tasted and ranked, then assembled into our “barrel blend.” After one year in barrels, the “barrel blend” was reassessed and only top lots were combined for the final master blend.

This is a lot of work. I’m tired just reading this. And perhaps a bit thirsty for another glass of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.

Jordan also makes a Chardonnay I enjoy a great deal. Give me oak or give me death!

Two photos courtesy Jordan Vineyard and Winery. I wrote this post back in October of 2018 and for some reason just publishing now.

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Love That Mountain Fruit

Look, the region is called Napa VALLEY. You’d expect there’s plenty of good stuff at low elevations. But I’ve always been excited by the uppermost regions, which I first explored at Cain and Smith-Madrone on Spring Mountain. So I was excited to be invited to a tasting of wines from Antica Napa Valley, located on Atlas Peak.

Antica is owned by Italy’s famed Antinori family, with 26 (!) generations of wine know-how. Legendary. But if this makes them seem historic (they are) as in content, resting on their laurels, living in the past, etc. that is W-R-O-N-G. Case in point is heading to Napa, founding Antica, and building a winery in 1994. Why Napa? Why not? As well as Washington State, Chile, Malta, Romania, and Hungary.

But lets head back to Napa Valley and take a look at the trio of wines I enjoyed. (Oh, and I just realized Antica=Antinori + California. Duh.)

Antica Napa Valley Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 2017 Antica Napa Valley Mountain Select Chardonnay ($35)
  • 2016 Antica Napa Valley Mountain Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($70)
  • 2014 Antica Napa Valley Townsend Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($110)

You know I love Chardonnay with oak. But good oak! Yes, that can be new oak. Just be deft with it, like if you were in your kitchen and tasked with being the architect of a judiciously buttered piece of toast.

This wine is estate-grown, the fruit is from vines ranging in age from 4-31 years and from altitudes topping 1,400 feet.

Back to the oak. Half of the barrels are new, so no overkill. Also that mountain locale means things cool down quite a bit at night, preserving freshness. So you’ve got a wine with great fruit, richness, and texture that also offers refreshment. That Fab Four makes sweet Chardonnay music, and for $35 this is a killer Napa Chard!

Speaking of price…$70. Can a wine be $70 and considered a to be a value?

I say yes.

Am I crazy?

Certainly, but not about this.

Stay with me.

Napa Cabernet is very expensive, that’s just a fact. There are a lot and I mean A LOT of bottles well over $100. I’ve tried many of them. Some are great, some are ok, and some are bad. (How’s that for top-shelf wine criticism?)

So when I tried the Antica Napa Valley Mountain Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (a preview of the new 2016 vintage), I was gobsmacked. It was really delicious. The wine had what I love about Cabernet: lots of great fruit popping all over the place with a savory backbone. It’s 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Even though it seems like a tiny amount, the Cab Franc really adds something. (It’s one of my favorite red wine grapes, particularly from the Loire Valley.) Like the Chardonnay, it’s sourced from similarly high vineyards and made with 50% new oak.

I would split a bottle of this with a friend and get some takeout burgers or a cheesesteak or something without meat that is mushroom-forward. So you get two big-ass glasses of wine for $35 total. In this era of $15+ cocktails as the norm, is this such a bad deal?

The Townsend Vineyard was also very good but a little closed. Probably could have used some serious decanting. It just started to open up after a couple hours. This is a candidate for the cellar and I bet it sings in five years. The Townsend vineyard is slightly higher, sitting at 1,600 feet, and the wine gets the 100% new oak treatment. If I had the dough I’d buy a case of the Mountain Valley Cab and drink one every four months. I’d have a case of the 2014 Townsend waiting for me at the end of that 12-bottle/4-year period and then I would open two every year.  Then I’d drink my last bottle in 2029 and marvel at my genius and patience.

Two qualities that are definitely critical when it comes to making great wine.

Clarification: when I say “my genius” I mean “my genius about this one very specific thing I did at one point in time.” Also, did I get that math right?

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Chateau Montelena Dream Tasting

Few wineries have played as large a part in American wine history as Chateau Montelena. When I was invited to attend a tasting including five decades of the Napa Valley winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon, I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. So earlier this summer I buckled up for a wine event of a lifetime.

Our Master of Ceremonies was none other than Bo Barrett, Montelena’s CEO and Master Winemaker. His family bought Chateau Montelena in 1972, with Beau’s father Jim Barrett making the transition from practicing law to owning a winery.

Chateau Montelena

Of course it was a great treat to have Bo introduce every wine. I enjoyed his candor, humor, and liberal peppering of sports analogies throughout his commentary. Discussing Montelena’s consistent elegant, restrained style, particularly in light of the massive oak/fruit/alcohol bombs of the last 20 years, he made a baseball comparison. To paraphrase, as a hitter you can’t always pound it into center field. Sometimes you have to dink it over first base.

While the wines of Chateau Montelena may be more in a Tony Gwynn/Rod Carew mold, I’m going to call the event itself a home run. Perhaps a Joe Carter-esque home run. (Great call, BTW: “Touch ’em all, Joe! You’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life!” )

Let’s get to the wines, now that you are sufficiently in the mood. Oh, one more thing. All the wines were poured from MAGNUMS. Wow!

Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon Tasting 1974-2013

  • 1974 Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1975 North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1979 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1980 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1983 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1988 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1990 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1994 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1996 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2001 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2005 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2007 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2009 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2011 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2013 Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Selected short notes and thoughts


The 1974 is actually a Sonoma wine, made with fruit from what is now the Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley. It was still alive, with nice fruit and a touch of balsamic at the end. “Pretty high acid held it together,” Bo explained. This was a hell of a start! A very good wine, an extremely auspicious beginning. The 1975 was much more aromatic than the 74, yet more subtle on the palate, lower acid. Lingering.

1979 was the first Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet tasted. (The vintage prior was the first bottling of the estate Cab.) Surprisingly, this seemed more aged than the 74 and 75. Dark chocolate, a more prominent balsamic note. Bo also noted the low-tech, DIY spirit of the winery. Describing the scene in 1979, he said, “We’re still broke….We still have the same nasty equipment.”


A fantastic Cabernet nose and noticeable tannins were the highlights of the 1980. ‘Twas a warm year following a cool one. Fruit starts to show more prominently from the 1983 on, rather than the wines being dominated by savory notes. 1988 was a drought-plagued vintage with tiny yields. The resulting wine is dark and brooding.


Still quite young, the 1990 has that brooding character of the 88 with toast and coffee notes. In his notes on the vintage, Bo calls the 1994 the most balanced of the outstanding 1990s vintages.  A summer that would destroy my heat-adverse soul, 1996 had at least ten days where temperatures were over 100 degrees from June to August.

Chateau Montelena Dream Tasting

Bo Barrett’s workplace environment is enviable, to say the least.


“Tastes like it was bottled a year ago, ” Bo says of the 2001. Very dark, primary fruit on the 2005. This was one of my favorites. Really like fine red wines in this decade-ish window. Conditions were just right for the 2007 vintage. As Bo refers to it, a “Goldilocks” year. The 2009 is very tannic for being nine years old.

I loved the 2011 for its elegance. Tasting the 2013, I couldn’t help thinking about my mom. Is that strange? She prefers wines that are rich and smooth, not over the top. Like this bottle. 97% Cabernet with 1.5% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.


Sometimes the frequency of describing an event as “honor” and/or “privilege” to attend/be a part of gets mawkish, strains credulity. When everything is a dang honor/privilege, then nothing is, OK?

Having said that, it was a TRUE honor and privilege to attend this tasting. This was a very good summer of classic Napa Cabernet for me, enjoyed in air-conditioned comfort.

Photos courtesy of the winery. The gram is mine, duh.

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Get to Know Central Coast Syrah

Hello. Here’s the second episode of the podcast I’m hosting for Wine Enthusiast, What We’re Tasting. It’s a look into Central Coast Syrah. Now when you think of California wine, of course Napa and its iconic Cabernet get the lion’s share of praise. So it was great to speak with Matt Kettmann, who is a guru when it comes to the wines of the Central Coast.

What do we discuss? Whoa we cover a lot of ground

  • Natural wine (“Natty with Matty”)
  • The lighter side of Syrah
  • Chillable reds
  • Joyous wines
  • Tips for cellaring
  • The Santa Cruz Mountains
  • Matt’s all-time favorite bottle
  • Finally, garage drinking

Have a listen:

Syrah vineyard photo via Ballard Canyon AVA. BTW, the first wine we talk about is from this region within the Central Coast.

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Randy Meyer of Geyser Peak Winery Talks Roses (Flowers)

Recently I was invited to taste through a lineup of Sauvignon Blanc from Geyser Peak Winery. Located in Healdsburg, California, I was at first intrigued because it seems, well, audacious for a place to make four (!) Sauvignon Blancs. It reminded me of Matanzas Creek, the only other Sonoma winery I could think of  also producing numerous Sauv Blancs from multiple sites. (If there are more, LMK.)

After the tasting I happened to learn the new (as of March) winemaker at Geyser Peak Winery, Randy Meyer, had a passion outside of wine I thought was intriguing. He’s really into roses. And no, I’m not one of those people who spell rosé without the accent over the e. (Here’s a great rant about that from one of my favorite wine blogs, The Drunken Cyclist.) I’m talking roses as in flowers and that Poison song.

Anyway, I thought I would give Randy a call and we’d talk about roses and Sauvignon Blanc. Concerning the latter, we get into Geyser Peak Winery’s three bottlings sourced from Anderson Valley, Russian River Valley, and Dry Creek Valley. (I should note Geyser Peak does have a rosé as in the wine.)

Here are some highlights from our conversation.

On developing a passion for roses:

My father, who is a retired pediatrician, always had roses and would propagate them. One of our all-time favorites is the Double Delight. It’s got red edges and a cream center….Insanely fragrant. My dad used to propagate them and give them away to friends. So I remember when I got my first house he gave me a couple five-gallon buckets of Double Delight roses. It all started from there really.

Double Delight rose photo via Wikimedia commons by Arashiyama.

The number of rose varieties in his garden:

That’s funny I was just counting recently. I think I have eighteen in my yard now.

Whether roses at the end of vineyard rows are an early warning system for grapevine problems:

It is true to a certain extent. With particular varieties, they [roses] can pick up powdery mildew or any sort of potential wet climate diseases before the grapevines pick them up.

In a way roses are very similar to grapevines. They produce something wonderful, they go dormant, they have diseases, yet they’re hardy.

Thoughts on gardening and winemaking:

When you’re out there gardening, there is this very slight artistic element to it. You take pride in raising that crop, whether it’s an amazing bouquet of all different kinds of roses or some amazing Sauvignon Blanc. The two do go very much hand-in-hand….There’s also attention to detail, a little bit of preventative methodology, that goes into both of them.

Randy Meyer of Geyser Peak Winery Talks Roses (Flowers)

Randy Meyer, winemaker at Geyser Peak Winery

Why Sauvignon Blanc is interesting to work with, particularly in multiple sites:

We’re very lucky to have these vineyard sources in the three different valleys. I must admit they all are different. Those differences can either be accelerated or brought together depending upon when they’re picked [the grapes] and how they’re farmed.

Alexander Valley’s the hottest. When we’re up there, we’re usually looking at making sure the grapes don’t get too ripe. One of my critical Sauvignon Blanc attentions to detail is maturity at harvest. It’s probably one of the pickiest grapes at harvest as far as nailing the maturity to the flavor profile. Alexander Valley being pretty warm, the acidity can drop pretty quickly. Those crisp flavors can drop out quickly, too.

When you move to Russian River, you’re dealing with high acidity. And often times a slightly higher brix [sugar content of grapes] level that may not be damaging to the flavors….I tend to like Sauvignon Blanc from Russian River a teeny bit riper.

In Dry Creek, you’re kind of splitting the middle. The particular vineyard around the winery, I’d almost borderline call it pungent. Really aromatic, big grapefruit, passion fruit.

With Sauvignon Blanc people used to use a bit of oak and the Fumé [Blanc style] was popular. Then New Zealand came on the scene….that whole trend took off. For the most part that grapefruit-y style, which is one of my favorites, seems to be what consumers are going after. And I’m more than happy to make it for a long time.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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Freemark Abbey Cabernet Bosché is a Napa Valley Classic

I’ll admit that I spend my wine days and nights in New York chasing the obscure. Bring me all your wonderfully weird wines! Sometimes, though, this is at the expense of the classics. Case in point would be the Freemark Abbey Cabernet Bosché.

I had the pleasure of tasting this wine with Ted Edwards, director of winemaking. He’s been responsible for the wines at Freemark Abbey for over three decades. Now that’s a hell of a tenure.

After a very nice 2016 Chardonnay (extremely satisfying for $30) we dove into two library wines.

The 2003 was in an outstanding place. I have to confess to not liking super-old wines. OK, if you want to open a top Bordeaux from 1945, 1961, 1982, etc. for me I would be absolutely delighted. But in general I do not like wines that have lost all their fruit, particularly white wines.

So at 15 years, this wine was perfect. Plenty of primary fruit flavors with a blend of those secondary, more savory characteristics that only come with bottle age. The decade-old 2008 was remarkably youthful.

I tried the “regular” Napa Cab, which at $50 is a very good deal for a wine from the region. It also, if I may say something that sounds facile, tastes like Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon should. Not a syrupy booze bomb with an oak popsicle stick.

Finally, I had a sneak preview of the 2015 Freemark Abbey Cabernet Bosché. I believe time will tell it belongs in good company with the 03 and 08.

Oh, and one thing about the name of the wine, specifically the “Cabernet Bosché.” It’s not the name of the grape but rather Cabernet from the Bosché vineyard.

Pricing on the Cabernet Bosché trio: 2003 $200, 20008 $185, 2o15 $150. Regarding the library wines, Freemark Abbey has a super-deep collection of back vintages available to taste and sell. That’s some real foresight, particularly considering the winery has vintages going back to the late 1960s (!).

So how do you like your Cabernet?

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Do You Know Petit Verdot?

Primarily used as a component in Bordeaux-style blends, Petit Verdot could use a champion or three. I found a trio of winemakers who take this grape beyond the blend, making it the star of the show.

My first article for SevenFifty Daily takes a look at Petit Verdot through three winemakers:

I not only explore the difficulty of making wine from this thick-skinned, tannic grape, but also consider how the heck you sell it.

Take a look:

The Challenges and Rewards of Making Petit Verdot

Vineyard image courtesy Virginia Wine.

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Gloria Ferrer ‘ Blanc de Noir’ NV

I can’t remember when I started drinking Gloria Ferrer. Gloria Ferrer was one of the first domestic sparkling wines that my friends in the industry took seriously. It was delicious and affordable and so it ended up at a lot of our parties and celebrations. Gloria became so ubiquitous that we ended up on a first name basis. Gloria was our de facto bubbly and our lives were made better because of it.

Gloria Ferrer was founded in 1982 by the Ferrer family as their primary venture into California winemaking. Owners of Freixenet, one of the big Cava producers in Spain, the family’s lifelong dream was of producing wine in the United States. The winery was named after José Ferrer’s wife, Gloria. The couple continue to run the winery together to this day.

Gloria Ferrer’s wine making mission is: To capture the full expression of the distinctive Carneros terroir in wines made to pair perfectly with food.

Gloria Ferrer ‘Blanc De Noirs’ NV is just about a perfect food wine as you can Gloria Ferrer ‘ Blanc de Noir’ NVfind. This is delicious and elegant sparkling wine made from Carneros Pinot Noir. Its sweet, sunny fruit and gentle precision feels properly Californian. The texture is soft and polished, lasting on a clean chamomile scent that will keep you coming back for more. “Vibrantly floral strawberry and gingerbread aromas pair with crisp red apple and spice flavors that bounce along the finish.” 90 pts Wine Spectator

Which brings me to food. This wine is delicate enough for lighter fare but has the ability to pair with Steak (Surf and Turf anyone?) The richness of the Pinot Noir makes it perfect for richer seafood dishes. Crab Ravioli, Coquilles St Jacques, Seafood Fettucine.

A lovely and elegant dish that will liven up any dinner party is Crab Bisque. It is relatively easy to make and can stretch one crab a long way. You can find Dungeness Crab from around $9.99 a pound for 1 to 2 pound crab. Paired with a Sparkling Blanc de Noir you have a perfect night.

Gloria Ferrer ‘ Blanc de Noir’ NV

Dungeness Crab Bisque

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large crab cooked and meat removed, shells roughly chopped

*** Mire Poix

2 onion, finely chopped

2 small carrot, finely chopped

2celery stalk, finely chopped

1 medium fennel bulb, chopped

4 cups water

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

1 bay leaf

1 cup dry white wine

¼ cup medium-grain rice

2 tablespoons tomato paste

¼ cup Pernod

Pinch of saffron threads

1 cup heavy cream

water, as needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



  1. In a large sauce pan combine half of the mire poix and crab shells add bay leaf and garlic. Cover with water (4 cups). Simmer for 20 minutes, strain and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, fennel and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until soft
  3. Add the stock, wine, rice, tomato paste, Pernod and saffron. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the rice and vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Puree the mixture in a blender until very smooth. Add cream. Thin with water if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through sieve into a clean sauce pan.
  5. Return to heat and bring to a simmer.
  6. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with cooked crab and chives

Serves 8.

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Sonoma-Cutrer Lunch at the Four Seasons

I recently had the opportunity to taste through some Sonoma Cutrer wines at the Four Seasons for lunch and it was delightful. We had the single vineyard Les Pierre Chardonnay 2004 and it was shockingly good for its age. We also had a rose and some other chardonnays and pinots here’s how it went.

We started with the 2017 Rose of pinot noir with oysters on the half shell and a perfect pairing in a Salmon Poke.  The wine bright with strawberry and cranberry notes yet slightly savory and dry.

The next four wines we enjoyed with crab salad fresh oysters and a variety of cheeses all Chardonnays.

Sonoma-Cutrer Lunch at the Four Seasons

#1 the Sonoma Valley 2016. The fruit is up front with tropical notes Mango and pineapple typical of a warmer site wine, VERY GOOD.

#2 the Russian River 2015. This wine has more depth and is more of a Burgundian style with Lemon in a liner style.  I like this wine a lot especially with the Oysters.

#3 The Cutrer 2016 – A single vineyard wine with the soil being an ancient sea bed with multifaceted rolling hills and swales.  This is a richer style with Nectarine, Butter scotch and Lemon Curd, Delicious.

#4 Les Pierres 2014 – This vineyard is a Viticulturists Dream known worldwide for its’ mineral essence and poor water retention which stresses the vines. The wine is very Burgundian in its’ style and has more concentration of mineral. Great aging potential.

Sonoma-Cutrer Lunch at the Four Seasons#5 The 2004 Les Pierres – Wow what a treat to see how this wine has evolved. The fruit is not so much upfront which is to be expected but present in the back ground and pretty mineral character.

Next the 2015 Pinot Noir one of Sonoma- Cutrer’s best kept secrets made at a different winery affectionately called the Pinot Barn, this facility represents the hand crafted approach to the varietal. The wine has really good concentration of fruit showing cherry, strawberry nuances and cranberry acidity, fabulous with the grilled fresh Salmon I ordered specifically for this wine.

Thanks for reading for any orders or questions e-mail me Jeff@esquin .com

Thanks again


Take a tour of Sonoma Cutrer

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