Kobe Beef and Killer Cabernet Sauvignon Redux — at Signorello Estate

There are many wonderful ways to taste wine in the Napa Valley.

Few are as grand yet intimate as the “Enoteca Signorello” tasting at Signorello Estate on the Silverado Trail.

Raymond E. Signorello, proprietor of the winery that his late-parents established in 1985 on 100 acres of former racehorse-grazing land, wanted to recreate the experience of wine-tasting in Europe. There, wine is often tasted with the winemaker at a table set with food for a more personalized and more relaxed time.

The result is the “Enoteca Signorello” food and wine paired tasting, where guests are seated in a private, light-filled dining room or on the lovely terrace beside the pool overlooking the vineyards, if weather permits. Oliver the dog will probably be on hand to greet you, too.

The special 90-minute tastings are by appointment only, 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily. Price is $65 per person. That might seem pricey. But this is no basket of water crackers that we’re talking about. It’s a flight of five wines, paired with seven, good-sized gourmet treats prepared in the winery’s professional kitchen by a chef.

In March, I was invited as a guest to one of these private tastings, which started being offered a year ago and feature menus that change with the seasons.

You’re welcomed with glasses of the 2008 Seta Estate, a Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc blend that had just the right amount of acidity and buttery-ness; and the 2007 Chardonnay Vielles Vignes Chardonnay, made from the fruit from the original 26-year-old vines planted on the estate.

They’re paired with two-bite hors d’oeuvres — a tiny chevre cake topped with julienned salmon cured with star anise and honey; and a crostini of albacore tuna poached in olive oil and dressed with preserved lemons, picholine olives and the fragrant North African ras el hanout spice blend.

Next, the 2006 Estate Syrah, so wonderfully smooth and loamy, was paired with two different small dishes: a complex warm, local rabbit salad tossed with pistachios, wild mushrooms, chorizo and cranberries; and Snake River Farms’ Kurobuta pork wrapped in prosciutto and served with a sour cherry chutney. The smokey and tangy fruit flavors of both dishes were only heightened by the Syrah.

That was followed by pours of the 2005 Estate Cabarnet Sauvignon with pleasing cigar notes; and the 2006 Estate Padrone, which represents the best Cabarnet grapes grown and blended together in honor of Raymond E. Signorello’s father.  The Padrone is a wine you can sip and sip, with a powerful richness, deep berry flavors, and a finish that lingers on and on.

They both worked beautifully with the next two dishes: smoked Moulard duck breast with black currants and black olives; and Snake River Farms Kobe beef filet with roasted mushrooms, bacon, caramelized onions and a Cabarnet Sauvignon reduction sauce. The Padrone, especially, was magic with the Kobe.

Finally, Valrhona chocolate truffles spiced with more ras el hanout to nibble with the last of the red wines.

You enjoy the final sip and bite, then leave sated, and thoroughly spoiled for any other wine tasting around.

More: Signorello Estate teams with Snake River Farms for “Kobe and Cab” Pairings at Two South Bay/Peninsula Restaurants

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Date: Wednesday, 14. April 2010 5:25
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Enticing Events, General, Meat, Wine

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  1. 1

    What a beautiful place! The food looks gorgeous.



  2. 2

    Wonderful wine tasting and the dishes all sound superb here to match the wine!

  3. 3

    Lovely photos and how lucky you were to be able to take part!
    I love the rabbit salad…

  4. 4

    That is a nice wine tasting! The chevre and salmon is stunning. And, the duck with black currants and olives looks incredible.

  5. 5

    I would’ve so loved to try that rabbit with pistachios and the Syrah. It sounds like the perfect meal to have, for me at least as I do like a good red and game! :) x

  6. 6

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tia Butts, CarolynJung, Sarah Jones, Signorello Estate, RyanShenk and others. RyanShenk said: Thanks for the good words! RT @CarolynJung: A wine-tasting experience like no other in the Napa Valley. http://bit.ly/bPmnfe […]

  7. 7

    Now that’s the way to do wine tasting in Napa Valley! I’m seeing more and more wineries do food pairings with their wine tasting. I have to mark this down for the next time I visit!

  8. 8

    Wow! What a wonderful experience that must have been! You live a charmed life!

  9. 9

    Your lovely post and photographs made me miss the Bay Area. What’s your favorite dish & wine pairing?

  10. 10

    guess what excites me most of all–ridiculously enough, it’s the sour cherry chutney. :)

  11. 11

    I love events like that – and I think $65 pp is a steal with wine pairings!

    Sadly, it’s never enough food for my hubby though!

  12. 12

    Biz: Your husband sounds like mine! I was so full after this wine-food pairing. But my hubby probably could have wolfed down a double-cheese burger afterward. Go figure….

  13. 13

    You know I think that’s actually a pretty good price considering everything that you get! And truffles with ras el hanout? I’d love to try those! :D

  14. 14

    Oh my, this is why I can’t complain that I live where I do.

  15. 15

    it is so divine to gazed at those slab of well cooked beef fillet . . . .look, I will leave them aside for a second as had my eyes on those amazing delicious wine! me being a bad boy now! lol!

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