Last week I wrote about the Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine Hotel, Winery, Refectorio and Santuario Spa north of Madrid, Spain after a splendid meeting with their General Manager Enrique Valero Quintana. I introduced readers to Tesse in West Hollywood, where our meeting took place, and gave you some information on their wine store. This week I will finish up by sharing the menu and wines that we tasted in the luncheon. (If you’d like to see the photos of the dishes and more click here.)
Wine Reviews and Luncheon
sudachi, gooseberry, crispy wild rice
2016 Le Domaine Sauvignon Blanc/Verdejo
Lovely round mouthfeel filled with lush tropical bruit, pebbles and a mildly sweet finish. Some found the pairing to have a bit too much sharp citrus in the dish, but the fish was so fine and clean I felt that it worked, the wine served its purpose to rinse away the citrus and allow me to linger over the tender fish.
Oregon porcini duxelles, port, roquette
2014 Pago Negralada Tempranillo
2012 Pago Negralada Tempranillo
2014: This was my favorite in the tasting for the beautiful balance of plum and blackberry fruit and the tannins, followed by chocolate, coffee. (When I mentioned this at the end of our luncheon Quintana, who wouldn’t state his favorite said that the 2014 was the winemaker’s favorite as well.)
2012: A bit drier than the 2014, probably due to age and vineyard conditions that year, also showed darker black fruit, green peppercorn and tannins. The dish of smooth and creamy Burrata complemented both wines very well.
BEEF TARTARE “A L’HUILE D’OLIVE”
caper berries, shallots, grana padano, chive aioli
2004 Pago Negralada Tempranillo (Magnum)
The 2004 was Port-like, dried berries, dark cherry, tannic and a superb balance. The wine expanded some of the spice of the tartare; and this proved to be my favorite dish in the luncheon.
charred carrots, brown butter, boudon noir (blood sausage)
2015 Pago Valdebellón Cabernet Sauvignon
Lots of spice on this wine, then came rich dark fruit and cinnamon. This was quite a decadent dish with incredible richness from both the pork belly and blood sausage. I found that the char on the pork belly was quite enhanced by the wine, allowing for a sweetness to escape. I started to wish I had been there not for a wine luncheon where I could only taste, I wanted to linger over these pairings and finish all of the wines.
“old style” Pistou, charred broccolini, waffle potatoes, beef jus
2014 Abadia Retuerta Petit Verdot
Surprised to find red, blue and black fruits all on the palate – and very velvety – as well as spice, pepper. The T-bone was incredible. This again was a pairing I wish I could have completely consumed.
From Ogron I learned that Tesse and the wine store is his “baby.” Eighty percent of the wine inventory is not sold elsewhere, and he hopes to get the “winemaker collector series (from Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine) if Enrique agrees.” I asked about the corkage fee if one were to buy from the store to have with their meal and learned that it is only $15.
From the website
Tesse is a French restaurant featuring the dynamic, continental-inspired cuisine of Chef Raphael Francois and Pastry Chef Sally Camacho Mueller, served in a chic dining room on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of West Hollywood. An extensive wine program from Jordan Ogron is supplemented by Boutellier, an exclusive wine store adjacent to the restaurant. A French-leaning craft cocktail program designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox is offered at the bar.
The restaurant’s name is a contraction of the French delicatesse, meaning ‘delicacy’ or ‘thoughtfulness’ — it’s also used across France as a colloquial term for charcuterie. And while the iconic pâtés, terrines, rillettes and saucisses of his homeland are central to the menu, Chef Raphael also features a broad and finessed take on French classics, with meats and fish prepared on the wood-fired hearth that anchors the kitchen and lighter fare inspired by near-daily trips to LA’s outstanding Farmers Markets.
Tesse’s menu is designed with wine in mind. The food pairs beautifully with a vast, interactive wine program designed by Jordan Ogron, which features nearly thirty wines by the glass and a list of more than three thousand selections. For those who prefer something a bit stronger, the craft cocktail program was designed by Nick Meyer and Julian Cox, the duo behind many of the most notable bar programs in Los Angeles.
Abadia Retuerta Winery
The internationally recognized wines of Abadía Retuerta have enjoyed three consecutive years in the top 100 wines of the world, according the preeminent authority, Wine Spectator. While wines were produced on the estate centuries ago, the current winery is only two-and-a-half decades old and is known for its award-winning single terroir wines. The initial planting took place in 1991 with the first wines coming the following year. The estate covers 700 hectares of which 210 have been allocated to the vine, lying over a set of hillsides that reach a maximum height of 850 metres before sloping down to the southern bank of the Duero River…
The winery’s gold-standard wine is the Selección Especial, which reflects the essence of the estate – 75% Tempranillo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Proof of its superb quality, the 2001 Selección Especial was awarded “Best Red Wine in the World – Red Wine Trophy” in 2005 by London’s prestigious International Wine Challenge competition. In addition, Selección Especial is the first Spanish wine to be included for three consecutive years on the list of the 100 Best Wines in the World, which has been published annually since 1988 by highly regarded Wine Spectator magazine.
Other wines produced at Abadía Retuerta include: Pago Negralada, made with the best Tempranilla vineyard on the estate; Pago Valdebellón, from Cabernet Sauvignon; Pago Garduňa, a very intense, clean, fruity and mineral Syrah; and PV (Petit Verdot), an elegant wine with a limited production of 1,000 bottles per vintage.
The 2012 vintage of Pago Negralada and Petit Verdot have been ranked among “the greats” with 97 and 98 points respectively, according to the Gourmets Guide. For the 2014 vintage, Robert Parker Wine Advocate awarded Pago Negralada 92 points and Petit Verdot 93 points, along with 92 points for Pago Garduña and 93 points for Pago Valdebellón, which also won the Top Medal Master granted by The Drink Business Global Cabernet Sauvignon. Blanco Le Domaine 2016 scored 93 points in the Peñín Guide and 96 points in Guía Gourmets.
Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine
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 16k 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