Jul 12, 2015

Winemaker dinner with Brandon Armitage

Jeanne doing the honours and pouring a welcome bubbly for each guest.

We were greeted with a palate cleansing glass of champagne or three and after an appropriate amount of social time we were all seated. 

This was a wine maker dinner to showcase and introduce the new and soon to be released wines from Armitage Wines. How did it go? Read on!

We all the got to hear Executive Chef John Paul Lechtenberg and Winemaker Brandon Armitage describe each of the food and wine pairings.

Now I am not what most would consider a foodie. I get all wonky when some one serves cold soup. Crikey, don't be so lazy and just heat it up already! But I digress. One of the first items on the menu was a 64 deg egg. Well we shall see about that was the attitude and with that the dinner was begun...

Course 1.
Duck fat pan toast, miaatakke mushrooms, 64°egg, Pinot braised shallot, pickled cherry tomato, bronze fennel. A collection of wonderful flavors and I even enjoyed the 64°egg.(could have used some toast to dip)
This was paired with the 2013 Carmel Valley Pommard Pinot Noir. A Piñot with some weight. Has tannins that will need a little time to figure out who they really are. This wine changed in the glass over time a lot and time should prove this to be an interesting and enjoyable style Piñot. Lovely.

Course 2. 

King salmon-Charred brassicas (cauliflower and romanesco) pickled zucchini,lemon garlic saffron sauce,arugula  pesto with marcona almond.

This was paired with the 2013 Santa Cruz Mountains, Ms, Roberta Vineyard Pinot Noir. Soft feminine and delicate.

 A sexy young girl who enjoys leading you astray. Oh baby. Hey honey can I keep her? 100% new oak. Would not have guessed. Divine!

Course 3.

Chicken breast cooked in sous vide. Mole, cilantro parm puree, smoked butter-nut squash. Chile dusted chicken skin cracker.

This was paired with the 2013 Dry Hole Vineyard Chalone Piñot Noir.
A full sumptuous, voluptuous wine that has it all going on.

The Marilyn Monroe of these Pinot Noir wines. Great balance and a crackin finish that just checks all the boxes.
This wine is definitely feminine and is a bit like that sultry woman that has that ability to make grown men blush. A siren that one cannot resist.
Please sir can I have some more. No new oak...!

Course 4.
22 hour lamb. Eucalyptus/blackberry sauce, chickpea panisse.
This was paired with the 2013 Santa Cruz Mountains Mt Roberta Reserve Piñot Noir

This is a beautiful svelte wine. With beautiful aromatics and a balanced and round mid palate. The Finnish is  like a great suspense novel from a master that holds you on the edge of your seat for an extended period of time.

A technical descriptor would be 'Yum'.  This is the same as the Santa Cruz Mountains Piñot but selected barrels that Brandon feels is the best of the best. The best of the best is a little more rounded and fuller. A lover with a feel for substance and connection that will make your night one to remember.

The dessert was a lovely cheesecake well presented any very delicious. 

This was a very well prepared and well paired dinner. With enough of that required foodie style that is in vogue and yet with a great connection to real solid food that played well with all.

While Brandon was a little coy in his sharing of too much information about his wines each and every one was a lovely drop. A couple were just fantastic and well worthy of all the praise given over dinner. No matter the bottle opened they were all very nice and this is one wine maker to keep an eye on.

Happy Wine and food Adventures,



  1. Thanks Trevor! Thanks for the kind words! Next time I will be prepared to say more:)

  2. Wow the food presentation looks wonderful. Sue

  3. Must stop by and try his wines. I love Piñot Noir.


We are always on a WineWalkabout looking for a good drop. Please comment and ask questions about the things you like or would like to read and see. Don't drink without pants on!