Those of us who live on the Left Coast may have noticed that it's been sprinkling a little bit lately. Undaunted, I trotted off to Corks Restaurant, on Hwy 116 just south of Forestville, to enjoy a supper with a bottle of David Coffaro Block 4 '08, which is my excuse for posting here.
Dave's Block 4 is "old vines", mainly as old as I am with some of them probably 90 years old or so, and he picks it as a field blend. You can look up the estimated cuvee on his website, but it's a typical Prohibition-era field blend, and Dave's been tending the vines well, and it may well be his best wine.
So I got to the restaurant, parked in the fairly crowded parking lot, tramped through the rain and up the stairs to the front door, and managed to get a table. (As a solo diner, I generally don't reserve; if one restaurant is full, there are others!)
I looked over the menu, looked out the window next to my table at the rain, and ordered mushroom soup and rare steak. It fit the weather and the wine.
The soup came, and halfway through it, the lights went off, on, off, on, off, on and off. (Third time's the charm!)
Well, so what?
So I kept eating. The wait staff brought around another candle for each table. Someone parked a couple of pickup trucks with their lghts on facing the windows. All the staff armed themselves with flashlights. The newfangled LED lights are pretty good.
After a few minutes, (I wasn't in a hurry, and given the circumstances, I decided to be in even less of a hurry) the waiter came by and said the kitchen was still able to cook, they'd rigged some lanterns, and the delay wouldn't be too long.
My steak must have been nearly done, because it came right out, and only a little bit more done than the rare I'd ordered.
So I enjoyed my candlelight dinner, looking out the window at the water gushing off the roof and splashing on the patio outside.
I finished, taking my time, and was waiting around to see how they'd cope with dessert with the refrigerators and coffeemakers and cash register not working.
They coped nicely. As they were explaining that they regretted not being able to serve coffee and most desserts, the lights came back on, to acclamation from the patrons.
With a new set of explanations that they had to reboot the systems, but they could take cash, checks or handwritten credit card stuff (if we agreed), I got my check and put down my plastic, explaining that I wasn't in any rush.
As we were waiting for the lights, I struck up a conversation with the folks at the next table. Pat's a contractor and his buddy J.T. is in real estate.
Oh yeah, the bottle!!
It belies its listed 15.9% alcohol. Until you stand up. It has all the brambles, berries, pepper, rusticity and what-all you expect from a traditional field blend. And it's probably at or near its peak. Doesn't seem hot, has lost its rough edges and gained a good amount of length. It fits with my opinion of other Dry Creek '08 reds, they took a few years to smooth out, but they won't last a long time.
All told, a very pleasant evening!
John in the wine county