Our last evening in Louisville, Kentucky and we were going out for dinner, just because, because both my Bride and her Sister are both excellent in the culinary arts. We were going to see Anoosh, who is a friend of theirs in Louisville. We have gone to his restaurants over the years and by accident, even did a wine tasting and dinner at a restaurant that he had in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our first introduction to him was for the private dinner for my Sister-in-Law’s Fortieth Birthday party and she was born in the legendary year of 1961 if you are into First Growth Medoc wines. My Bride thought that we were going to his casual restaurant “Noosh Nosh” and we were in the same strip center, but we were going to his “Anoosh Bistro.” This does help to explain why I will be joining a gymnasium shortly. I also have to say that I went crazy as soon as we walked in and they had boxes of matches, my favorite token of visiting an eatery, but since the governments cracked down on smoking, all the restaurants stopped printing matchbooks and another industry went by the wayside.
We were treated like celebrities, because of the Louisville connection and had a great table, but Anoosh works the entire room and makes everyone feel at home. He is very proud of his culinary skills and rightfully so. My Bride had the Roaster Heirloom Beet salad with arugula and pickled Cippolini onions and a Balsamic vinaigrette. I went with the Lobster Bisque with cream and chives and some Lobster meat and Sherry. My Bride was a gem that evening, because I was really torn between two dishes, so she ordered one and I ordered the other, even though I am sure that she would have rather had a fish dish, what can I say, she is a real trouper. She ordered the Chili-Lime Braised Short Ribs with fried potatoes, arugula, pickled shallots, toasted almonds and Red Chimichurri. I know that some of you have figured out that I went with an order of the Duck Breast cooked medium with Farro Succotash, English Pea Puree, pickled beets and duck gastrique. There were several “doggie boxes” afterwards, but I had to finish my plate, because somehow duck is never quite as good reheated.
After having a tour of the brandy distillery, a cocktail before dinner, it was time to order some wine. I knew that it was going to be a Pinot Noir, but there was a slight debate over what to order. I was leaning towards a classic French Burgundy, but I was swayed to try a bottle from Oregon. We ordered a bottle of Stoller Family Estate Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2017. Dundee Hills is an AVA in the Willamette Valley and they began planting Pinot Noir there in the mid 1960’s as there were a group of winemakers that felt that the region was better suited for Pinot Noir, than even California, and they recently were proven right in tastings. The soil is volcanic and is easy draining which causes the roots to dig deep for hydration and the vines are stressed and they grow berries at the expense of grape leaves. In 1943 the Stoller family started raising free range turkeys, and in 1993, one of the sons bought the farm to grow grapes. In 1995 they started with ten acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and now they have two-hundred-twenty-five acres of which seventy percent is Pinot Noir, twenty-five percent is Chardonnay and the balance is a mixture of Aligoté Gamay Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Meunier, Riesling, Tempranillo, Syrah and Viognier. The first vintage was 2001 and since then they have several certifications and had built a new winery and tasting room, that is all self-sufficient. 2017 was considered a bumper-crop and this wine was pressed whole cluster and they used native yeast and almost a year in French Oak. I have to say that this was the best Pinot Noir from Oregon that I have ever had, as the nose told me immediately that it was Pinot Noir with tastes of dark red fruits and dark cherries with plenty of terroir that totally makes me happy, as I am not partial to lazy Pinot Noir wines and I realize that it is a very finicky and troublesome grape to grow and to make wine with. This wine easily competes with wines that I have had and enjoyed at twice the price, so it is a wine that I hope I can readily find in Michigan. It was a wonderful weekend for us and the next day we were back on the road.