White Wine, Estate Cuvee Blanc, Sonoma Valley (2014)
Our Estate Cuveé Blanc is a richly flavored and aromatic Rhone-style white blend. “Peaches and cream” aromas precede flavors of apricot, crushed pineapple, marshmallow and lime zest with a touch of minerality. This refreshing wine has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel then finishes bright and crisp.
All three varietals for this classic Rhone-inspired blend come from our Certified Sustainable Estate Wild Oak Vineyard at the base of Sugarloaf Ridge and Hood Mountain in Sonoma Valley. The rock and gravel that have washed down over the centuries provide ideal soil conditions for small yields of concentrated fruit. Sonoma Valley’s cool evenings and warm afternoons allow the fruit to develop intense flavors and aromas, while maintaining high acidity.
Warm sunny days and cool afternoons throughout the spring and summer months set the stage for a spectacular harvest in September 2014. The lack of rain meant that harvest began a little earlier than normal and was short in length, finishing up by the end of October. The temperate days leading up to harvest produced good yields of high quality fruit with concentrated flavors, complex aromatics and excellent structure.
Each of these three white varietals was picked at 26.5 brix. The Roussanne and Viognier were fermented together in temperature-controlled tanks for increased fruit expression. A small percentage of Marsanne, fermented separately, was blended in to add creamy mouthfeel characteristics. The wine was aged in French oak for seven months before bottling.
DELICATA SQUASH, BACON & FRISÉE SALAD
• 2 pounds Delicata squash
• ½ pound slab of bacon, cut into lardons
• ¼ cup sliced shallots
• ¼ cup Marcona almonds, roasted, salted and coarsely chopped
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
• 3 heads Frisée, core and outer green leaves removed, and clean
• 3 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar
• ½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
• ¼ pound Manchego cheese
• Sea salt and black pepper to taste
• Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Slice off the ends of the squash. Cut in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and pulp. (The skins of Delicata squash are edible and do not need to be peeled.) Cut the squash into ½ inch half-moons. Toss the squash with ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoons of salt and the ground fennel seeds. Place flat and spread out on a large baking sheet. Roast in oven for 30 minutes or until tender. Let cool.
Combine 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 3 tablespoons of sherry vinegar in a bowl to make vinaigrette. Reserve.
Heat a large sauté pan over high heat, add bacon, and cook until bacon is lightly browned, about five minutes. Reduce heat to low, add shallots, and stir to combine. Remove from heat, add vinaigrette and stir to combine. Add squash and Frisée to pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine and dress salad.
Arrange salad on plates. Shave Manchego over each plate, and add the Marcona almonds.
Recipe created by St. Francis Executive Chef Bryan Jones