Was pretty amazed, yes by the superb fruit and balance in the Rhônes and Zinfandels from Limerick Lane, and by the amazing auction items that had been donated so far to this particular Boy and Girls Club of SCV fundraiser, but equal to all that (for me) was a food pairing menu by Salt Creek Grille catering and Chef Tamra Levine.
So, opposite of what I normally do – share my tasting notes on the fabulous wines first – I want to share the menu. Again you may ask why? This time I’ll tell you: Chef Tamra did the pairing based on the winery tasting notes, and created dishes she herself had never created before. Again you may ask how? She did what I would do – if I could cook – and incorporated the hints of the fruits and spices from the wines into her dishes. These are the Hors d’oeuvres, my notes are in parenthesis:
Mini Punjabi Grilled Cheese Panini (Mango chutney is in there!)
French Seafood Cassoulet (We didn’t sample but it sounded amazing as Cassoulet is traditionally made with beef.)
Old World Spiced Grilled Chicken/Vegetable Fritter/Pomegranate Glaze (Will you be able to find those same pomegranate notes in the wine?)
Provencal Short Ribs/Sautéed Gnocchi (We didn’t sample this one so you have to let me know how it is!)
Wine Country French Toast/Zinfandel Rosemary Sauce/Oven Roasted Grapes (Don’t care what this was paired with, just wanted to take it home!)
Watching the SCVTV video of our preview, Carl Kanowsky, who has organized this event annually with his wife Terry, explains that “Jake (Bilbro) introduces each wine” that will be poured by Salt Creek staff for the guests and “you don’t have to fight with other people to get up to the really good stuff. It’s all going to be there for you.” Ann Marie Bjorkman, President of the Boys and Girls Club commented, “It’s nice and intimate – and limited to 75 people.” Here’s a peek:
2017 Rose of Grenache and Syrah
94 points Wine Enthusiast, reportedly the highest score the magazine has ever awarded to a Rose.
With aromas of grapefruit, mango, peach, shale, banana and strawberry, followed by the same fruit flavors on the mouth. Light and smooth, as well as a medium acidity, and long finish.
2016 “Hail Mary” Grenache and Syrah blend
93+ Robert Parker
93 Wine Enthusiast
Terry Kanowsky commented on the “delightful bouquet” that included black cherry, blackberry, crushed leaves, earth and sage. On the mouth we got the same black fruit, medium tannin, smoke, cigar and a long finish – a “huge back palate” according to Chef Levine, I had to agree.
2016 “1910” Zinfandel (The 1910 denotes the year the vineyard was first planted.)
96+ Robert Parker
95 Wine Enthusiast
Flowery, spicy and bold fruit on the nose; then a lovely amount of black fruit, spice and drying qualities in the mouth.
2016 Russian River Estate Zinfandel
92 Robert Parker
93 Wine Enthusiast
With red, blue and black fruit aromas, as well as cracked black pepper Mike Bjorkman called a “bit of pepper” on the nose; then in the mouth it was big, spicy and bold with an extra long finish.
2015 “1023” Zinfandel
93 Robert Parker
95 Wine Spectator
Interesting hard candy on the nose, then plums, milk chocolate and forest floor. In the mouth it was dark, spicy and dry. Love a wine that has the aromas to pull you in.
2015 “1910” Zinfandel
95 Robert Parker
91 Wine Spectator
Aromas of blueberry jam, earth, dusty and zero heat on the nose (all of these Zins showed no alcohol burn) while in the mouth we got a nice sweet, peppery, and dark fruit – all in perfect balance.
Exclusive Auction Items (available only that evening)
Two one-day Park Hopper Passes to Disneyland/California Adventure.
Two tickets to a Los Angeles Kings game in November 2018.
Framed, autographed photo of Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar with Certificates of Authenticity.
Dinner for two with Limerick Lane wine at Salt Creek Grille before the Kings game; limo to Kings game.
Private tour, tasting and lunch at Limerick Lane and Jake Bilbro: Jake will coordinate with the winning bidder to create an irreplaceable “Limerick Lane Experience.” Lodging for one night in Sonoma County. Tour and tasting the following day at two of Jake’s best friends wineries: Arista and Mauritson. Arista is known as one of California’s top producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and Mauritson’s 7 generations of farming in the Dry Creek valley make for an unparalleled experience tasting their allocated Zinfandels and Cabernet’s. (This lot requires at least eight weeks advance reservation with Jake and is subject to his availability and activities at Limerick Lane.)
Chef Michelle Bustillos will provide a Cooking Lesson in your home, with Limerick Lane Wine Pairing, for six people.
Tickets and Info
Date: Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. for
Salt Creek Grille
24415 Town Center Drive, Valencia
Please join Jake Bilbro of Sonoma County’s Limerick Lane in a tasting of select wines from the winery’s collection. Well-known wine critic Robert Parker says of Limerick, “If you haven’t caught onto the magic that is emerging from Limerick Lane, it’s about time. Impressive heights of quality.”
Ticket link –> http://www.scvbgc.org/
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 15k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com