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Blogger Wins Nobel Prize for Avoiding Easy Jokes About Compressed Melons, Accolades Pile Up

Posted by on May 23, 2012

I am such a bad VA wine blogger…sorry for disappearing for the past week.  My work life was all about pushing to get things done so that I’d have time to go to TasteCamp and then playing catch up after the long weekend was over.  This led to major burnout on both the work and blog fronts.  To recover, I unplugged from all but the most essential electronic communication.  Thankfully, I’m feeling much happier about all aspects of my life after some time away from my computers and smartphone, and I’m now ready to return to some VA wine impressions from TasteCamp.

I left off after taking about the opening lunch and first grand tasting at Boxwood, so I’ll pick up where I left off by talking about the Friday night dinner at Breaux Vineyards.  Jen Breaux Blosser and the whole Breaux crew know how to pull out all the stops for an event, so I was excited to see what they’d have in store for us.  As you’d expect, there was a lot of good Breaux wine, but there was also a lot of great food courtesy of Tuscarora Mill.

Jen welcomed the TasteCamp crew to Breaux with glasses of the ’10 sauv blanc and stations where we could taste the ’10 viognier, the ’10 Jen’s Jambalaya, and the ’02 merlot reserve.  While we were tasting and chattingwith each other as well as the Breaux staff, we were also able to taste some wonderful passed hors d’oeuvres.  My favorites were the seared scallops on lavosh with fennel salad and orange glaze (I love me some scallops) and the compressed melon with feta and sherry gastrique.  I need to figure out how to compress some melon at home because I kept stalking the wait staff holding those trays so that I could get another taste.  As for the wine, my patio winner was the merlot reserve.  If you’ve got a bottle of this at home (perhaps from when you attended one of the merlot vertical tastings), know that it’s still drinking really well.  If you open it, you won’t be disappointed, but you can probably also wait another year or two.  I was also glad that Grape Envy Guy finally got to try the Jen’s Jambalaya as I don’t think he ever has.  We eat a lot of spicy food, so it’s nice to have some local, affordable slightly sweet white options, and at 1% residual sugar, this one was well balanced and very enjoyable.

We were eventually moved into the tank room for dinner which began with a glass of the ’11 Breaux rosé, a dry rosé from nebbiolo, cab sauv, and chambourcin, and a salad of local greens, got cheese, and walnuts.  This is the first wine available by Breaux’s new winemaker David Pagan Castaño, and it was described to us as being done in a Spanish style.  I don’t think I’ve had a Spanish rosé before, so I’ll have to take their word for it, but it was very fruity, refreshing, and worked well with the salad to start the meal.

We then moved on to the main course of beef medallions with a bacon fig sauce and a gorgonzola risotto with currants and almonds.  I was in love with this course, and it paired particularly well with the ’07 cabernet sauvignon.  The other wine poured with this course was the ’07 cab franc reserve.  This is a massive wine, and I think it still needs more time.  Right now, the oak influence is too prominent for me, but many others were loving it, so if you get a chance to taste this one (it’s rarely poured), let me know what you think.

We were then treated to a cheese course with a vertical of nebbiolo.  The ’01, ’02, ’05, and a barrel sample of the ’07 were poured.  I was excited for the opportunity to taste these wines since we had to miss the nebbiolo vertical event since we were already committed to attending the Jefferson Meritage vertical (my favorite wineries so need to coordinate their event schedules with me…oh right, I’m not that important).  The ’07 is still a monster and just too young to really get a good sense of what it will be like.  It’s been a while since I tasted the ’05, and it seems to be aging well, but my favorites were still the ’01 and ’02.  I was leaning slightly towards the ’02, but I had a hard time expressing why.  The nice part of this was that we have bottles of both of these wines at home, so this let us check in on how they’re likely doing without opening our only bottles (hey – we’re getting better about aging wine, but we rarely have the money to buy more than 1 or 2 bottles of these wines).

By the time dessert rolled around, I was very full, so I just tasted the white chocolate-apricot cake served with lychee sabayon.  It was really well done, but I was trying to stave off food coma.  With this final course, we were served the ’10 Chère Marie (a late harvest vidal blanc) and the ’06 Soleil.  The Chère Marie wasn’t my style of wine, but I enjoyed the Soleil.  GEG isn’t yet sold on the sherry-style wines, however, so none came home with us.

Throughout dinner, Jen and crew did a great job filling us in on the history of Breaux as well as providing some information about their expansion plans and the oversees marketing.  Since we’re local (as are most of our readers), this wasn’t new info for us, but we still had a great time learning more about the Breaux wines as well as our dining companions – so cool to actually meet people who write blogs you’ve been reading for a while.

Thanks for the great dinner Chef Patrick Dinh!

Anyway – I promise, I’m not disappearing anytime soon, so I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about the TasteCamp visit to Tarara.

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