Friday, January 24, 2014

#hibicusdallas Barnett Vineyards-Dallas Country Club Wine Dinner

Barnett Vineyards
Napa Valley

I was looking through my journal this morning wondering what wonderful wines I hadn't mentioned in a blog. In mid August, my husband and I dined at Hibiscus located on Henderson Avenue, which I might add is a fun, vibrant, soulful establishment to dine. The rustic decor is amazing, not to mention the food is fabulous. Each time we dine out, I am always looking for that really great white wine that I haven't tried and I can say I found a great one.

Before sharing what it is, I have to fast-forward to November 21 at the Dallas Country Club. We had made reservations to attend one of their several wine dinners throughout the year. This one was featuring Barnett Vineyard wines. At the reception, I was served the same wine that I had had at Hibiscus back in August, but didn't realize it until today. 

Barnett Vineyards is located at the very top of Spring Mountain, where the vineyards get up to three hours more sunlight each day. That is why their fruit has more consistent ripening and flavor from vintage to vintage. Pacific Ocean breezes come in the afternoon and cool the vines, which benefits the fruit even more. 
This estate is a 100% hillside vineyard with steep terracing. They planted red Bordeaux varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. It's very rocky which creates stress on the vines resulting in a rich intense fruit. 
Rattlesnake Hill is the highest point on the estate where Cabernet Sauvignon is grown but extremely limited.

Winemaking and viticulture practices at Barnett Vineyards are by hand. Everything is hand-harvested at optimal ripeness. The grapes are fermented in small batches and a punch down takes place several times a day. It add richness, flavor, aroma, and color extraction while allowing the tannins to be micro-managed.
Only French oak barrels are used. 50-70% new oak barrels and once-used barrels.

The first cases of wine were produced in 1989 and now has a total production of about 5,500 cases. The Barnetts want to remain a small 100% family-owned winery focusing on producing estate Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Their wines are not always available in every market.

Fiona and Hal Barnett are such lovely people to meet. The night of the November wine dinner was phenomenal, both food and wine. They spoke of the discovery of the undeveloped forested land on top of Spring Mountain in 1983, clearing it, farming and planning, which led to the first vintage, the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. They told about how their vision to produce small amounts of wine for family and friends to enjoy changed when it gained importance as one of Napa Valley's world-renowned Cabernets.
Fiona and Hal shared the tasting notes and other information of all six wines that we were served along with the delicious foods carefully paired with their wines.

Taken at Hibiscus in August-the white wine I was looking for!

We were served two difference wines-One was this Chardonnay:
 2011 Sangiancomo Vineyard Chardonnay, Carneros ($38) (855 cases produce)-served to me at Hibiscus and the DCC Barnet Wine Dinner in November. Honeysuckle and Bosque pear on the nose, with hints of white pepper, caramel, lily-perfuned. Tropical notes of mango and pineapple on the palette. Very nice!

2011 Merlot, Spring Mountain District ($63) (545 cases)-concentrated cassis, black plum, and peppercorn on the nose, 14% Cabernet Franc offers the minerality in the wine. Firm tannins and fresh acidity, a big mountain wine. Wonderful!

The above wines were paired with an edible centerpiece of holiday grapes, poached pears, Marcona almond, marinated country olives, brie, honey goat cheese, and parmesan twists.

The first course was a fig-mascarpone-walnut gremolata with poached apple paired with  
 a 2012 Savoy Vineyard Chardonnay, Anderson Valley ($42) (590 cases)-big pear, red apple and blooming tulips on the nose. Flavors of caramel apple, cinnamon toast and limeade on the palette. Loved it!


You can see the four wines we had with the dinner. I know it's not a great pic because of the lighting in the ballroom and I keep my iPhone flash off. I don't like pics with the flash!

The second bottle was served with a seared sea bass, Carolina Gold "dirty rice" and lobster nage. It was a 2011 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($80) 
(1480 cases)-Shows crushed violets, cocoa nibs and mixed black cooking spices. Interestingly it will take time to show its best, 2024-2026. It is a deeper, firmer Cabernet, they say, than in previous years. Awesome!

Grilled pork osso buco, butternut squash and whole grain mustard slaw was the third course paired with a 
2011 Rattlesnake Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain ($155) (855 cases)-intensely dark purple, this wine is big and very concentrated. Aromas of raspberries and vanilla bean, with chocolate and licorice. Pure black peppercorn upon tasting, firm tannins, and will develop even more after ten years. Be patient, for this wine will progress for the next 20 years! 2033! Amazing!

Boursin ice cream Poivre Noir, blackberry cremeux, and sweet pomegranate pearls were paired with our last wine of the night, 
a 2011 Donnelly Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley ($43) 1257 cases)-a more,deeper richer style of Pinot, with black cherry, boysenberry and pomegranate are the first aromas, with cinnamon and cedar afterwards. More spice on the palter, very firm tannins balanced by the acidity. Full, rich wine with continue to age over the next 7-8 years. Delicious!

In a small group setting like we were in that night, Fiona and Hal were able to meet and greet everyone at each table in the ballroom. Our guests, Rick and J.E. had a wonderful time as well! What's not to enjoy about fabulous food, dining with friends old and new, and drinking fabulous wines!


By the fireside at DCC