Join us, the invitation said, along with emerging Washington state winemaking star, Brian Rudin, founder-winemaker for Canvasback, for an evening of gastronomical experiences paired with fine wines, by Duckhorn Vineyards at BLT Steak.
A co-production of three fun players: The Ritz Carlton Aruba, Pepia Est, importing & distributing premium liquors, fine wines and some beer, and Duckhorn Vineyard, a premier producer of Bordeaux varietal wines, co-founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976.
Apparently, after spending almost forty-years establishing itself as one of North America’s premier producers of Napa Valley wines, Duckhorn decided to spread its wings, expand its business, and identified other, new and promising areas outside Napa Valley, suitable for grape cultivation and wine making, namely Washington State.
In walks Brian Rudin, founder-winemaker for Canvasback. As a native of the area he knew Red Mountain was Cabernet Sauvignon heaven. And while the company first bought fruit from the most esteemed growers of that appellation, they later secured a vineyard site near the top of the mountain and started growing themselves. Brian who is immensely passionate about Red Mountain, worked at local vineries all his life, perfecting his knowledge of growing conditions, terrain and the million specifications required to produce a decent bottle of wine.
In 2014 they released their debut vintage of Canvasback Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. The years that followed only added to their wine program, and what we sipped at the Ritz Carlton on June 6th, 2019, was a pretty spectacular vino.
According to Herdy Ten Lohuis, these guys are fantastic, taking Duckhorn Vineyards’ tradition of quality and excellence to a new level with wines from Washington State. The difficult-to-impress Herdy marveled at the winemaker’s profound knowledge of the process and the complete control he had over what was once considered hit or miss.
The menu was put together by a young chef, Mitchell Perreira – good job Mitchell – and the resort’s Executive Chef Rafael Lopez-Aliaga
It started off with BLT’s signature mini popovers. These are addictive, and I always look forward to having one, while I really want to have a dozen! Funny, the resort sweetly attaches the recipe to the tray of that freshly baked deliciousness, as if I will ever attempt baking them on my own. I always take the recipe to go. Who knows? Perhaps one day.
Mitchell & Rafael’s lovely menu:
Scallops Crudo, on a bed of Jalapeño Emulsion, topped by Pomegranate, Mango Relish, and Cilantro Caviar, paired with Decoy Rosé California 2017.
Lobster & King Crab, Saffron Risotto, with asparagus, flavored with fresh and tangy sorrel, paired with Migration Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, California 2016.
The first main course, Lamb Tenderloin, resting on roasted pumpkin puree, with pumpkin seeds, and forest mushroom jus, paired with Duckhorn Merlot Napa Valley, California 2016.
And the second main course Beef Tenderloin with brûlée potato, oxtail crust, caramelized Cipollini, and cabernet reduction, finally paired with the reason we all got together, Canvasback Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain, Washington State 2015.
Then we had some more of it with the Cheese Platter, and I admit it was a brilliant move, enough with sweet endings, cheeses are so satisfying and flavorful especially the two year aged Gouda, the Parmigiano Reggiano and Blue Stilton, with fig bread, quince paste, Cabernet Sauvignon reduction, dehydrated blueberries, and grapes, wow!!
I don’t remember the Petit Fours, or any chocolate brownies, ?!, at this point all I could say was QUACK, QUACK, Kudos to Duckhorn Vineyards, Ritz Carlton & Pepia Est.