On Thursday, March the 3rd, The Noble Rot hosted an event dubbed “An Evening with Turley Wine Cellars” to the tune of some highly anticipated bit of news: a new release coming from the King of Zin: a Cabernet! Larry Turley once said that, “People who drink Zinfandel drink the wine, and people who drink Cab drink the label.” And so their new wine is aptly named, The Label. In collaboration with The Whisk & Ladle Supper Club, those in attendance were subject to a re-envisioned W&L four-course meal and Turley wine pairing! Instead of a seated dinner, passed plates circumnavigated the room and the sounds of very satisfied Noble Rotters underscored my Don Rickle’s-inspired banter. In Noble Rot fashion, guests tasted their way, swirl by sniff and sniff by taste through wildly elegant wines.
Brian Quinn replaced resident W&L bartender Nick Bennett, showing his stars and stripes and earning himself a new moniker: Brian Quinn, a State-Certified Absolute Mixologist (no relation to the Vodka). Mr. Quinn devastated the room with a series of cocktails that may or may not have been a marriage of gin, bourbon, bitters, ideas from Bennett, original ideas from Quinn, champagne and cold draft.
Mark of the W&L and guest sous-chef Christine Wells, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute prepared a wildly exciting cheese/charcuterie platter, a delightful soup, a superb risotto of duck chorizo, duck, lamb and other such tasty devices, and a complex salad with something like 50,000 different greens, herbs and concepts.
The food, rich as it was and with good fat, was a perfect match for the bright acidity and complex Turley wines we tasted. Christina Turley, in from Napa, brilliantly interviewed during our Noble Rot Talks series and enchanted us all with her charm, elegant fashion sense (she wore a lovely white dress inspired by wine country and it’s pristine glow) and real knowledge of things-on-the-vine. She’s a bonafide [former] Sommelier from Momufuku Ko and Ssam and a slew of other downtown NYC joints.
We are honored to have been given the opportunity to host this evening – a big thanks goes out to Christina and the rest of the crew at Turley Wine Cellars.
The wines we tasted were:
- 2009 El Porron Cinsault (Only found at very few and select restaurants in NYC)
- 2008 Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel (The pinnacle of the Turley Zin legacy)
- And the main event: 2010 Turley Cabernet Sauvignon. (That’s right, Cabernet Savignon). Just a barrel sample for the lucky 50 folks in the room. No one has ever tasted this wine before! Not even the winemaker! (kidding). The wine was truly a delight and in its infancy is showing superb structure, complexity and flavor. The concept is also new: lower alcohol, lighter in style, in short, a return to the style of winemaking Napa saw in the 70′s and early 80′s. It’s exciting to think of how this wine will develop.
To work up a feel for the evening, treat yourself to a listen-in and have a look-see at the podcasts recorded from last night. Christina sheds light on the wines we served as well as a bit of history of the winery, which coming straight from the source is a great listen. And be sure to look into our guest musician, Greg Holden, who performed two terrific acoustic sets. Without further ado, hilarity ensues…
Cigar Introductions (3:44)
Cigar Sues Brian Quinn (1:32)