Last Saturday evening, we hosted 12 friends for my first Jessup Cellars tasting as an Ambassador.
As excited as we were to host it, our friends were equally excited to partake. All (like us a few months ago) had never heard of Jessup Cellars, let alone been fortunate enough to have a taste.
My wife Tina and I wanted to go all out. With help in the kitchen from our good friends, and advice from our new friends at Jessup Cellars, we were able to pull off an excellent tasting and a top flight dinner to boot!
The tasting went perfectly. It began with the newly released 2010 Sauvignon Blanc. The aromas of fresh fruit made it perfect for a summer day; a great starter wine. Many stated they are not big fans of this type of wine in general, but this one in particular was a mind changer in that sense.
Next on the tasting list was a beautiful 09 Estate Grown Pinot Noir. This wine continued to change as it mixed with the air and produced some beautifully smoky aromatics with some spice notes as well. This was just the beginning of several VERY eye opening tastings. A few varied statements and some “wow’s” were heard coming from all over the table after the first nose in the glass and taste of this exceptional selection. I knew what was coming and had begun to imagine how this group would be reacting after I poured the next choice.
The 2008 Estate Grown Yolo County Petit Sirah came out of the bottle with such an intensely dark purple, inky color. It was exciting for me to see the look on our guest’s faces as they stared at it in amazement. Then the first whiff and…Whoa! There we go…an outstanding combination of aroma and flavor with fantastic lingering qualities on the palette. Petit’s can be so big and over-powering that many are turned off by them. Totally to the contrary, Jessup has found a way to bring a well rounded version of this wine to completely please your palette. It is amazing!
The 2008 Table for Four – Bordeaux style blend seems to have become the Flagship wine from Jessup Cellars. This wine was decanted for about 2 hours prior to tasting which allowed for this tremendous creation to breath and develop. Only then did it produce the character in which it was created to produce; a big, ripe, dark blackberry, tremendous mouth feel with a long finish…very impressive!
The last wine on our tasting was the 2007 Juel. Clearly, this was the crowd favorite as it is considered a Bordeaux (Pomerol) style blend. This is only the second release of this style from Jessup and it did not disappoint! It was a gorgeous deep ruby color, with black cherry, boysenberry and highly concentrated dark fruit aromas with just a faint hint of spice. This is a really smooth, easy drinking wine that has some amazing characteristics and bottomless depth that truly please. One sip of this baby and it’s all over; you have just found nirvana!
We also planned this evening as a formal dinner to follow the tasting. Jessup paired their wines with our provided recipes. Again, thanks to the help of great friends, the food was equally as beautiful as the wine paired with it.
We were treated to a classic salad Nicoise paired with the Pinot Noir previously tasted. It was officially one of the best taste combinations, both so perfectly balanced with one another. Flavors dancing together in perfect harmony.
The main course consisted of Braised French Style Short Ribs dotted with Gorgonzola with a side of garden fresh roasted vegetables with fresh herbs. The Short Ribs themselves would be perfect alone paired with the 07 Juel. The addition of the Gorgonzola added a very specific level of acidity that needed something a bit more forward to hold up against this flavor. The end result was Jessup pairing both the Petit Sirah AND the Juel. What a winning combination…and the crowd went wild!
You would think we were close to the point of being stuffed? Think again! Time for the dessert round!
An amazing double chocolate and raspberry cake paired perfectly with the 2007 Zinfandel Port…OMG! This port is not your average super drippy sweet thing. Oh no, it is not too sweet at all. It’s just right with a thickness and feel that leaves you desperately wanting more. Together with the chocolate the berries really jumped out of the glass in this delectable potion.
Truly an amazing evening. Until next time…….