One of my latest wine adventures took place over, who would have guessed it, dinner. Okay, maybe everyone.
There are some meals that never get old. I would say that in an average month there are several nights when whether time does not permit or we just desire familiarity we will revisit a household favorite. Being the person in our family who does the lion’s share of the cooking, I will attest that regardless of how much I love to cook and spend time in the kitchen it sometimes gets exhausting thinking up new and invented culinary wonders every night. On these such occasions it is necessary to have a small arsenal of household favorites that you can put together in a moments notice. For me one of those dishes is grilled Rib-eye.
I do my best to include a new cast of supporting characters whether it be a different sauce, side, or wine. A big part of the fun for me is choosing a different wine to stack up against the most sacred part of this sacred animal, the Rib-eye steak. On this night the supporting cast member was a perfect complement to the star of dinner. I would even venture to say, without implying that it wasn’t a good pairing or that the steak wasn’t everything one imagines, that the 2008 Baldacci IV Sons Fraternity kind of stole the show.
Baldacci Family Vineyards is situated on what can only be described as prime real estate in the heart of the Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley. The 17 acres of vineyard land they call home was purchased in 1997 by owners Thomas and Brenda Baldacci. Driven by their love for fine wine and family the focus here is on producing beautiful wines that showcase the amazing terrior they affectionately cultivate with minimalist intent. In 2003 they hired world-class winemaker Rolando Herrera . Rolando got his start working at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars eventually working his way up to Cellar Master. His resume also includes Director of Winemaking at Paul Hobbs Consulting and his own label, Mi Sueno.
The IV Sons label, an ode to Thomas and Brenda’s four sons and a celebration of family, is their entry-level wine. The term entry-level somehow doesn’t seem to fit the wines I have tasted. All though they are the least expensive wines they make, they are far from entry-level and hold their own against the best wines Napa Valley has to offer.
The 2008 IV Sons Fraternity is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from their Stags Leap Vineyard and Merlot and Syrah from their estate vineyard in Carneros to the south. The wine was everything you could want it to be and more. It drank wonderfully all on its own and was also paired wonderfully with the night’s dinner.
Retail – $39.99
Dark opaque purple in color. Beautiful nose of dense blackberry layered with dark cherry and blueberry pie accompanied by light waves of anise and a very subtle pencil lead note. The dark fruit driven palate showing dusty blackberries up front and then picks up a layer of fig on the mid palate which continues through a peppery very rustic finish. Despite the obvious Cabernet notes the Syrah fruit really made it seem (to me) quite reminiscent of a wine from the southern Rhone Valley think Chateaunuef, gigondas, vacqueyras.
91 – Stumblingsommelier
90 – Wine Enthusiast