To celebrate my brother-in-law’s birthday, we started with a bottle of Prosecco . . .
2013 Cecilia Beretta Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut, D.O.C.G.
is a classic and tasty Prosecco, light, crisp, and clean – very nice.
Next, with a charcuterie board and an array of cheeses,
2004 Quinta Vale D. Maria Vinho Tinto, D.O.C., Douro, Portugal is an excellent estate in the Douro one by Cristiano van Zeller (former owner of Quinta do Noval) and his wife Joanna Lemos; the winemaker is Sandra Tavares. The wine is a deep garnet color, clear and clean after decanting; the bouquet is full and lush with ripe red fruits, earth, saddle leather, aromatic spice, mineral notes, and a touch of oak; on the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, velvety smooth and supple, with ripe fruits, earth noted, finely grained tannins, solid backbone, and a very long finish. Absolutely delicious at 11+ years of age, and can go longer.
Moving on, we served an entrée of coho salmon filet and grilled vegetables, with a Little Gem salad, and . . .
2012 Rexford Pinot Noir, Fambrini Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains AVA, California is produced by Joe Miller¹ and his son Sam at their small winery in Santa Cruz. This Pinot Noir is simply a beautiful wine – medium-light ruby color, brilliant to the eye; the bouquet is classic Pinot, “the last scent of a dying rose,” combined with bright cherries, light earth and a touch of oak; silky texture on the palate, with good acid and light tannins, abundant fruit on the mouth, light spice, a touch of enticing damp earth and a hint of minerals; the finish is long and supple and delicious!
With ollalieberry pie, we had
1995 Quinta do Crasto Vintage Porto, Douro, Portugal is now 20 years old and still on the youthful side of things. Last week, we had the 1994 vintage, which – in all honesty – is a better wine, but this is certainly nothing to pass on. Ripe fruit, lush, rich mouthfeel and good complexity, this is simply a slightly “lesser” version than the 1994 and simply put, a very enjoyable wine . . .
¹ In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I first met Joe Miller when I was a student at UC Santa Cruz in the 1970s. He is (now) a retired University of California Santa Cruz astronomy professor, and former Director of all UC Observatories, including the world-renowned Keck Observatory on Maui. More information on his wines can be found at Rexford Winery.