This past week I had the good fortune of taking part in a wine dinner at Annie Gunn’s in St. Louis featuring the phenomenal wines of Robert Keenan Winery. I’m not even going to mince words here, I can describe the evening in two words: PURE BLISS!
Executive Chef Lou Rook and Wine Director Glen Bardgett should pat themselves on the back through the New Year with the bevy of gustatory delights displayed.
First up out of the chute was the Maine lobster local apple roll paired up with the 2010 Spring Mountain District, Napa Chardonnay~ lemon and stone fruits on the nose with flavors of green apple, kiwi, with great balance and acidity. This wine would be just as much at home with Grandma’s chicken dinner as it was with the lobster roll.
Duck confit risotto with Ozark Forest mushroom chutney was masterfully paired with 2009 Keenan Cabernet Franc (my personal favorite). This may very well be the most amazing Cab Franc I have ever tasted. Currant, raspberries, and what I like to refer to as ‘earthy/woodsy’ qualities delight both the nose and the tongue. For a less formal pairing, serve it up with a Portobello mushroom burger.
The braised hog cheek and dried autumn fruit along with the noodle dumplings with pan roasted ‘Cab’ tenderloin was matched up with both the 2008 and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignons. Nothing but finesse with these wines with great acidity, perfect tannins, and bursting with flavors of dark fruit, chocolate, espresso, and graphite. Don’t even consider pairing any other wine with steaks….this one is the king!
The pairing that I thought was the gustatory highlight of the evening was the Wild Boar Sausage with the Gruyere and Local Plum Chutney paired with the 2008 Keenan Merlot. Simply put, it was seduction for the tastebuds. I don’t know how else to explain it.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to. I let the President of Robert Keenan Winery, Michael Keenan, sum it up in his own words. In a very candid conversation, he shared why the Merlot is his favorite, why it may very well be the perfect wine, and his thoughts on wine with sports, some interesting pairings, and what proved to be an accurate premonition regarding the National League series between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Enjoy the interview, but most importantly, make sure to enjoy Keenan Wines.