Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chaine Event at Matts Red Rooster

Great dinner with the Chaine at Matts Red Rooster in Flemington, with Summer Grillin' and Chillin' the theme. We had Chef/Owner Matt McPherson create a menu inspired by summers fresh, seasonal ingredients and worked the wines back from there to match. It was a great evening - superb food, great service, enthusiastic and appreciative crowd and the wines worked out ok too!! Thanks to everyone at Matts for a great job and to Celia for putting it all together! I really like this restaurant, the preps, the fresh local slant, the open kitchen and the BYO! Glad to be back for such a great event and have made promises to myself to come back more often! The menu and wines:

Reception - Chilled, Truffled Griggstown Chicken Liver Pate, Watermelon & Fresh Mozzarella Skewers w/ pickled red onions, Grilled Flat Bread w/ charred apricot chutney & roasted foie gras , Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho Shooters, A.B.C. (Avocado, bacon & crabmeat)

2009 Ameztoi Txakolina de Getaria - Who knew that a white made partially from a red grape could make a wine that is so devoid of color, yet so bathed in flavor intensity. Hondarribi Zuri (white grape) and Hondarribi Beltza (red grape) are grown on sandy, limestone soils in the heart of the Basque country near San Sebastian. Vinified in stainless steel tanks and bottled with a touch of natural residual carbon, this lively, zippy white has just a little spritz to it. I liken it to the most amazing grown-up limeade you'll ever encounter with the joy of effervescence. When at an authentic bar like Txikito, they will serve this wine to you in a tumbler, just as they do in San Sebastian. A special pourer is inserted in the top of the bottle and the wine is poured from high up to release all that frothy goodness in the glass. And while this certainly is a refreshing quaff, its also serious and complex wine delivering a multitude of flavors: fresh lime, sea salt, minerals, hint of mint

Region: Getaria, Spain
Grapes: Hondarribi Zuri (white grape) and Hondarribi Beltza (red grape)
Vini/Viti: Stainless steel cool fermentation
Cuisine: Light fish, seafood, apetizers of all types
Drink - Now
SRP: $22

First Course - Grilled Day Boat Scallop, Roasted local beet & horseradish compote

2008 Domaine Bzikot Bourgogne Blanc - From a great plot along the Puligny bench, Sylvain Bzikot tenderly cares for his vines in Huilleres. They lie right alongside those of Domaine Leflaive and the
vinification is just as exacting and meticulous as his village and 1er cru sites. He gently presses the wine and vinifies 1/3 of it in barrels (5% new) with the remainder only treated to stainless steel. This lends
texture but not oakiness. Clean and fresh on the palate, the Bourgogne shows Puligny-like characters of
apples, pears and stony mineral notes in the long finish. Superb now, but I suspect this little wine will live on and strut its stuff with flash for another four years.

Region: Burgundy, France
Grape: Chardonnay
Drink: Now - 2014
SRP : $28

Second course: Wood Fired Romaine Heart, Roasted Corn & Creamy Parmesan Dressing

2010 Mas de Cadenet Sainte Victoire Cotes de Provence Rose - In what is clearly the steal of the season,
this wine from the small appellation of Sainte Victoire is destined to be the stuff of legend. And rightfully
so... It's that outstanding. Usually, Provence Rose is light and crisp, the ultimate refresher on a hot day.
Although Sainte Victoire is not on the tip of most wine lovers proverbial tongue, it is very well known in
Provence for making Rose wines with grace. This is the most complex Rose I've had all year. Floral and
pretty aromatics of jasmine and strawberry lead the way to a palate filled with light cherry, watermelon,
white peach, sea salt and a very long and mineral finish. Possessing a lovely salmon color and lively
acidity, this is phenomenal wine to enjoy right now.

Region: Sainte Victoire, Provence, France
Grapes: 40% Grenache, 40% Cinsault & 20% Syrah
Vinification: Stainless steel tank (no oak)
Farming: Sustainable
Drink: Now - 2012
Cuisine: Seared Tuna, Shrimp, Soft Shell Crab, Grilled Chicken
ABV: 13%
SRP : $18

Entrée - Sous Vide New York Strip Steak, Finished on the wood fired grill, paired with cold smoked heirloom tomato, demi- glace and served with Summer Vegetable Skewers and Grilled sweet potatoes

2009 Domaine de la Janasse Cotes du Rhone "Cuvee Tradition" - A kirschy lovable Cotes du Rhone,
Domaine de la Janasse keeps the focus on ripeness of fruit and not on the wood. While this is certainly not a rustic CdR, it has magnificent fruit purity and outstanding length. Choosing to only put 60% of the wine in oak, and of that only 1/3 of the barrels new, they made the wise decision to use cement vats for the rest of vinification. A juicy, racy wine based on Grenache, but also containing Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvedre, the Cotes du Rhone Tradition lavishes the palate bing cherries, raspberries, jam and spices. A delicious wine and excellent Cellar Defender to enjoy now through 2015.

Region: Cotes-du-Rhone (S. Rhone,) France
Grapes: 55% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Carignan, 5% Mourvedre & 5% Cinsault
Terroir: Red clay & crushed pebbly soil located to the north of Courthézon
Vinification: 60% French Oak (1/3 new) & 40% cement vats
Drink: Now - 2015
Cuisine: Grilled Steaks, Burgers, Roast Pork
ABV: 14.5%
SRP: $18.50

2007 Domaine Laffont Madiran "Cuvee Erigone" - This tiny Domaine (3.9 hecatres) produces one of the top wines from this little known region tucked into the Pyranees in the southwest of France. The Erigone (the name of the goddess seducced by Dionysus) is made from 80% Tannat and 20% Cabernet Franc grown in limestone and gravel soils. Vines are an average of 45 years old. They are detemmed, descending into wooden tanks by gravity, and undergoe a cold maceration for several days, then fermented with all natural yeasts and a veru long (5 weeks) maceration. Yhe wines then go into barrel, 2 and 3 year old, for 16 months. The wines go through malo in the barrels, and they are bottled with no fining or filtration. The results are big, sturdy wines with ample structure and the rugged framework they absorb from the region they are grown. SOlid, firm and chewy, with ripe tannins and well integrated oak. perfect for steaks, lamb, and game such as boar or venison. Drink now - 2016+

Region: Madiran, France
Cepage: 80% Tannat, 20% Cabernet Franc
Vinification: Wood casks, then 2-3 yr barrels for 16 months
Cuisine: Hearty fare - beef, lamb, game, stews, braised meats
Drink: 2011 - 2020
SRP : $18.50

Dessert: Peaches & Cream Bread Pudding

Cerdon de Bugey, Renardat-Fâche - This wine comes from a little known wine region with more obscure grape varieties. The small French town of Cerdon lies in the shadow of the Alps, and it is here that Alain Renardat-Fache makes his unique Cerdon de Bugey. This is a pink sparkler made from Gamay and Poulsard grapes using the traditional method of aging the wine in the bottle and disgorging like Champagne, but it's a lot less money! It has moderate sweetness, but is not cloying or heavy at all - just like eating fresh berries - naturally low alcohol makes it a perfect choice on a warm summer day as an aperitif, or after dinner for a refreshing nip that won't do too much damage!
Region: Rhone, France
Grapes: Gamay, Poulsard
Drink: Now
Cuisine: Apertif or Desserts with berries or chocolate
ABV: 7.5%
SRP: $24

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