Two decent restaurant whites
I generally tread lightly when I publish notes on wines tasted in a restaurant setting, knowing that the sociable setting with its many distractions makes for a less than analytical report. With those caveats, however, these two California whites tasted recently at Lilly's, one of Louisville's best and most innovative restaurants, seemed good enough not to let pass without comment.
Grgich-Hills 1996 Napa Valley Fume Blanc ($28.50 restaurant price)
Pale greenish gold in color, it's fresh and citric, a squirt of grapefruit aromas; crisp and tart in flavor, a good seafood wine. (April 17, 1999)
FOOD MATCH: Perfect with a Pacific Rim-style appetizer, plump, juicy steamed oysters rolled in a crispy "breading" of shredded nori seaweed and served on a spicy citrus sauce with meaty shiitake mushrooms.
Iron Horse 1996 Sonoma Chardonnay ($38 restaurant price)
Pale straw color. Crisp and appley aromas and flavors infuse a full-bodied and dry table wine, without the fat, soft edge of sweetness that makes so many California Chardonnays less than pleasant. (April 17, 1999)
FOOD MATCH: To its credit, this Chardonnay made a happy match with a diverse group of entrees: Pesto-coated halibut on a sweet-tart mandarin orange fruit sauce; veal scallopini on homemade cappellini with Brie; Dijon-marinated chicken-breast medallions on a hash-browned potato-country ham pancake; and tempura-style fried scallions on seared spinach and lemon veloute.
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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.||