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Having visited Washington State with Kareasa & Ralph UnaWilkins earlier in the year, we were interested to have a dinner featuring some Washington State wines.

Since our previous dinners together, Connie & Mark O'Poon now have a new addition to their family, Winifred Scout O'Poon.
This was Winnie's first visit to Uncle Gerald's home.




Winnie was asking "Where's the bubbly?  Don't you have some sparkling wine for me?"

And we had some nibbles to accompany the 2009 Argyle Brut from Oregon...

Kareasa took care of pouring the bubbly.




Dad and daughter.

 

Ralph took care of opening and pouring the white wines for the starter course.


We kept little Winnie waiting so long for the first course, she fell asleep!


Sea scallops on a bed of spinach with a grilled prawn in the middle...
DeLille's 2014 Chaleur Estate white wine was a great pairing...
Kareasa immediately described this as challenging top Bordeaux estates.
Yes...it's herbal, mildly citrusy Sauvignon with just the right amount of oak.

The L'Ecole 41 2014 Columbia Valley Chenin Blanc had a nice fragrance which struck me as typical of that grape.  It was, in the company of the strong Chaleur white, a bit bland.  We felt the wine was also mildly sweet, but their technical data sheet claims it has but 5 grams per liter of residual sugar.
That can't be accurate, frankly.  It tastes more like 8 to 12 grams of sugar.

Meanwhile, I fired up the pot to start making risotto.

Carnaroli riso.

To pair with the mushroom risotto we selected a couple of Walla Walla Valley Syrah wines, one young and the other nearly a decade old.

Kareasa was also thrilled to know there was a tray of Yorkshire Pudding baking in the oven.

Meanwhile, the risotto was ready and plated...Mushroom Risotto with locally-foraged Porcini.

We obtained a couple of white truffles from Alba in Italy's Piemonte region.

The risotto is then made with broth from soaking dried Porcini (a splash of dry white wine to start the process) and we add a couple of spoons-full of a Piemontese truffle cream to the pot of braised funghi.

Then we shaved the truffles over the risotto.


The Cayuse winery is a smallish property in Walla Walla.  
It's become a much sought-after wine made by a French-born fellow, Christophe Baron.
We met him ages ago (maybe in 2000?) on a visit to Walla Walla.  He was born in Champagne and had the idea of making wine in Oregon's Willamette Valley.  But seeing a rocky patch of land just south of Walla Walla changed his life as it reminded him of the stony "potato fields" of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Baron has since been the trailblazer with his Syrah production and now the region boasts a number of seriously good wineries making top-notch Syrah.
This was a 2014 bottling called "En Chamberlin."
This is named for a single vineyard property planted in 2000.  It was way too young, but really intriguing to monitor its development in the glass.
At first it was a bit shy and quiet...then it started to blossom with air, showing itself along the lines of Northern Rhône Syrahs.  It then displayed olive-like aromas and a touch of the hickory/bacony notes we like in older Côte-Rôtie wines.  But then, a fleeting moment later, it was back to its youthfully reticent self.  What a tease!
We are sure this will be a grand vin in five to ten to fifteen years, but presently it's a wine which bounced around like a ricocheting ball on a soccer field.

The Saviah Syrah was from the 2006 vintage.  It, too, was quite good.  The wine had both good fruit and nice oak.  I described it as being somewhat reminiscent of Guigal's various barrel-aged Syrahs from the Northern Rhône.  Perhaps it's not as deep and complex from a fruit perspective, but the wine was quite good and showing beautifully.

The truffle, by the way, was marvelously pungent and aromatic.  We shaved slices which were slightly thicker than tissue paper-thin.  The fragrance wafting from the dish were nearly as intoxicating as were the wines.


Ralph immediately sent a text to Kareasa to tell her what a remarkable dish he was enjoying.

Then he remember she was sitting just across the dinner table!


Wine drinking in "stereo."

You-know-who was waiting for some food...

He wasn't much interested in the Sea Scallops or the Prawns...he often does enjoy eating those.
Risotto and mushrooms are not his thing, either, but the main course was worth waiting for...

I've often prepared a wine "sorbet" or granita, but for this meal I made one based on lemon and infused with fresh basil and mint.

This was delicious and maybe too intense with basil and mint...I think I'll use fewer leaves for the infusion next time.

 


The roast hit the 120 degree mark on the thermometer and we removed in from the oven.

After it had rested for maybe 20-30 minutes, it was time to start plating it.

I was working on this under the watchful eye of my assistant.

In the dining room, someone else was getting hungry.


Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding.

I'll drink to that!

Winnie said she'd like a bit of the Yorkshire Pudding.

We opened a 2010 Corliss Red with the roast.  It's got a lot of Cabernet Franc and some Cabernet Sauvignon with a modest amount of Merlot.
It was a perfectly "nice" bottle of wine, but given its $70-$75 price tag, it's too costly for what it is.
The 2012 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon is another expensive bottle of wine.  It carries a price tag of around $90 and the wine is quite good, but, again, ambitiously priced.
It shows dark fruit and a nice bit of wood.
(( I sparged the bottles with Private Preserve to share them with the crew at the shop and both John and Ellen did not find these to be of interest at pricing about $40-$50. ))


Dessert was a homemade Apple Crumble...Very simple...apples dredged in lemon juice and cinnamon, crammed into a glass pie pan and topped with the "crumble."  
The crumble topping is mostly flour and sugar with a bit of cinnamon, unsalted butter and a bit of salt.
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream...delicious!

We paired this with Pacific Rim winery's 2012 Vin de Glacière Riesling.  This is a perfectly nice wine, but it's all about the sugar, frankly.  You'll find hints of Riesling here, but it's there's more sweetness than there is complex, floral, fruity Riesling with complexity and layers of flavors.

 

And we had Amazing Jake's Amazing Persimmon Bread, too, since one dessert wasn't enough!

Thanks Jake!


As it was past my bedtime (but not Winnie's, apparently) we wrapped up a lovely evening and reminiscing about a few wonderful days in Washington State earlier in the year.



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