Food, Wine & Friends Page 294 Giuseppe Vaira GD Vajra
Our dear friend Giuseppe Vaira came to town to show the latest
releases of his family's lovely GD Vajra wines.
A day before the tasting, I hosted a small dinner for Giuseppe and his importer,
the famous Justin Gallen of the Rinascimento Wine Company.
These two intrepid fellows had been at a Sunday barbecue in Berkeley that
afternoon, so we didn't have quite the blow-out menu as we often do.
Giuseppe's sommelier training came in handy as he opened a
bottle of Pierre Moncuit's 2004 "Vieille Vigne" Grand Cru Brut
We had a few simple "nibbles" to start, including
some dynamite sushi from Burlingame's exceptional Sakae
The Sommelier took care of opening a couple of white wines...
And now it was time to take a seat...
Oh! A little surprise...
Meanwhile...in the kitchen...
Two 2015 white wines...
The Turonia is a stellar Albari˝o from Spain. Lots of melon, peach and
some stony notes...
The Pojer e Sandri MŘller-Thurgau was a complete surprise! It's usually
mildly herbal and citrusy, but this bottle was beautifully intense. The
aromas were fantastic and, if served blind, we'd have identified it as a
seriously good Sauvignon Blanc. Having tasted this last year, it was
impressive how this wine has developed.
The salad featured some mixed greens with a bit of arugula and shaved
fennel. Smoked trout and a chilled prawn adorned this nice plate.
A small scoop of lemon sorbet helped prepare the palate for
the next wines...
Some years ago we had spoken about the Charbono grape and Justin mentioned he's
a 1968 Baby.
"Wouldn't it be great to try an Inglenook Charbono from my vintage?"
Well, rummaging around in the shop I unearthed a bottle of that very wine and
set it aside to share with him.
Today was the day.
And as long as we are drinking birth year wines...
The 1968 Inglenook had lost that blueberry-like fruit, of course...heck, it's
nearly 50 years old.
The color was a dark brickish hue with old, mildly tarry notes along the lines
of old Barolo. It was a medium-bodied wine with above average
acidity. It was a remarkable bottle, though we might say it had seen
The Duckhorn Merlot was from the Three Palms Vineyard and it had a slightly
corky, musty note to it. Medium+ in body and fully developed, as one might
And then a little dessert...
And with that, we called it a night!
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