|Chef Erik serves some fresh, local olive oil to |
J Vineyards' new winemaker Nicole Hitchcock
Using hyper-local ingredients, Chef Erik Johnson crafts complex but suave dishes to pair with the wines. The menu changed every six weeks in order to incorporate the seasonal harvests. During my meal, I asked him which ingredient came from farthest away, and where it came from. He thought a few seconds before saying, “Um, Petaluma?”
The winery itself is sleek, steely and ultra-modern, and I got the impression that no expenses were spared in the construction. The food preparation and presentation is precise and superbly executed, making it a perfect match for the overall aesthetic of the winery itself.
My notes on the wines are detailed below.
Biscuity nose with yellow apples, almonds, red apples and minerals. Crisp, clean and quite complex, as the orange, red and yellow apple peels play well off the complex almond and toasted biscuit flavors. The five years aging on the lees has imbued this with a deep sense of fresh baked bread. Quite long and persistent with a bright, mineral-crusted finish. (88 points)
Floral and full of tropical fruit (guava, pineapple) aromas with some honey as well. Plump texture, the richness of that Central Valley fruit (yellow plums, pineapple, guava paste) mixes with some brightness and lighter floral tones, ends up being relatively clean and fresh. Simple, but well done. (85 points)
|My lunch theme was "An Ode to Squash" and this soup with roasted vegetables was delicious.|
Smells of baked pears, rich yellow apples, hints of sea salt mix with a sweet vanilla note. Creamy on the body with lovely richness yet bright acid for balance keeps the wine together. Lovely pears and baked apple, dusted with nougat, honeycomb, almond and vanilla. Smooth and silky finish. A richer style but stays bright and offers a good dose of complexity. (90 points)
So lovely on the nose: deep flowers, juicy raspberries and cherries, some cola, clove and dusty earth. Bright acid combines with a rich texture on the palate, making this wine pure and vibrant. Tangy red cherries, silky red plums, strawberry jam, the fruit is mixed with complex earth and savory aspects. Some cedar and chestnut woven in quite nicely. Aged 13 months in 30% new French oak. (91 points)