Food & Drink

Pairing Winefornia Wines with Laura Chenel and Marin French Cheese Co.

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Wine tasting is enjoyable. Wine and cheese tasting: Even higher.

Winefornia not too long ago despatched a trio of wines and a half dozen cheeses for us to style as a part of sequence of launch occasions for its 2020 Innovatus viognier. Made by Napa’s solely Korean feminine winemaker, Cecil Park, the corporate can also be showcasing two reds to pair with the gathering of cheeses, together with a syrah and a purple mix made beneath the Fermentation Lab label. Whereas in-person occasions at the moment are beginning up once more, we attended an internet session and did our tasting at house.

The wines have been all paired with artisan cheeses from Laura Chenel and Marin French Cheese Firm, the latter of which is positioned only a few miles from Drinkhacker HQ. Whereas I’m effectively familiarized with its merchandise, the corporate had some cheeses on the desk that I hadn’t ever tried, together with a jalapeno brie.

Ideas on every of the three wines and my favourite cheese pairings for every comply with.

2020 Innovatus Viognier – 2020 wasn’t only a robust yr for the world, it was a troublesome yr for Napa, because it was ravaged by wildfires that destroyed crops and wineries — and tainted a lot juice that many wineries determined to not bottle this yr. Innovatus’s viognier was picked two days earlier than the fires hit, and it seems to have come by unscathed. It’s a reasonably delicate expression of viognier, extra floral than fruity — with an ample but moderated apricot character, notes of lemon, grapefruit, and a contact of coconut. A lot of acidity helps to provide the wine a clear, crisp end. Favourite cheese pairing: Marin French Supreme Brie, its creamy physique providing a yin to the viognier’s acidic, floral yang. A- / $55

2014 Innovatus Cuvee – 47% syrah, 23% cabernet franc, 15% petite sirah, 5% pinot noir. I didn’t discover this to be as aggressively beefy as many syrah-heavy wines are, its expressive fruit actually popping most clearly from the beginning. Plums, nearly pruny, are heavy up entrance, with a floral component coming into focus shortly after. Some Maraska cherry notes wind their means into the combo on the again finish. At 7 years previous, that is beginning to settle right into a groove — however I nonetheless discovered it to be on the candy facet, most likely with loads of years forward of it. Favourite cheese: The Laurel Chenel Truffled Goat Cheese is a pleasant pairing, however I appreciated it finest with Marin’s Ash Brie. B+ / $36

2015 Fermentation Lab Syrah – 94% syrah, 6% petit verdot, from Sonoma Valley. A clearer and extra aggressive syrah, with a bolder, meatier physique than the Innovatus Cuvee. Blackberries, some spice, and a refined licorice notice are all within the combine right here. Some smokiness on the end. Wealthy and soulful. I’m saving the remainder of this one to pair with a mojo pork shoulder tonight. Favourite cheese: Whereas I realized you could combine chocolate pot de creme with brie and get a superbly wealthy dessert, I didn’t take pleasure in it in any respect with this wine. As a substitute, I went again to the Ash Brie and Supreme Brie, two pleasant cheeses that stand superbly on their very own however which present even higher with this wine. A- / $NA

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2020 Innovatus Viognier




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