Last week, Côtes du Coeur revealed the live and silent auction items for this year’s gala benefiting the American Heart Association. Items up for bid this year are detailed below and include the favorite selections from Master Sommelier Barbara Werley of Pappas Bros. Steakhouse. Continue reading "Côtes du Coeur Live and Silent Auction Items Unveiled"2 Comments »
The 2004 film Sideways firmly established Merlot as an object of derision with the memorable line “No f****ing Merlot” from its Pinot Noir-loving hero. You might think that this would make Merlot producers scurry for cover or switch sides. Not so Dan Duckhorn. He released his first Merlot in 1978 from the winery, Duckhorn Vineyards, that he and his wife started two years earlier and since then he has made wine every year the weather allowed.
In the crown of top Napa wineries, Duckhorn is one of the jewels, occupying a space as one of the best Merlot producers. They did it by employing some measures that, at the time, were radical. For example: bottle individual vineyards instead of using Merlot as a minor blending grape in other red wines. Use new, read expensive, French oak barrels to age up to 100% of the wine each year. And make such a priority of the importance of place, as to replant the vineyards even when they were destroyed by a louse (phylloxera) due to bad scientific advice about what root stock to bud the vines on.
Dan Duckhorn and Duckhorn Executive Winemaker Bill Nancarrow came to Dallas this week bearing not just their new wines, but his old ones as well! A quarter of a century old in one case (1984 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Merlot, Three Palms Vineyard). In the audience were restaurant sommeliers and retailers who sell these wines in a market that is as tough as it has ever been. As one retailer told me “at the high end, $30 is the new $50”. Continue reading "Andrew Chalk Talks to Winemaker Bill Nancarrow of Duckhorn Vineyards About Merlot and the Movie Sideways"1 Comment »
April 28 is the date for the next SideDish Supper Club. Details will be announced soon. The relaxed evening will be full of fabulous food, wine, and (hint, hint) education about important culinary issues. Seating will be limited. Call a sitter today.2 Comments »