Is celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year with tasting dinners across the country. Last night in Las Vegas, Emeril Lagasse's Delmonico Steakhouse put on a six course meal paired with Domaine Serene's finest wines. While owners Ken and Grace Evenstad weren't able to join us, Allan Carter and Michelle Farkus did an excellent job speaking to Domaine Serene's disciplined and delicate wine making process. I soon tasted for myself the result. A New World pinot noir (and even chardonnay) with the finesse and intensity of a special Burgundian encounter. Head chef, Ronnie Rainwater, and wine director, Kevin Vogt*, created an extrodinary culinary experience for their guests.
We enjoyed four vintages of their famous Evenstad Reserve Pinot Noir - the 2001, 2002, 1996, and the 2006. The '02 was my favorite, boasting lively raspberry, tart cherry, and dried cranberry fruit notes graced by black tea flavors and gentle tannins that can still support some age (this was confirmed by the tasting of the '96).
Every dish served with the wine was excellent and will push me to venture outside my standard steakhouse order (shrimp cocktail and filet rare) next time I'm in for dinner. Personally, the most telling part of the night was my urge to revisit the '02 Chardonnay after the series of stellar pinots served with dinner. My white wine heart lies in Puligny-Montrachet,, Chassagne-Montrachet, and Meursault, so I surprised myself with craving for a reminder the of hazelnut and creme brulee notes that unfolded in this seven year old chardonnay from the Cote Sud vineyard in the Dundee Hills of Oregon. I highly recommend you track a bottle down.
*One of my mentors who's an MS and winemaker for his own label Mastery (Gemstone Vineyard, Napa Valley). Thank you, Kevin :)