Wednesday, November 12, 2014

an enticing evening at ENTYSE (McLean, VA) with lovely LINDEN wines (also from Virginia) (11-11-14)

10:09 AM (6 minutes ago)
Last night I headed over to the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner where one of the dining options is ENTYSE which has a beautiful private dining room which the 40 or so of us occupied with
uber-winemaker Jim Law who owns and runs LINDEN Winery in Virginia. I was especially pleased to be seated center-table (we were at one large long table) right opposite the maestro himself, whom
I have admired for decades. He told us many wonderful stories of his 35 years of vintages and it is easy to see from what we drank, what a huge success he is.
We started with Avenius Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (which was just released), and it was superb with the variety of passed hor's d'oevres from
Quail Egg with Hollandaise Sauce, Bacon & Caviar
Grilled Shrimp on Sugar Cane Skewer
Salmon Roll with Caviar
An amazing FOIE GRAS which I could have sworn had cocoa in it, but I was told no.
and more that I have sadly forgotten
We sat down to dinner and were served both the 2009 and 2012 Chardonnay "Hardscrabble" which were two distinctly different wines, although the same grapes!
The '12 is lighter and the '09 was more intense, creamy and rich. These were served with a DOVER SOLE with Roasted Baby Fennel, Creamed Leeks and LOBSTER MEDALLIONS with a Lobster Tarragon Butter Sauce. A yummy quenelle was on the side as well.
Interestingly enough, we all agreed the Fennel & Sole went best with the 2012 and the 2009 was awesome with the Lobster, butter and leeks. I'm thrilled that I have a good supply of the '09 at home.
Wines were poured by sommelier/cellarmaster Vincent Ferraud, whom I have not seen since a previous visit to the Ritz-Carlton when Maestro was located there. He has been a  fixture in DC for decades going back to Jean-Louis at the Watergate!
Spiegelau crystal was used and really enhanced the experience.
The second course was a rich and creamy Organic MUSHROOM RISOTTO with Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and Truffled Micro Arugula with tomatoes. The only thing that could have improved this dish in this season would have been fresh white truffles! It was still superb and paired with a Linden CLARET 2011 made from 44% Merlot, 36% Cab and 20% Cab Franc. Jim explained that each year when they blend the Claret it is developed thru "blind" tastings of the grapes and chance blendings so to speak.
The main course was a BISON FILET with Cauliflower Puree, Confit Marble Potatoes and miniature chips, Globe Carrots and Port Wine Jus. There were two reds from HARDSCRABBLE 2009 and 2010 and Jim explained that these blends vary as well by year with no Merlot in the 2010 (83% Cabernet Sauvignon) but less Cab and more Merlot in the 2009. I have the 2010 at home and while they were both good, it was the 2010 that went better with the meat and the '09 better just as a nice finisher.
Dessert was another pair of wines:
Vidal Late Harvest 2007 and Petit Mensang Late Harvest 2009 (which we have lots of at home!). Jim explained that these are not true but fake icewines in that the Petit Mensang was just picked last Thursday and then the grapes are frozen.
The 2007 Vidal could easily last years and mature like a good icewine or Sauternes. The Petiti Mensang is a sweet "wild fruit trip" that is good anytime and anywhere after a meal or with intense cheeses as well.
We had a nice ALMOND FRUIT TART and then started off on our way home very full and very happy that Linden found its way to ENTYSE us!