Friday, October 2, 2009

Cambria - 01-Sep-2009 - 20th Anni Trip

Tuesday, September 01, 2009. Our 20th wedding anniversary. Amazing. When I was young and single and dating, every time I would go out with a guy, I would try to imagine us in 10 years. I could never see it – even with my first husband, who is still a friend. But when I met John, and when we started dating after our ‘yenta,’ Shirley, pushed us toward each other, I could see it. I could see us in 10 years, and 20 years. And I can still see us in the future. We still have so much fun together – we make each other laugh, we share the same interests. And we drive each other crazy, too, but that’s part of the package. I can’t imagine life without him. OK, occasionally, I think it might be nice to have a separate house, but that’s just on the days when I get crazy about his pack-rat-ness. We got up early-ish Tuesday. The White Water Inn provides a nice continental breakfast for their guests – toasted bagel, blueberry and spiced muffins, bananas and apples and juice and a full pot of coffee. We took our time, finished breakfast, showered and went for a walk along the boardwalk. Watched the seals and the birds. Back to the room to pick up a couple of things and into town. Stopped at the Cambria Wine Shop. Of course. Dennis was sitting outside, making phone calls and reading the paper. We made reservations for Madeline’s at 7 p.m., and Dennis started pouring wines. 2008 Chateau Cazat-Beauchene. White Bordeaux. Almost equal parts Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Sauvignon Gris. Floral aromas, hints of white fruit. Something vegetal in the nose, with a slightly buttery finish. Lovely. $24 We bought 2 bottles. 2007 Bodegas Albarino ‘Querida’. Clear, straw color. Big flowery nose. Thick, sweet and yet refreshing. A picnic/BBQ wine. From Jack Ranch Vineyards. $30 2007 Riverstar Sauvignon Blanc, Paso Robles/San Miguel. Crystal clear, very tropical. Serve at room temp, not chilled. Interesting. Needed food other than the cheeses Dennis was providing. Not sure what I would pair with this. $28. I think I prefer Riverstar red blends, especially their 'Affinity'. 2007 Domaine Cherrier & Fils Sancerre. We’ve bought other vintages of this before. I really love this wine. Straw color, gorgeous nose – not grassy like California Sauvignon Blancs. Just a lovely drinking wine. $35 2 bottles. 2007 Brandborg Gewurztraminer, Umpqua Valley, Oregon. Sweet but dry. Aromas of roses, grapefruit and stone fruit. This wine has 2.5% residual sugar balanced with a refreshing acidity. The label suggests pairing with creamy blue cheese, but all I could think about was spicy Thai cuisine. $24 2 bottles. NV Candor Merlot by Austin Hope of Treana in Paso Robles. This is a wine that Austin markets to restaurants, and Dennis was able to purchase it thru Madeline’s. It is a BIG Merlot. It’s non-vintage, but a blend of three different vintages. Dark red, almost opaque. High alcohol. Big, big red fruit – cherries, raspberries. And yet well-balanced. What smelled hot in the nose wasn’t there in the mouth. Dee-licious. $32 2 bottles. 2004 Summerwood ‘Sentio’, Paso Robles. Let me just say that I am not a fan of Summerwood, partly because I think their wines just aren’t that interesting, but they’re expensive, and our experience at the winery was disappointing and odd. Having said that, I really like this wine. 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot, 5% Malbec. A lovely Bordeaux-style blend. At $58 I did not buy it. Dennis finished off with a Banyuls 20-year-old Solera style Grenache. OH. MY. GOD. It’s referred to as a ‘doux paille’ meaning ‘sweet, but not’. Amber in color, the nose was redolent with pain grille (or toast – grilled bread) and caramel. A really lovely and unusual dessert wine. I would pour this over French Vanilla ice cream. It’s imported by International Vineyards LLC in San Jose, who also imports the white Bordeaux we got above. $65. We didn’t buy, not because of the price, but because I know we won’t drink it. Then, as a special gift to myself, I bought one bottle of a Chateau Lascombes Margaux 2005. It’s Second Growth winery that had fallen into disrepair and was purchased by someone who has brought it back to life. Parker rated this wine in the high 90’s, and Dennis offered us his wine club price on it – I think that was $85 – so we’ll put it in the cellar for 5 years and drink it for our 25th anniversary. So we headed back to the Inn, just to hang around and rest – and for me to write – and we’ll go back to Madeline’s with our 2004 Opus One for our anniversary dinner. More on that later. Dinner at Madeline's. Oh my, this is one of my all time favorite restaurants. Chef David prepares such interesting and delicious offerings! We arrived a bit before 7 p.m. We had meant to drop off the Opus One earlier for decanting, but we just didn't. So our server, Cody, decanted the wine for us, and we had a lovely Saint Hillaire 2005 Blanquette de Limous sparkler to start while we had our Caesar salads - with real anchovies. I like those hairy little fish! And the wine was just wonderful - nose full of bread and yeast and citrus. Yum. (and only $23 a bottle!) For entrees, John had the local Petrale Sole with panko flour and pesto sauce. Very crisp and delicious - nothing fishy there! I had the Wild Boar Picatta with angel hair pasta. As David said, he pummeled that boar into submission. In a really good way! We finished with the Chocolate Truffle cake - alternating layers of dark and milk chocolate on a bed of whipped cream and chocolate sauce. The Opus One was really perfect with the dessert - and everything that came before, too! A perfect day, a perfect anniversary dinner. And so, back to the Inn and sleep. More on the morrow.

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