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A Great Sunday - Visit to Dragonette and Dinner at Bouchon

PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:55 pm
by Steve Anderson
Made a quick stop in Los Olivos on the way from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara today. Poked my head in the Tercero tasting room, but didn’t see Larry. Just as we were turning around, we bumped into Brandon Sparks-Gillis of Dragonette. We hadn’t planned on tasting as we were in a bit of a hurry to get to SB, but it didn’t take much for Brandon to twist our arm to come in to the tasting room. We started with the 2009 SYV Sauv Blanc and then the 2010 Happy Canyon Sauv Blanc. We moved on to the 2009 Grenache, and then the 2008 Syrah, a nice preview of the Mag we got at the Silent Auction at the Celebration of Harvest on Saturday. Covered these wines before and loved them, so won’t try to write any additional notes. We finished off with the 2010 Presidio Pinot, an amazing wine. As much as I love Dragonette Pinots, this is probably my favorite to date. Obviously young, but very smooth with black cherry, spice and earth. This one is not normally on the tasting list but they had a bottle open and shared it with us. As we were about to leave, I mentioned to Brandon that I was looking forward to trying the Liquid Farm Chard project. Brandon was kind enough to go in the back room and grabbed a bottle and opened it for us. What a guy…and what a Chard. He opened the Liquid Farm Golden Slope, which I didn’t note if it was the 2009 or 2010, but presuming the latter. A beautiful chard, full of flavor and a lot going on. Some apple/pear/citrus, minerality with good acidity. Definitely not the typical CA chard and we both loved it. Definitely worth seeking out.

After spending our afternoon in SB, we made our way to Bouchon for dinner. Would have loved to buy a bottle off the list, such as the Storm Sauv Blanc for $38, but decided to go by the glass to diversify a bit:

With appetizers, Misuk chose the 2009 Jaffurs Viognier, which she loved the day before at the Celebration of Harvest. Beautiful floral nose, honeysuckle, melon and some peach. Love Vio, and this is a great one.

I chose the 2010 Foxen Old Vines Ernest Wickenden Vineyard Chenin Blanc, which was the suggested pairing for the Heirloom tomato app. It was served a bit too cold for my liking, but of course warmed up to cellar temp within a few minutes. A nice CB, light and crisp with good minerality. Some florals and pear, with great acidity and a definitely a great pairing for the heirloom tomato and goat cheese app.

With dinner, I went for a glass of the 2010 Diatom Kazaoto Chard, a steel fermented wine. Nose was a bit reticent, but boy was this huge on the palate. The bottle was opened at our table and probably could have benefited from at least an hour of air. Some lemon/citrus and florals on the nose, with more lemon and honeydew melon on the palate. Great balance and a flinty minerality. Not even the faintest hint of butter in this one. Really enjoyed it.

Another great day!