Archive for August, 2018

One of our VINO family…….you know what I mean, Vern?…….asked the other night if we would be open to doing a dinner geared for German Riesling. So, I asked VINO Chef Keith, if he would do something out of the box like this, so we can make it happen.   As you will recall, Chef Keith has been with us twenty plus years and used to be the Executive Chef for Sansei Kapalua and Sansei Honolulu. So, this is that night! Chef Keith has created a menu with German Riesling in mind.

I would also like to mention that one of my all time favorite winemakers in the world, Bert Selbach, has retired after the 2015 vintage. So, we took this as an opportunity to showcase three of his last wines, each from a GREAT vineyard.

Owner/winemaker Bert Selbach is a direct descendent of the iconic Prüm family, whose roots go back to the 1600’s.  Bert’s parents, Anna Prüm, the youngest of the Mathias Prüm children and her husband Dr. F. Weins, used her inheritance to establish the Dr. F. Weins-Prüm estate in 1911.  Their vineyard holding included parcels in the some of the finest vineyards of the Mosel River region (& all of Germany)–Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Graacher Himmelreich, Graacher Domprobst, Ürziger Würzgarten & Erdener Prälat, each with some very old vines.

We loved Bert’s winemaking, as his wines masterfully showcased the pedigree, purity & character of each site in the finished wine, all done with supreme elegance, transparency, precision & deliciousness–young or older.  These were truly one of kind, unforgettable, timeless masterpieces for me.

Sadly, 2015 was Bert’s last vintage (at least that we know of).   He is retiring with no heirs to take over.  We have heard he has sold his parcels to his first cousin, Manfred Prüm (& daughter Katharina) of Joh. Jos. Prüm who live next door.  For wine collector’s around the world, this is a joyous thing as Joh. Jos. Prüm, having been named 1996 “Gault Millau Winemaker of the Year” & produces some of the most collectible white wines in the world.  For me, this is the end of an era.  There has never been wines like those from Bert Selbach & Dr F Weins Prüm.  Aloha my friend.  A toast to you & your future!

Here is the menu–

KOJI CURED TAKO–mizuna salad, ginger sesame vinaigrette and house made tsukemono 

wine:  2014 Dr F Weins Prüm Kabinett Feinherb “Graacher Himmelreich”

What a fantastic, seemingly simple dish!  Curing the tako with koji gave it terrific taste & umami with a slightly salty edge.  the mizuna innately has a burst of heat & bitterness, which was tempered from the slightly sweet, sour, tangy ginger sesame vinaigrette & the vinegary crunch of the house made tsukemono.  This Riesling, at 9 degrees alcohol was slightly sweeter than medium dry, which helped calm done the sweet-sour-slight heat of the Asian components, while the riveting minerality & crisp acidity kept the palate fresh & alive between bites.

 

MISO CHILEAN SEA BASS–smoked wilted tatsoi, choi sum, squid ink pasta, fukujinsuke & roasted garlic butter

wine:  2011 Dr F Weins Prüm Kabinett “Ürziger Würzgarten”

I remember some time back, my uncle proudly served us his miso butterfish specialty, which he took great pains to prepare for us.  After the dish was served, he halted the show, jumped up & told us to wait while he scurried off to pick some of his very unique/unusual limes off of the tree on the side of his house.  These limes looked much more like green-yellow oranges, especially in size.  After he sliced them, he proceeded to squeeze the wonderfully aromatic, unusually, slightly sweet juice with its surprisingly subdued though high pitched, ‘lime” acidity onto each of our miso butterfish.  He then said, now try it.  In short, it was electric!!!  A pairing unlike anything I had had before AND the his squeezed unique lime juice made the miso taste like something so very different & completely wow-za.  This was a HUGE, eye opening experience for me & was the inspiration for this pairing.  The Chilean sea bass was marinated with the different misos for 30 hours, baked & then torched at the last minute, making it somewhat sweet, salty, slightly charred/caramelized with lots of umami & interesting.  Interestingly the 2011 Dr F Weins Prüm Kabinett “Ürziger Würzgarten”, amongst all of its riveting minerality, rather lean focus (compared to other vintages I had been fortunate to taste) also had very citrus-y acidity with a lime like lift to the finish.  Hence the pairing.

SAKE BRAISED PORK BELLY NITSUKE–grilled bok choy, roasted Japanese taro, Chinese five spice demi & house-made kim chee daikon

wine: 2015 Dr F Weins Prüm Spätlese “Wehlener Sonnenuhr”

While nitsuke is usually a preparation for fish, Chef Keith chose to instead use the sake, shoyu, sugar to braise his pork belly, to soften the meat, while at the same time making it slightly sweet & lightly salty.  In addition, he sprinkled a little shichimi on the meat to give a slight edge of heat, which would heighten & accent it some.  We therefore chose to pair with a Spätlese from one of Germany’s finest single vineyards & its profoundly slate driven soils & therefore resulting minerality in the finished wine.  This wine also helped balance out the slight heat from the kim chee daikon.  Quite interesting.

DESSERT

Green Macha Tiramisu–sweet azuke beans with shichimi & vanilla ice cream

 

 

 

I also included pictures of each of these incredible vineyards to add dimension towards a better understanding & appreciation of the wines presented tonight.  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.  From left to right–Graacher Himmelreich, Ürziger Würzgarten & Wehlener Sonnenuhr.

 

 

Aug
16

A BYOB Syrah Tasting 07-09-18

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Our “in house” wine “mole” Keith also works full time at one of Hawaii’s top wine retailers.  This young man has a genuine passion for searching out good wines, both locally & it seems on line too.  Every now & then he puts together a BYOB winetasting at his home & invites a bunch of wine friends over to hang out, share their wine stash & talk story.  This was one of those nights, which he themed Syrah.

Here is the list of wines we tasted–

2012 Urban Legend Syrah “Cooper Ranch”; 2014 Yangarra Shiraz “Estate McLaren Vale”; 2007 Whitcraft Syrah “Stolpman Ranch”; 2015 L’Ecole Syrah No. 41 “Columbia Valley”; 2011 Gramercy Cellars Syrah “Lagniappe; 2013 Villa Creek “High Road”; 2001 Girasole Syrah “Eaglepoint Ranch”; Fabrizio Dionisio Syrah “Castagnino”; 2014 Vignoble Jean-Luc Jamet “Vino de Pays–Collines Rhodaniennes”; 2013 Chateau Fontanes “La Petite Serine”; 2015 Gramenon “Sierra du Sud”; 2014 JL Chave Crozes Hermitage “Silène”; 2013 Clape “Vin de Amis”; 2009 Matthieu Barrett Cornas “Les Terrasses du Serre”; 2014 Lionel Faury Côte Rôtie; 2014 Lionel Faury Côte Rôtie “Emporium; 2005 Patrick Jasmin Côte Rôtie.

Here is my comments on some of the highlights–

2012 Urban Legend Syrah “Cooper Ranch”–Urban Legend is a pretty exciting wine project in Oakland, California.  They buy grapes from some very interesting nooks & crannies of California to make some interesting wine for sale at their facility in Oakland.  This Barbera was grown in Plymouth, California, roughly an hour or so east of Sacramento in the Sierra Foothills.  A few years back, I went to visit Dick Cooper & walked away with a true admiration of him & what he does.  He is definitely an icon & excels at growing Barbera.  This 2012 was juicy, tasty, inviting, a real crowd pleasing style & explains why this wine project is gaining such momentum in becoming a  real wine destination.

2007 Whitcraft Syrah “Stolpman Ranch”–Chris Whitcraft was a “one of kind” winemaker.  Either people loved his wines or they didn’t.  There was little ground in between.  I am not sure if he made this 2007.  Having some health issues for quite some time, he was on & off in making the wines in the 2000’s.  I had always thought, 2006 was the last vintage he made himself & from 2007 on, his son, Drake, was at the helm with Chris helping.   (I was REALLY sad to hear of Chris’s passing some years back.  I doubt there will be another like him.  Such a gifted artist).  This 2007 was really good.  It had the wild & wooly nose, a Whitcraft trademark, with a muskiness, a prominent earthy/forest floor core & a smoky, & uplifting surinam cherry/floral edge.  On the palate, the wine flowed very well, was very harmonious & finished much more civil than one would expect.  I really liked it.  Kudos to Drake.  (FYI–the Stolpman Ranch takes growing Syrah very seriously & is the home to some top notch grapes that’s for sure).  Thank you Brent & Helen for sharing this wine.

2015 L’Ecole Syrah No. 41 “Columbia Valley”–Last year, I visited this winery, which is located outside of Walla Walla town, to taste through their wines.  Their wine tasting room was bustling with business & tasters are buying whatever they can get, especially on the higher end of the spectrum.  It was like a shark feeding frenzy.  Good for them!!!  It is understandable, as their style of wines tends to be forward, generously fruited, plush, palate satiating & certainly made people smile.  This wine was along those lines.  Thank you Ann for sharing this wine.

2011 Gramercy Cellars Syrah “Lagniappe”–wow, this was quite the stunner.  The nose was compelling–sandalwood, dried fruit, exotic spices–with wonderful savoriness, class & intrigue.  It was amazingly elegant, suave, well textured & so finely balanced.  We were also quite entranced with the harmony & gracefulness displayed, given this wine is only 7 years old.  Superb job guys!  It shows tasters what can be in Washington.  As I had mentioned last year after a visit to Washington wine country, I really think Syrah has a home to shine & excellent renditions like this one will make this relatively unsung grape variety grow in importance, prominence & acclaim there.  Thank you Rani for sharing this bottle.

2013 Villa Creek “High Road”–This was quite a shock to the palate following the Gramercy wine.  It was saturatingly black, was, especially initially, huge, voluminous, lavish, bordering decadent, opulent & mouthfilling with hotness in the finish.  One could readily tell this was from a very warm growing area.  With each additional sip, however, this wine definitely had minerality to its core (from the siliceous clay/calcareous soils in the vineyards), which made the wine seems less heavy than it actually was AND much more interesting both in the nose & palate.  While I have been advocating filling the big gap that lies between Pinot & Cabernet on the winelists with more Grenache or Syrah based wines, I would say then that this wine would be a transition for the Cabernet drinker…..AND I think they will be thrilled.  While Villa Creek is a highly lauded producer of Mediterranean grape variety blends out of Paso Robles, his High Road bottling hails exclusively from the much heralded, iconic James Berry vineyard.  The blend changes every year as it is a wine of the vineyard…..what the vineyard wants to say in any given year…….rather than a varietal oriented wine.  That is the magic of High Road.  Thank you Ann for sharing this bottle.

2001 Girasole Syrah “Eaglepoint Ranch”–this was an absolutely glorious, well aged red wine in all its glory.  It was something truly special.  (Unfortunately, it was Cheryle’s last bottle).  It was stunning in its youth AND glorious 17 years later–in BOTH cases showing the potential of what Syrah can be in California.  Girasole was a project where my long time San Francisco friends–Nunzio Alioto & Jeff Figone & I purchased grapes from some very interesting & unique vineyards & asked some of our winemaker friends to craft the wine.  (For more insight into that, please go to the archives section of this blog & look up the JoMani/Girasole post).  This was an opportunity for us to see what a masterful winemaker could do with really good, out of the norm, grapes.  In this case, it was Syrah from Eaglepoint Ranch (1400 feet above the town of Ukiah in Mendocino) & Pinot maestro Fred Scherrer–to me a match made in heaven–“mountain grown” Syrah, crafted by a Pinot master.  Yes, this wine was a dream come true right out of the gates & now 17 years later, a wine, I wish I had more of.  (I want to thank then Edmeades winemaker Van Williamson, then vineyard manager, Casey Hartlip & winemaker Fred Scherrer for making this happen).

2014 Jean-Luc Jamet Valin “Vino de Pays–Collines Rhodaniennes”–we, as a group, really liked this wine.  It featured the dark, voluptuous Syrah fruit reminiscent of the Côte-Rôtie magical mix of violets, lavender, green peppercorns, olives & the savory/raw meat nuances, all done with the Jamet suave-ability & swag. This wine actual comes from the Valine vineyard, which is located atop the Côte-Rôtie hillsides & therefore actually outside of the AOC boundary, yet it still has pedigree & something extra to its mojo.  The other bit I should clear up, is that there is now TWO Jamet producers, as the 2 Jamet brothers split up & went their separate ways.  Jean-Paul Jamet still has the Domaine Jamet label & half of their prime vineyard holdings & Jean-Luc Jamet is the proprietor of this particular wine & label, using his split of the vineyards.  Based upon this wine, I can’t wait to try his Côte-Rôtie “Terrasses” bottling…..& later compare, side by side, the Côte-Rôtie produced by each brother.  Thank you Jamm & Erica for sharing this bottle.

2013 Château Fontanès  “La Petite Serine”–from its first vintage, I have taken a fancy to this Syrah based red wine.  It is the handiwork of Cyriaque Rozier, also the winemaker of Château La Roque, down in the Pic St. Loup appellations of southern France.   Château Fontanès  is his own project.  While most noted for “country” styled wines, including one produced from Cabernet Sauvignon from his own organically/biodynamically vineyards.  A while back, Cyriaque acquired some Petite Serine vine cuttings from the Rhone Valley to the north & from pretty serious minded producers & planted them in his home turf.  I remember way back when early on, the most interesting, compelling northern Rhone Syrahs were, more often that not, produced from this heirloom/heritage vine at houses such as Verset, Clape, Chave & most notably Gentaz Dervieux.  Good enough endorsement for me.  The variable it seems, however, is the controversy of which vine is actually Petite Serine?  Well, if I was impressed by the wines from that iconic quartet, then if it were up to me, I would go to each of them & plead for cuttings.  Cyriaque would not disclose which producers he sought out, but I would say, I’m sure they are that level of quality.  His 2013 “La Petite Serine” wine is much more interesting, savory & compelling than those from most of his neighbors.  I definitely feel he is on to something & the wine is worth searching out, keeping in mind, this is NOT Cru quality or to be confused from Cornas, Hermitage & Côte-Rôtie.  I should also mentioned when one tastes this wine & then look at the more than reasonable price tag, you will appreciate it more & more.  Thank you Jacob for sharing this bottle.

2015 Gramenon “Sierra du Sud”–this was another big time group favorite, I would say because of its provocative transparency, apparent vinosity, balance, texture & uplifting finish.  This is old vine Syrah from the northern reaches of the southern Rhone Valley, grown by a uber–au naturale minded family who lives by this principals, rather just writing about them.   While most of their red wines are Grenache based, Sierra du Sud is Syrah, grown in a varied mix of clay & limestone with gravel, galets roulés, and/or sand.  While I have been a fan of this domaine, their culture & their wines for quite some time, this really was the first time that the Sierra du Sud bottling rocked me.  I was really taken.  Thank you Heather for sharing this bottle.

2014 JL Chave Crozes Hermitage “Silène”–we were again quite taken by this wine & its very skillful winemaking.  While Chave is one of the most iconic wine families in the world (& since 1481), I remember the then younger Jean Louis Chave launching his JL Chave wines in the early 90’s, almost as if to serve as entry wines to their wine world.  I also remember the first 2 St Josephs were very impressive.  This 2014 Crozes Hermitage “Silène” had way more class, mojo & character than almost all of the other Crozes Hermitage red wines I have previously encountered.   I am sure that can be attributed to using grapes coming from more fertile, flatland parcels, while the JL Chave mainly comes from a steep hillside on the east facing flank of Hermitage hill, all done with the Chave masterful winemaking touch.  I think most agreed they would buy this wine, given the chance.  Thank you Keith for sharing this wine with us.

2013 Clape “Vin de Amis”–this was yet another wine everyone really seemed to fawn over.  The nose was classic northern Rhone Syrah–lavender, violets, raw meat, herbs, olives, green peppercorns, musk–explosive & so compelling.  In the mouth this wine was rich, surprisingly voluptuous without any sense of heaviness whatsoever, seamless & VERY savory, soulful & marvelous is the best word I could think of.  It had amazing wow factor without being Cru quality.   This is 100% Syrah produced from young Cornas vines & from a 1 hectare parcel of round river stone soils, just south of the village.  Definitely a wine worth seeking out, especially given the quality for dollar ratio!

2009 Matthieu Barrett Cornas “Les Terrasses du Serre”–Matthieu is a young winemaker of Cornas whose notoriety is meteorically growing amongst the sommelier community & press across the country.  (the Wine Spectator for instance is all over this wine & this domaine, rating it 95 points).  His domaine–Domaine du Coulet–owns roughly 10 hectares of Cornas vineyards, which means over 10% of the total AOC Cornas acreage, mainly in “gore” soils (decomposing granite).  His Les Terrasses du Serre bottling (1 of 4 he currently produces) is 100% Syrah–45 year old vines, 70% in oak (6 to 10 year old barrels) for 18 months & 30% in concrete egg.  I didn’t know what to make it of this wine at first, as it is much more about unrestrained power, density, fortitude–attributes that warrants the high scores & accolades.  While the gaminess & rustiness is toned down (thankfully for most tasters), & the winemaking very skillful, I then would question its meter on soulfulness, especially since I was brought up with Cornas from Verset, Clape & later Allemand.  After all is said & done, however, I would say, yes, there is a big niche for this wine.  It does make you stop, think & enjoy.  Plus, on line, the wine is listed at $59.99, which is substantially lower than those of Clape & Allemand.   Thank you Keith for sharing.

2014 Lionel Faury Côte Rôtie–we are big fans of this northern Rhone Valley domaine & its wines.  Philippe Faury started the domaine in 1979 & over the years grew his vineyard holdings to 11 hectares (last count).  I had even heard early on, they had acquired some of the breathtaking, steep St Joseph vineyards of Joseph Panel (another of my past favorites).  Son, Lionel, took over the reins, I was told, in 2006 (although his father still works side by side with him).  I love the purity/transparency of their wines as “there’s a real attention to detail here, and nothing is done in haste.  Every method used encourages the grape towards greatness with the ultimate respect for its fragility” as one writer appropriately noted.  “The vines were planted in 1993 & 2008, on steep slopes (with a grade of up to 45%) facing south by south-east, from two parcels in Côte Brune (Fourvier and Le Plomb).  The real compelling-ness of this wine really starts with its wonderful perfume–white & dark flower floridity, so enticing & fragrant with a core of provocative musk, sandalwood, earthy, smoky, exotic spice nuances.  On the palate, it is lovely, soothing, enchanting, somewhat velvety, despite its apparent masculinity.  Yup, a New Age Côte Rôtie, done in a more classical style, well worth seeking out.  Thank you Storm for sharing!

2014 Lionel Faury Côte Rôtie “Emporium”–in comparison, their “Emporium” bottling comes exclusively from their Fourvier lieu-dit & is VERY different.  I felt it to be more majestic & aristocratic….more pedigree–more compact, with more structure & impact.  It is “quietly” more showy, at least by their standards though NEVER as showy as those from Guigal, Chapoutier & other more modernists.  Both wines are 70 to 80% destemmed & aged in 220 & 600 liter barrels (Emporium for 27 months & the AOC for 18 months).  I was really taken with these wines.  Thank you Cheryle for sharing.

 

2005 Patrick Jasmin Côte Rôtie —This domaine is now run by the fourth generation of this family, extending back to the late 1800’s.  I first visited back in 1991, when Robert was still alive & running the domaine.  It was a very memorable visit, which is saying a lot for me when one considers I also visited–Chave, Gentaz Dervieux, Rene Rostaing, Verset & Clape, just to name a few Syrah highlights on that trip.  Robert was a burly, jovial & passionate man & what stuck in my mind from that initial visit, was that he owned but only 4 hectares of prime vineyards (today it is 5 hectares), where he co-planted both 96% Syrah ( a séléction massale known as “la vieille sérine”, championing this ancient version of the varietal, known for its beautiful aromatics, smaller berries and seeds, and lower yields) with 4% Viognier.  Robert used Burgundian barrels to age his wines (in different sizes) & since 1984 he said he started experimenting with new oak–10% with the 1989.  He also started bottling, per his U.S. importer, Kermit Lynch’s request, his wines unfiltered & unfined with the 1989 vintage.  I was fortunate to taste his Côte Rôtie back to 1978.  I loved its wild rusticity, its provocative musk, earth, savage character in the wines, each vintage, which were as burly, surly & masculine as he was.  This 2005 had a similar “cheesy” kind of edge, I later recalled from my early on tastes at the domaine with similar earthy, smoke, masculine qualities that I had also found in those early bottlings.  I would say, that the 2005 had a much stronger oak presence, but was well integrated.  This wine was just a reminder for me of where northern Syrah came from & a VERY different persona/style than that we tasted from Matthieu Barrett earlier.  It’s funny, back in 1991 & on that trip, Rene Rostaing’s wines stood out from the rest, because of his avid use back then of new French oak, whereas Jasmin’s wine totally fit in.  Today in comparison, Jasmin stands out from the rest, particularly this 13 year old one, because of its old style.  Thank you Jamm & Erica for sharing.

Categories : General, Red, Wine, Wine Thoughts
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A Dinner with Bruce and Barbara Neyers of Neyers Winery in Napa Valley

Bruce Neyers is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant, knowledgeable wine “minds” I have ever run across.  He was part of the wine evolution in the Napa Valley during the 1970’s/80’s/90’s till the present.  In addition, in 1992, he became the National Sales Manager for Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants, one of the real “game changing” wine importers of small, artisan wineries from France (& now Italy as well).  Barbara Neyers was the right hand person for Alice Waters & her game changing Chez Panisse restaurant the first 20 or so years.  With the 1992 vintage, this incredible couple bought & relaunched their Neyers label, some of our very favorite wines out of California.  This are just some of the highlights of TWO illustrious, game changing careers, just so you better understand what level these 2 play on.

The behind the scenes workings of this couple, let me say that Bruce, because of his 40 plus years of experience in California has a very long time & comprehensive view & understanding of where we came from, what worked & what didn’t & launched this project accordingly.  In addition, with his workings with some of the most esteemed wine maestros from the Old World, he could include that to his methodology both in the vineyard & winemaking.  This would be quite a difference maker in their resulting wines.  (NO “fruit” bombs).

Furthermore, because of Barbara’s intimate knowledge of cooking (& Bruce’s for that matter) I could readily see, over the years, their move to more & more balanced wines, which were thankfully much more food friendly in style.

Lastly & most importantly, the Neyers winery is very uber-sustainable, in their approach to farming & making their wines.  It is the way they live.

Yes, they are quite the couple & I am so honored & thankful to have met them.

Here is the menu–

APPETIZER (d.k Steak House Executive Chef  Albert Balbas

 SLOW ROASTED KUROBUTA PORK BELLY–with a crispy “Small Kine Farms” cremini mushroom risotto cake, Swiss chard, and red wine rosemary jus

WINE:  2016 Neyers Carignan “Evangelho Vineyard”–a celebration of the 139 year old vines! Foot stomped, wild yeast fermented and bottled unfiltered. I think of this wine as a homage to the great Maxime Magnon of Southern France.

 

INTERMEZZO  (d.k Steak House Executive Chef Albert Balbas )

TRUFFLE CAJUN SEARED HAWAIIAN AHI— with cilantro pesto, ponzu, crispy garlic chips, and lemon garlic aioli

 

2ND COURSE (Sansei Waikīkī Executive Chef Adrian Solorzano) 

SEARED SCALLOP WITH SQUID INK PASTA–with Mari’s Gardens mixed greens, Limoncello vinaigrette, roasted garlic-almond butter, shaved beets & fennel

WINE:  2016 Neyers Chardonnay “304”–Bruce Neyers–“A few years ago Tadeo Borchardt accompanied me on one of my regular trips to France, and we arranged a visit in Chablis with my favorite winemaker there, Roland Lavantureux. The tasting was a career turner for both of us, as we moved through wine after wine, each bursting with bright flavors, crisp acidity, and an aftertaste of refreshing minerality. Later that day, we made our plan to produce a bottling of Chardonnay with no oak contact.  First we needed a source for the grapes. Paul Larson’s family has been growing grapes in the Carneros District of Sonoma County for over a century, and Paul has a parcel that is thought to be the southern-most Chardonnay vineyard in Sonoma County. That proximity to the Bay makes it one of the coldest grape-growing spots in northern California. Moreover, many of the vines are in the bed of what used to be a large creek, so the soil is rocky, with a deep gravel deposit. Those two factors – cold climate and rocky soil – make the vineyard particularly attractive for a Chablis-style Chardonnay, as the combination of high natural acidity with strong minerality are two elements we look for in classic Chablis. We were delighted that the weather at Larson’s vineyard was so chilly that these were the last grapes we harvested.”  Shot Wente Chardonnay vine, wild yeast fermented in stainless steel (& 15% concrete), no ML, circulating lees contact.  A real favorite!

 

INTERMEZZO  ( Sansei Waikīkī Executive Chef Adrian Solorzano) 

SHRIMP CEVICHE–with fried quinoa, cilantro, sweet Maui onions, & yuzu juice

 

MAIN ENTRÉE  (d.k Steak House Executive Chef Albert Balbas) 

“ANDREW’S MEAT” TAJIMA WAGYU STRIP LOIN–with pancetta haricot verts, au poivre sauce, grilled Hamakua Ali’i mushrooms & smashed fingerling potatoes

WINES–2014 Neyers Cabernet Sauvignon  “Neyers Ranch”–We have watched with joy the journey of this couple & their estate vineyard over the years.  Today, without a doubt their Cabernet Sauvignon bottlings are some of the VERY best out of California because their experiences (both from Napa Valley & the Old World), ever growing expertise, vision & worldliness, their passion & their grass roots driven hard work, gritty determination & perseverance.  “When we were ready to plant Cabernet Sauvignon on our Conn Valley Ranch in 1984, we dug more than 20 test holes on the property. The exposed 8’ depth of soil from each of them was analyzed by the best soil chemist in the area. He directed us to plant Merlot on all of the land below 600 feet elevation. Why? Because above 600 feet the soil changed dramatically, and became much more suitable for Cabernet Sauvignon. Once onto higher ground, the clay/loam/gravel soil was given over to rocky land rich with Basalt. Cabernet Sauvignon is a vigorous grape variety, and the rocky hillside soil retards its vigor, which is much better for the wine.  The Neyers Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in the hills of Conn Valley is one of the rare 10% in the Napa Valley capable of producing great Cabernet Sauvignon. This happened through careful planning, though, not simply the good fortune of being in the Napa Valley. The project that we began in 1984 with the purchase of our home ranch, has now exceeded our wildest expectations. It only took 30 years“. Bruce Neyers

2010 Neyers Merlot  “Napa Valley”–(A library selection from the winery, served out of magnum).  It was the 1992 Neyers Merlot that initially caught my attention, it was that special. I would further add this bottling is the finest out of California year in and year out. What a wine this truly is!   WOW!  Organically farmed, this is vanguard wine for the cellar and definitely worth checking out. They sadly don’t produce an estate Merlot bottling any more.

 

DESSERT  (DK Restaurants Pastry Chef Cherrie Pascua) 

MAUI GOLD PINEAPPLE BREAD PUDDING–with housemade haupia squares, candied macadamia nuts, and crème Anglaise

Great job & much mahalos to the Chefs & the Management team!  Thank you to Managing Partner Ivy Nagayama for always doing unreal things, “out of the box” to make us all think differently & continue growing.  Kudos & much respect!

DK Restaurants