Happy Friday! I had to go to a conference in Chicago yesterday, so I took the opportunity to stop at Eataly in Chicago, if you haven't been, I'd highly recommend it! I picked up the main course for tonight's dinner there and brought it back (yes, I had the foresight to bring a cooler and freezer pack, I'm not an amateur!) along with some other items to be featured in a social gathering next Friday! So what to pair with tonight's special dinner? I've opened a bottle of 2012 L'Ecole No. 41 Apogee, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (30%), Cabernet Franc (5%) and Malbec (5%) from the Pepper Bridge Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley, so let's have a taste.
The color is a deep, brooding garnet in the glass, perfect for such a blend. The nose presents aromas of leather, ripe plum and just a hint of mint. There are also some earthy notes that come through with a bit of night air. The taste is a rush of fruit, with some plum and cherry cola that transition nicely to some blackberry, tar and tea leaves midpalate. The tannins are a bit youthful, but very well integrated, providing for an incredibly long and luxurious finish that is simply bone dry.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, I'll be the first to admit that I prefer L'Ecole's Perigee blend more consistently than the Apogee, but this one is causing me to rethink that position. As for the pairing, it would be marvelous with any number of hearty dishes, but tonight I am pairing this with a prime Angus bone-in ribeye with a porcini mushroom dry rub, grilled rare and served with oven roasted fingerling potatoes and haricots verts almondine. Cheers!