It was fun watching our grandson indulge in one of his grandfather’s quirky enjoyments. I would venture to say that most teenagers don’t go out on a regular basis for fine dining, in fact over the years, we have discovered that we had best results taking the grandchildren to establishments that they feel more comfortable with, like Italian, Asian-Rim, Mexican, Middle Eastern, casual casino dining and pizzerias; of course, I draw the line at fast food, after all, I do have to eat as well and my sport coats are not totally out of place in a real restaurant.
My Bride went with Pecan Encrusted Mediterranean Sea Bass with Haricots Vert and Crushed Corn Cream Sauce. I went with Duck Magret with Potato Puree, Roasted Beets, Sauteed Broccolini in a Black Truffle Sauce. Our guest of honor, went very simple and cautious and had the Bistro Chicken with Baked Mac & Cheese. I had chosen earlier in the wine shop a bottle of Chateau Maucoil Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2018. The estate of Chateau Maucoil begins with its Roman occupants, a cantonment for Caesar’s legions. Then it became part of the Orange-Nassau family, and the succeeding families have been allowed to maintain its letters of nobility. Some of the plots planted in 1895 still exist. In 2022, Domaine Duseigneur, has taken over the estate and the estate has been rated organic over the years. There are twenty-five hectares of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and eighteen hectares of Cotes du Rhone Villages. It is one of the few estates that still maintains all thirteen grape varieties that are allowable. There are three distinct terroirs on the estate; red clay, hard limestone rocks and sandstone, and sandy hillsides. The fruit is still harvested in the ancestral way of manual harvesting, and undergoes three passes for the proper selection of grapes over a period of four to six weeks. The youngest of the vines average about forty years of age. The wine is a blend of sixty percent Grenache, fifteen percent Syrah, fifteen percent Mourvedre and ten percent Cinsault. The grapes are sorted and put in concrete vats, by variety and by plot. After maceration and fermentation for thirty days, the wines undergo a mixed aging of vats and barrels of a wine for twelve months, before being blended. A pretty ruby red the wine offers notes of black fruit, smoke and spices. On the palate, a rich blend of blackberry and plum, with nice balance and elegant tannins and a nice finish of terroir.
For dessert my Bride wanted a classic Crème Brulee and our guest of honor chose three scoops from the daily selection of house-made sorbet and gelato. I was a bit more decadent and enjoyed a glass of Dolce Late Harvest Wine Napa Valley 2014. Dolce was created in 1985 by Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel and is the only winery dedicated to making a single late harvest wine in America. A twenty-acre estate in Coombsville at the base of the Vaca Mountains with a combination of gravel, volcanic ash, loam and clay. A blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc and as they wait for the botrytized grapes, the harvest exceeds over six weeks of painstaking inspection of the clusters. A lovely golden hued wine that offers notes of orange zest, vanilla bean and butterscotch. On the palate a creamy blend of ripe oranges, pears and apricots with caramel, vanilla and nuts, rich, but not cloying, perfect acidity to be mouthwatering and a nice long finish of fruit and terroir.