Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Mascot Dinner

It took some major convincing for me to skip out of a lavish party next door for a cozy dinner at an exclusive venue, but at the end I think it’s well worth it. 

And it’s not so much the food that wowed but the wines presented by one of the most legendary wineries in Napa. True it was my first white truffle dish this season with the classic risotto cooked with the creamy mushroom sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano “fondue” and plenty of fresh Alba white truffles shaved on top – and the dish was excellent by the way, but the star of the evening was the vertical flight of The Mascot from Harlan Estate. Okay, it wasn’t their namesake line of top cult wines, or the Bond, or the Promontory, or even The Maiden, their “second” label, but still The Mascot, brainchild of Will Harlan, the second generation of Harlan winemaker family, was a serious production with only small quantities available for each vintage. 

Four of them we managed to try in a series, in chronological order. We began with the 2013 with ripe, expressive black fruits on the palate, some cedar and tobacco, made using only Cab from some of the “younger” vines of Harlan Estate, BOND and Promontory. With such maturity I would love to have my hands on some if still available on the market. (I asked and the answer was no) The second bottle of 2016 vintage was my favorite of the evening, not a surprise from an excellent year for Napa wines – younger but well ready to drink, bold, full-bodied, showed a little more red fruit, cedar, hint of pencil shavings and coffee and long lasting. It was perfect with some extra time given to breath. We finished with 2 more recent vintages including the just released 2019 and the 2018. Hard to tell which one I like most, but on this occasion I probably like the 2018 slightly more with 2019 probably needs a few more year to open up. 

Back to the rest of the dinner and the food. Love the venue with the dinner hosted at their Library over a tastefully decorated long table. Other than the risotto served as the second course, we started with the rich Foie Gras Terrine with figs and brioche and the Glazed Wagyu Beef Short Ribs with Jerusalem Artichoke Gratin and Creamy Potatoes on the side. Both were great in clubhouse standard and matched perfectly well with the big, full-bodied Napa Valley red. Cheese Platter was pretty standard with the usual condiments but I love those little petit fours pastry presented in a wooden box disguised as a book at the end. 

And I managed to slip right in to the party after dinner to finish the night with some nice nightcap of caviar, champagne and whisky. How convenient. 

When? October 27 2023
Menu Highlights? Acquerello Mushroom Risotto with Alba White Truffles
The Mascot 2013
The Mascot 2016
The Mascot 2018
The Mascot 2019
(The Mascot)
(Omtis Fine Wines) 

No comments :