DeRose Vineyards is located in the Cienega Valley . The winery has a rich history - it is the "oldest existing winery" in the State of California according to wine historian Charles Sullivan - and many of the estate wines are made from vines that are over 100 years old.
We had a great time dining in the beautiful courtyard of the historic Victorian house where Vino Locale is located. The menu was a seven-course feast, each course paired with a DeRose wine.
Ralph Hurd, winemaker at DeRose presented the wines and Mabel Bialson presented the menu:
Grilled Shrimp and Apricots, Apricot Relish
2002 Sharknose Chardonnay Cienega Valley
The wine had a bright golden color. The nose was fresh with grapefruit aromas. On the palate, it was medium-bodied with butterscotch flavors, followed by crisp finish, This Chablis-style Chardonnay worked very well with the acidity of the apricot relish.
Thai Lobster Roll with Peanut Satay, Lemongrass, Ginger Sauce
2002 Viognier Cienega Valley
The wine comes from dryfarmed vines over 100 years old. The nose was very aromatic nose, a rich mouthfeel with sweet peach aromas on the palate and herb flavors that reminded me of Chartreuse liqueur on the finish. Maybe a little bit too sweet for my taste but it complemented very well the Asian flavors of the Thai dish.
Pan Roasted Salmon with Cabernet Sauce, Sauteed Baby Broccoli
2003 Cabernet Franc Cienega Valley
For me, this was the best fish dish of the dinner and thanks to the Cabernet sauce, it perfectly matched the wine. The wine had a dark inky color, sweet fruits on the nose and rich mouthfeel followed by some acidity on the finish.
Glazed Grilled Long Island Duck Breast with Orange & Spice Marinade, Port Reduction Sauce, Orange Glazed Carrots
2003 Merlot Livermore Valley
The wine had berry aromas on the nose. On the palate, it was full-bodied and slightly tannic. Its flavors worked very well with the Orange Glazed Carrots.
Tenderloin of beef with Ethiopian Longberry Coffee, Sour Cherry, Hollywood Red Reduction with Caramelized Shallots and Sun Dried Cherries, garnished with Shaved Bitter Chocolate
2002 Hollywood Red Cienega Valley
This one was the best meat dish and thanks to the Hollywood Red reduction, the coffee/chocolate aromas and the fruity cherries, it perfectly echoed the flavors of the wine.
Grilled Summer Lettuces with Prosciutto wrapped Mozzarella, Balsamic Glaze
2003 Dryfarm Zinfandel Cienega Valley
Coming from 110 years old vines, the wine had a spicy nose with berry aromas. The palate was full-bodied palate with chocolate and raisiny flavors and a tannic finish.
Tiramisu with Blueberries, Raspberries and Strawberries, Belgium Bittersweet Chocolate
1995 Cabernet Franc Port
This port exhibited coffee and black cherry aromas with a rich mouthfeel, and the tiramisu was delicious!
Tasting the rich DeRose Winery wines with the complex and intense flavors of the dishes that complemented them so well was an awesome experience.
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