Three wines Saturday night at dinner at Cedar in Washington DC
Dinner at Cedar in Washington DC last night with my wife, son, and nephew. Opened a 2009 Karl Lawrence Alden Chard, 2007 Dain American Beauty Pinot (Amber Ridge) and a 2002 Karl Lawrence Napa Cab. All of the wines were excellent, but the Cab was fantastic. Chef McCloud, as is usual for us (and no, I am not a friend of his, we just always allow him to design our meal based on what we bring), tasted the wines then designed a meal for us around them. My wife had 3 courses, the guys went for 7. With the exception of the Foie Gras (2nd course), Grilled Rabbit Sausage (3rd) and the cheese course (6th) each of us had something different with each course. Anyone who visits DC should definitely try Cedar. Corkage was $25 per, but for a Saturday night, that's fair.
2009 Alden Chard - I have always been a big fan of Karl Lawrence wines and when they started offering this Chard I thought that I would have to give it a try. Now it is one of my favorite chards at this price point. In fact like all of KL wines, it outperforms many wines at the same price point.
Pale straw with a very slight greenish tinge, crisp with nice structure and a great finesse. Citrus, caramel, pear and green apple notes. Not too oaky and a nice balance of acid and butter . Drinks much too easily as the bottle we had disappeared before the second course arrived. Wonderful now, but I would bet it could go for a couple of more years and get even better.
2007 Dain Wines Pinot Noir American Beauty Amber Ridge Vineyard. I buy Dain because it is one of my wife's favorites, or so I tell folks. In actuality it is a very good CA Pinot. Definite Amber ridge characteristics, lots of fruit, a little bell pepper, cola and cherry and raspberry notes. Has not broken down at all, still a very nice, if somewhat light, ruby color with a strong mid palate presence. Notes of cinnamon and well integrated tannins. Definitely a somewhat more feminine style, but very appropriate for this wine. I wish David was still making it because it is a fantastic wine.
2002 Karl Lawrence Cabernet Sauvignon - Even better than it was two years ago. Unlike many CA Cabs, this reached 10 years with no sign of slowing down. Great color and structure. Lots of dark fruits of cherry and casis, a little cedar and coffee, with a touch of dark chocolate. Definitely the star of the night it went fantastically with my venison, my son's wild boar, and my nephew's steak. Just one example of why I consistently by KL Napa Cabs year after year. Impressed all of us and definitely impressed the chef who was designing one of the courses around it. Fantastic wine. I wish I had more.