A wine made in the Santa Cruz Mountains viticultural region was served at a special high profile wedding in London last month. An American actress was marrying a British prince, actually, and had ordered nine cases of one of her favorite Pinot Noirs for the reception. Yes, that royal wedding.
Blimey, I thought as soon as I found out about this, and quickly sent a Facebook message to the winemaker, hoping to find a bottle. Probably none left on the Santa Cruz side of the hill, he told me. But! I found a bottle at Shopper’s Corner a few days ago. And paid what turned out to be a bargain price of $35 for a serious bottle of Pinot. What a wonderful creation! Made from Dijon and California clones grown on the northernmost slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation, the Domaine Eden Pinot Noir 2014 unfolded in layers of spice and red fruit, with firm tannins and a graceful cushion of raspberries in the center. The balance of fruit, tannins, and structure was outstanding (14 percent alcohol). A hint of licorice and bay leaves emerged after an hour of opening. Winemaker Jeffrey Patterson has made a lovely wine, completely at home with food—we enjoyed it with roast local halibut and asparagus. Congratulations to Patterson, his team and his vines. “The 2014 has a density and tannin that is bigger than previous Domaine bottlings,” Patterson says. “Cranberry, raspberry, pomegranate flavors are strong with a touch of bergamot, bay and mint adding to the mix.”
The winemaker himself was impressed by the unexpected news of Prince Harry’s new bride selecting this Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir for the reception. “We are delighted and completely surprised that Meghan chose this wine. It is a personal favorite,” he says. Nice to know that the new Duchess of Sussex has such good taste. The other thing you need to know is that the 2014 is officially sold out. (I suggest you keep looking around such wine merchants as Shopper’s, Whole Foods, Deer Park, etc). But the good news is that there is a 2015 vintage of Patterson’s much-admired Pinot Noir already available. Fit for another royal wedding?
Appetizer of the Week
At Soif, a beautiful appetizer, large enough to share over crisp white wine ($18): This creation involved a thick wedge of Fogline Farms pork belly floating on a slab of polenta. Sprigs of infant mustard sprouts sprang from the top of the pork. Accompanying was a vivid emerald puree of mustard greens topped with Rainier cherries, and everything bathed in a rich cherry pork jus. Such a delicious collage of flavors and textures from the kitchen of Chef Marshall Bishop. Eye candy with flavor sparkle and depth.
Home Sweet Home
Consider checking out the July 22 Pork & Pint Party at HOME restaurant, where Chef Brad Briske and his adventurous team are always ahead of the culinary pack. For those of you who want to know more about the way that Briske works with Llano Seco Ranch’s environmentally conscious pork-raising practices, come on over to this special event where the rancher and chef will talk all things pig, plus a pig breakdown demo and an opportunity to make your own sausage. Yes, there will be plenty of beer involved from local Santa Cruz craft breweries. In the in-full-bloom back garden. Info at homesoquel.com.
Ocean2table has been offering magnificent porcinis and morels, harvested up in the Sierras and Mount Shasta region. If you’re a fan of these outstanding fungal specialties, definitely get involved with their program at: fi**@ge************.com.