Deserie, Donna and Eileen were responsible for the great wine selection.

I t was another in a long string of outstanding wine dinners at Calvert’s Wednesday night, this one showcasing Trig Point wines.
As always, the food pairings were inspired. The Sonoma County wines from Trig Point were wonderful, and the dinner finished with a blockbuster from Snowden.
The dinner was led by Eileen Hallmark, Southeast regional sales manager for The Sorting Table, which distributes the wines. She had some interesting stories to tell about the wines, and instead of trying to talk above the chatter, she went from table to table answering questions.
Borgoluce Lampo Prosecco Treviso DOC Brut paired with an assortment of hors d’oeurves.
The family that makes this dry Prosecco from vineyards 45 miles north of Venice has been making wine since 692 A.D. The winery is all solar powered and is a fully operating farm, raising pigs and other animals. The wine was delicious and a perfect way to start the evening.
Lobster bisque

First Course
Trig Point Signpost Chardonnay 2013
Lobster bisque and island toast
The grapes for this Chardonnay are grown in the Russian River Valley. They are grown in sandy soil, which helps keep the vines healthy.
The wine is bright and crisp, with some green apple and citrus characteristics, and a hint of minerality. The cool vineyard site produces complex flavors. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and spends six months in new oak barrels.
The lobster bisque was a perfect match for the wine, full of rich creaminess and chunks of lobster.
Hallmark told the group a little about the owner of Trig Point, Nick Goldschmidt. He was a winemaker at Simi in the 1980s, when Simi rose to prominence among California wineries.
Trig Point was named after his father, who was a land surveyor. Here is what Nick has to say about the name for his winery:

“A ‘trig’ has been used for many years to establish boundary lines. Trigonometrical stations were set on the top of hills and used as surveying sites. Just as my father was a land surveyor and used these trigs as a reference, so do I when it comes to well known vineyard sites.”

Beverly Calvert and Eileen Hallmark

After flying the globe for many years as the head winemaker for Simi, Allied Domecq, and Beam Estates, Nick decided to start a family company with his wife Yolyn in 1998.
The goal was to focus on site specific wine making from great vineyard sites around the world. Having produced so many world class wines, Nick knew exactly from which vineyard sites he would choose to make his wines.
The wines Nick and Yolyn Goldschmidt produce are all single vineyard, handcrafted, small production, artisan wines. He also produces wine under the Goldschmidt Vineyard label, and consults with 11 other projects.
Trig Point produces about 5,000 cases a year.
Roasted shrimp

Second Course
Trig Point Diamond Dust Vineyard Merlot 2014
Roasted shrimp and grilled vegetable salad/Feta cheese
This was another great pairing. I didn’t think merlot would be a good match for shrimp, but with the Feta cheese sauce, it was a spectacular pairing.
This merlot is a very soft merlot, with plenty of fruit balanced by acidity. It is a deep violet in the glass with round flavors of blue-black fruit such as plum, black cherry and blackberry. It is rich and full-bodied with smooth tannins and finishing with a hint of spice.
The Feta cheese sauce really made the shrimp pop. Thick slices of squash and zucchini added to the flavors on the dish.
The grapes come from the Diamond Dust vineyard just south of the town of Geyserville in the renowned Alexander Valley wine region.  The winery says its old, low vigor vines consistently produce merlot with more power and depth than typically found in the appellation.
Diamond Dust is 50 acres on a slope so it doesn’t get afternoon sun. It is at the southern and cooler end of Alexander Valley. That, combined with the slope of the vineyard, allows the grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The vines are 30 years old.
Bordering on the vineyard is Silver Oak, one of the most famous wineries in California.
Blackened pork ribeye

Third Course
Trig Point The Railyard Zinfandel 2012
Blackened dry aged pork ribeye/creole sauce, cajun cracklings and basil potato puree
This is a very restrained zinfandel, which is the way I like them. It has good fruit, but it is not high in alcohol (13.5%) or too jammy. The tannins also are smooth and restrained. It is a well-balanced wine.
The Railyard Vineyard is in Alexander Valley, and 2012 was a great year for them. There were plenty of hot days and cool nights with foggy mornings. The grapes were fermented in barrels, 20% new. Then it was aged for 16 months in American oak (25%) and French oak (75%) barrels.
The vines are more than 30 years old.
The pork was another wonderful course. The meat was flavorful and the creole sauce really made it sing. I could have made a whole meal out of the pork and the basil potato puree. The cajun cracklings pushed the whole dish over the top.
Beef, pheasant and lamb

Fourth Course
Trig Point Diamond Dust Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Breast of pheasant hunter style, pecan crusted lamb/mint sauce, tournedos of beef Henry IV and midnight pasta
This course alone could have been a meal by itself. The beef almost melted in your mouth it was so tender. The pheasant had a great taste, and the pecan crusted lamb was luscious. There almost was too much on this plate, but I’m not complaining.
The wine was another beauty, well-rounded with no sharp edges. Everything was in harmony. The finish was long and soft. It is a powerful wine that doesn’t overpower the food.
Hallmark told us this is the house cab at Augusta National, so that made us all feel even more special.
Milky Way roulade with coffee ice cream

Fifth Course
Snowden The Ranch Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
Golden milky way roulade/bourbon cherry sauce, coffee ice cream/chopped pecans.
The last course may have been the best of all, with a creamy, smooth roulade and coffee ice cream. The flavors were incredible. The roulade was fluffy and tasty.
The wine to match it was the most expensive of the evening, and it tasted like it could age a couple of more years. It was a powerful wine, full of good fruit and ripe tannins. I liked the smooth flavor, but it tasted like it was not fully open. It will only get better with age.
The Snowdens have owned the winery property in Napa since the 1950s. The vineyards cover 40 acres. The grapes are hand picked. Indigenous yeasts are used for fermentation, and the winery believes in minimal intervention.
Hallmark told us that 2014 is one of the most exceptional vintages of Napa cab in the last 10 years. She also said the Snowden cab had been named the best value in 2014 Napa cabs by several sources.
As usual, all the wines were available at special prices for those who attended the dinner.

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