Asparagus with cheese and capers: the 1st course 'vegetarian' substitution for a 5-course dinner featuring the wines of Cade Winery (Howell Mountain, California) and its 'sister' winery, Plumpjack (Oakville, California), both owned by California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and San Francisco philanthropist Gordon Getty.
The guest speaker for the evening was Danielle Cyrot, winemaker for Cade. "My father is French; my mother, Irish. I have the French nose for wine, and the Irish liver for its enjoyment." "Personally, my preference is for screwtops over corks. The wine in the bottle tastes just as I remember it from the barrel."
The asparagus was served with Plumpjack Merlot 2010, a wine that those who pooh-pooh the varietal (a group related to those who pooh-pooh Chardonnay) should taste. Ripe plum, dark berry flavors, with notes of sweet cooking spice and chocolate. In the finish, moderate tannic structure and refreshing acidity balance the 'California' suppleness of the fruit.
L'Auberge Chez Francois
Great Falls, Virginia.
24 April 2013.