Wine Pairing: Geyser Peak Block Collection Water Bend Chardonnay 2007Tasting Notes: This Chardonnay is an exceptionally well-balanced wine with subtle aromas of vanilla, butterscotch, and a hint of baked apple pie. In many ways, one could mistake it for its French cousin in Meursault.
The wine gives the impression it had undergone many weeks of battonage (lees stirring) with its rich buttery taste. I absolutely loved this wine with the black sea bass, especially (or perhaps, because of?) the vanilla infused saffron sauce that paired so well with the vanilla notes of this wine (complimentary flavors).This Chardonnay also went well with the lobster, providing more of a contrasting match to the sharper, slightly more acidic flavors of the sauce. Line-Caught Halibut with Popped Rice was also excellent, very much a “compliment.” I should explain that the sauce was not popcorn the way most of us think of it – a hard, crunchy popped unit of corn. Instead, the popped corn had somehow been transformed to liquid form, so it tasted creamy.Just thinking about the flavors in this wine makes me crave a glass right now, as an aperitif, without food! Here though, are some further suggestions:1. Roast chicken. The texture of this wine, its subtle (wood) spice, makes me salivate even thinking about it.2. Pasta or Risotto with a cheese-accented white sauce.3. Composed luncheon salad.4. Caramelized scallops.
Technical & Winemaking Notes:An important part of Geyser Peak Winery’s Chardonnay program is the use of American Oak barrels whose staves are soaked in hot water prior to shaping. The water leaches harsh components out of the wood and significantly increases the depth of toasting of the staves as they are shaped over fire. This process yields barrels, which impart a more delicate, subtle oak character to the wine along together with an elevated creaminess. Following fermentation in barrel, the wine was allowed to remain in contact with the yeast lees for the entire nine-month maturation period and stirred periodically in order to integrate the nutty, deep flavors of the lees into the wine. Approximately half of the blend underwent malolactic fermentation. Wine was matured for nine months, bottled in July of 2008, and 2,500 9L cases are produced.Vineyard Notes:Fruit for this wine came predominantly from a riverside block of vines at Geyser Peak Winery Ascentia Vineyard. The vineyards sandy soils, low yields, and cooling coastal fogs make it ideally suited to growing Chardonnay. To preserve fruit flavors, grapes were harvested in the early morning hours and gently pressed while, without crushing, to avoid any harsh extractions. After cold settling, the juice was racked directly to barrel.Third Food FlightOrganic Colorado Rack of LambRosemary Crust, Zucchini-Mint PureeLong Island Duckling Balinese Pepper Crust, White Truffle HoneyVerjus, Ginger DressingRack of VealHeart of Palm & Japanese EggWine Pairing: Geyser Peak Block Collection Walking Tree Cabernet Sauvignon 2005Tasting Notes: This smooth Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and ripe with notes of blackberry, mocha, cassis, and sweet spice. I liked it best with the Long Island Duckling – the sweet oak notes of the wine really melded well (complimented) the Balinese Pepper Crust of the Duck.This wine also went well with the Lamb, matching the lamb in terms of texture and weight (crucial for an effective pairing) and melding nicely with the herbal flavors of the rosemary and mint accents.Many in our group found that the wine worked well with Veal, yet the above-two pairings are my favorite.I would suggest this wine be paired with: 1. Steak.2. Any other grilled meat.3. Non-meat eaters may find salmon or tuna a possible pairing, depending on the way it is cooked (roasted is best) and the vegetables served with it (roasted vegetables with texture and some char is best).4. Cheese.Technical and Winemaker Notes: Here’s an interesting fact - the wine is named after a remarkable oak treethat over the course of several months, “walked” down the steep grade of the vineyard directly behindthe winery - while standing completely upright. WalkingTruee Cabernet is a blend of blocks from this hillside vineyard and other sites around the valley. The wine is matured for 18 months in 100% new French oak.You can find Geyser Peak Block Collection Wines in many shops for under $25, including Wine.com