"Like human beings, a wine’s character, depends a great deal on its origins and its upbringing.”
-- Linda Johnson-Bell
Van Ruiten, Pinot Noir, California, 2013
The Van Ruiten Family has been growing grapes in the Lodi area for more than 50 years. Throughout the last five decades, farming practices have changed with the introduction of new technology and eco-friendly farming techniques. The family prides themselves in the uncompromising commitment to producing top quality grapes. The fruit for this wine (100% Pinot Noir from Clarksburg and the Russian River Valley) that was all hand-picked then gently pressed to preserve the delicacy and purity of the fruit. Only 829 cases of this wine were bottled in April of 2015 after ageing for ten months in French oak creating a delicious burgundy colored wine. The bouquet of this wine include Maraschino cherry wild raspberry and subtle notes of oak. Medium/ light in body with a smooth balanced mouthfeel; flavors of cherry spice and a note of cola combine with fine tannins and balanced acidy for a complete finish. I served this wine with pan-roasted salmon with fennel salad. (Recipe to follow). At $19.99 this is a reliable go to and will pair with most medium flavored dishes.
Pan-Roasted Salmon with Fennel Salad
What you will need: For 4 servings
1/2 fennel bulb, plus 2 tablespoons fronds (top frilly part)
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
1 to 1.5 pounds skin-on salmon fillet, preferably wild-caught cut into 4 pieces
How to do it:
Preheat oven to 350°. Using a mandoline, or knife to finely shave fennel; transfer to a medium bowl. Add fennel fronds, orange juice, and olive oil; toss to combine. Season salad with salt and pepper. Heat grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season salmon pieces with salt and pepper. Place salmon in skillet skin side down. Cook without moving, pressing gently on fillets with a spatula to ensure skin is in full contact with pan, until skin is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven (do not turn fish over) and roast until salmon is just opaque in center, 3-4 minutes for medium-rare (time will depend on thickness of fish and desired doneness). Divide fennel salad among plates. Top with salmon skin side up. Serve with sauteed root vegetables and crunchy French bread to soak up all the rich flavors, Recipe adapted from, Giuseppe Tentori, on bonappetit.com.
Cheers, The Wines Guys