Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Festive Dinner at Mr. D's

All I can say is that, if it weren't the holiday season, there's no way I would have accepted a dinner invite for the fourth night in a row.  The stamina needed to keep schedules like that, unfortunately, is long behind me.  But accept we did and Mr. D. certainly knows "festive."

Mr. D. also tends to know a number of the same wines that we do. When visiting him, I often have to realize that I won't be able to add all of the wine we drink to The List.  We'll have often already polished off a bottle of whatever's being served.  It's no bother; whether it's because we gave him the bottle in the first place or whether we introduced him to the wine previously, I just have to realize that there's always the possibility that I'll have to drink away without the benefit of moving closer to that 2001 bottle goal.  Sheesh!

Seeing the labels being poured at dinner, I was thinking I might go 0 for 3 on the evening since all are regulars in our glasses.  I was quite surprised to see that two of the bottles are actually vintages that haven't already been added to The List.  Gotta like that.

1319.  2009 Tantalus Riesling (VQA Okanagan Valley)

It wouldn't have mattered one iota if I'd already added the 2009 Tantalus Riesling to The List because I'll drink any vintage of this wine, anytime, anywhere - List or no List.  It's one of my favourite BC Rieslings and I'm not the only one.  When I needed to bring a bottle across the border to Portland for pouring at the 2012 Wine Bloggers Conference, I chose this bottle as being a great ambassador for the BC wine industry. Funny thing was that another BC blogger, Luke Whittall of Wine Country BC, brought the same bottle.

Sharing a Christmas toast with Mr. D., and having Logan join us as well, would have been a treat in itself but having dinner thrown in was a bonus - and having the chance to take in the seasonal lights of the city from Mr. D's West End view was even better.

1320.  2005 Black Hills - Nota Bene (Okanagan Valley)

If my being able to add the '09 Tantalus was a pleasant surprise, adding the main course's Nota Bene was more of a shock.  I almost didn't go back and check The List for this vintage because the iconic BC red has probably seen as many vintages added to The List as any other wine.  I found that six vintages - '99, '01, '02, '03, '04 and '06 - are already there, but the 2005 appears to still be fair game.

Black Hills has generally been fairly consistent with the component percentages going into their Meritage/Bordeaux blend.  I'm not sure of the year that the winery started incorporating additional varietals but, up until 2007, the blend was Cab Sauv and Merlot forming the backbone of the wine with about 15-20% Cab Franc being added to the mix.

Mr. D. did just what he was supposed to - serve it up with a baron of beef.  The only "complaint" - if you want to call it that - was that Mr. D. had decided to use his vintage crystal and the glasses were way too tiny. The non-existent bowls were filled with a couple of sips.  How's a boy to ever knock back a healthy portion of Nota Bene when a continual filling of the glass just leaves you looking like a lush?  I try hard to avoid that label.  Not that there's anything wrong with being a lush - except maybe when you're writing a wine blog.

N.V. La Frenz Tawny (Naramata Bench - Okanagan Valley)

Mr. D. served up a perfect end to the evening as well.  I may not be able to add the Non-Vintage La Frenz Tawny to The List - for what would have been the fourth or fifth time - but I sure was able to enjoy it with D's crepe and Nutella torte.  Both beautifully complemented the other.  Year after year, Tawny pulls in top award after top award - and I know that winemaker, Jeff Martin, only enters a couple of competitions, ones that he feels are there for the top flight competition.

There's no question in my mind how the Tawny continues to impress - but then, I'm a bit of a sucker for port-style wines, aren't I?

I had to beg out early and drag Boo home since all these nights out were catching up with me and I still had to work in the morning.  It was a treat of an evening though and we saw a line-up of veritable all-star wines on the BC scene.  Lucky us!

A final treat for the evening was the fact that we got an even better look at what will hopefully become an annual star of the Vancouver Christmas scene.  This is the first time that the big tree on top of the English Bay tower was been lit up, all ablaze in white.  I think it's a grand beacon for the season and I hope to run across it as often, in the years to come, as I run across of all the evening's wines.

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