“Hey Melissa – It’s Kim –
Do you like Pinot Noir, The 404 Kitchen and are you available April 12th from 11:00am -2:00pm?
I “won” a spot at the lunch table from a Nashville Wine Auction Event but have a family function to attend in Memphis that day – Would you like to attend in my place?”
This was a Facebook message I received from my friend, Kimberly Daly Morris last month. Touched that she thought of me would be an understatement. The Nashville Wine Auction does not play around.
The Nashville Wine Auction unites the wine community to fund the fight against cancer. There are events throughout the year for anyone from the wine enthusiast to the serious wine collector. The 35th Annual l’Eté du Vin featuring Château Margaux with Guest of Honor Paul Pontallier happens June 26, July 31- August 2, 2014. All of the money raised at these events stays in Middle Tennessee and provides financial support to cancer related non-profit organizations.
While The 35th Annual l’Eté du Vin may be the Grand Poobah of Nashville Wine Auction events, I was elated to have a place at the table for the Premier Pacific Coast Pinot Noir lunch. The five course meal was donated and prepared by Chef Matt Bolus of The 404 Kitchen. Aware of the very nuance of every single wine, Bolus used his palate as a foundation on which our afternoon of exploration would take place. It was so interesting how each wine and dish would play together. How can one dish’s profile be dictated by the notes of four individual wines in each flight? The 404 Kitchen’s Sommelier, Travis Brazil explained “wine is the only alcoholic beverage specifically meant to be paired with food.” The following are Chef Bolus’ pairings:
Kale, Chevre, Rhubarb, Hazelnut, Cornbread, Cherry
2012 Lucy Rose from Pisoni
Ken Wright McCrone Vineyard 2005
Soter Mineral Springs 2006
Patricia Green Cellars Estate Etzel Block 2008
Bergstrom Vineyard 2010
Benton’s Country Ham
Buttermilk Biscuit, Whiskey Jam, Red Eye Gravy
Beaux Freres Vineyard 2005
Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve 2006
de Lancellotti Estate 2007
Homer Shea Vineyard 2009
Penner-Ash Dussin Vineyard 2011
Jerusalem Artichoke, Stinging Nettles, Hedgehog Mushrooms, Citron Agrumato
Lynmar Estate Russian River Valley 2006
Emeritus Vineyards William Wesley 2007
Willimas Selyem Coastlands Vineyard 2008
Anthill Farms Tina Marie Vineyard 2010
Carolina Gold Rice, Sea Island Red Peas, Collard Greens, Guanciale
Lucia Soberanes Vineyard 2011
Peay Vineyards Scallop Shelf 2008
Miner Rosella’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands 2004
Arista Winery Longbow 2008
Aged Hard Cheese, Honey, Pickled Strawberries, Crisps
Etude Heirloom Carneros 2003
Pisoni Estate 2009
Aubert UV Vineyard Sonoma Coast 2011
Mystery Wine (Read below for the reveal)
Twenty-two wines were poured that day and were donated from the cellar of Steve and Pam Taylor. Nashville Wine Auction Marketing Specialist, Vivek Surti, greeted us all with a glass of 2012 Lucy Rose from Pisoni. It wasn’t long until the glasses were clinking and conversations were abundant. Honored to sit next to our generous wine donor, I learned from Steve more than I could have ever imagined about the people that made those delicious Pinot Noirs. “If you know about the people who make the wine, it really tells you about the wine itself,” he offered.
There was the Patricia Green Cellars Estate Etzel Block 2008 that was floral but with a woody mouth feel. This is because she throws the whole grape clusters, stems and all, into the fermentation tanks. Anthill Farms Tina Marie Vineyard 2010 is made by three fellas in their late 20’s who work in other wineries, but make this very drinkable wine with notes of bay leaf. Steve says they have a sort of cult following in California and that if you want to buy bottles of Anthill, the only way is to get on the mailing list. The Arista Winery Longbow 2008 grows in the Russian River’s volcanic soil. With a balance of spice and cherries, this wine maker is a friend of Brazil. Travis joked, “He’s my friend because he makes good wine.”
The grand finale was a mystery wine which there were descriptives like dirt and herbaceous flowing as free as the wine. Steve was so gracious as we tried to figure out its origin. I don’t believe I have ever tasted anything like this rare beauty. While it is fascinating to learn about wine makers, the places the grapes are grown are somewhat mystical for me. An American wine is definitive by it’s maker; whereas, a French wine is predominately about the place. With only 100 cases produced, Bouchard Pere et Fils Le Corton grand cru 2009 was our final taste. It was a beautiful day indeed!