Perfect Night For A Wine Dinner…

“A Dragon Lady?” laughed, Clos Du Val’s head winemaker Ted Henry as we walked through his vines, before sitting down for Clos Du Val’s fun, gorgeous night out supper at their new vineyard in Yountville. 

“What are you talking about?” 

The Insider read a piece recently in Forbes about Madame Bize-Leroy of Domaine-Leroy, who makes sublime Burgundies. “We are guardians. We watch, we observe, we make some decisions but it is the grapes that come first-they guide us. Our job is to look, observe and try to understand. That is our job, our role. Yes, we make decisions, but we don’t really do anything.” 

“Well, that’s an interesting take on winemaking. I don’t totally agree. But I understand where she’s coming from.” 

As we rounded the path in the vines to go back to the long supper table, Henry and the Insider got into a discussion about how tricky it is to make a good Viognier.  “You got to get the acidity right. You don’t want that bitter after taste.” 

“But on the other hand, you don’t want to go too far the other way and turn it into some cloying, fruit bomb,” the Insider chimed in. 

“Exactly,” Henry said, nodding his head vigorously. “It’s a subtle thing, just like a Pinot.” 

We concluded our vine walk and settled into our chairs as the sunsets. Early Girl Watermelon Gazpacho was a fine way to begin dining. My dining companion to the left, Zach was a veggie and a couple across the table were vegans, all expertly taken care of by the staff.  The Insider isn’t much a salad guy… but that salad was so good, just so refreshing in the heat.   

A 2015 Chardonnay from Grand Val Vineyard paired well with the salad, and the Charred Broccoli and Sprouted Wheat Berries, went well with the 2015 Pinot Noir. When they brought out the Grilled Hangar Steak, it wasn’t hard to pair the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon.  The wines just kept getting better, with Clos Du Val’s 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon and finally, their 1975 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.  

Dessert was Cheesecake in a Jar, with huckleberry, pistachio crumble and tarragon.  Wines were generously left by  Clos Du Val staff for diners to pair with dessert.