I had fancy wine in a trailer yesterday. Yep – fer real. The folks at Beringer invited me to their souped up Airstream for a looksie at their Domino Magazine decorated rig and a tasting of their nicer wines with some gourmet nibbles. Have to say, I was intrigued…
So, while their campaign of “Bringing Napa Valley to You” or something like that seemed a bit marred by the snow falling, I was pleased to find the inside toasty warm. Executive Chef David Frakes was busy whipping up some intricate goodies in a kitchen smaller than those found in most Manhattan studios. Big props to him.
I started with the Napa Sauvignon Blanc 2005 which had a bit more pleasing acidity than past vintages and a nice herbal note. A potato papadam with a sweet green plum chutney made a suprising match! I thought the sweetness would make the wine…suck. But it only highlighted the grassy notes – in a good way.
Next up, the Private Reserve Chardonnay 2004. Lots of carmel, toffee, and buttery vanilla goodness. Again – a yellow curry spiced shrimp filled me with forboding and again I was suprised. The curry actually brought out an earthiness in the wine that added to the total appeal.
Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2002 is one of the few heavy hitter CA Merlots that seems worth cellaring to me. This one probably needs it for just a year or so. It had a great Bordeaux-ish gravelly aroma with plenty of plum and dark fruit flavors to beef it up. A bit too herbal for my taste, but Merlot fand will love it.
And the big daddy Reserve Cab 2002. ( I told you these were fancy!) A dark chocolate, cocoa, and coffee beast of a wine. Nice structure and some noticeable tannin that I trust will soften over time. The PR usually ages quite gracefully, but I honestly think that dropping this kind of coin on a wine warrants a 5 to 10 year wait before drinking. Put a “mitts off” sign on this one and obey your own edict.