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Outrageous Chicken

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Day Trip To Napa

          Day trip to Napa - Winston Chang, recently appointed Estate Manager at Araujo, extended a personal invitation to visit for an official meet and greet with the new associates at the winery. I was also asked to meet with Antoine Donnedieu and Burges Smith to discuss and taste the Spring release, Araujo Estate 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, ‘Eisele Vineyard’, Napa Valley along with the 2012 Araujo Estate Altagracia Red Wine, Napa Valley. Excited and a bit overwhelmed by the invitation, I accepted the opportunity promptly then booked a round trip flight to Oakland to visit the Napa Valley and return to Long Beach Intl. that same evening, February 24th. Arranging for a day trip requires very early morning preparation.  Up far before the crack of  dawn to board a 7:05AM flight to Oakland, I arrived at the Araujo Estate at 10:45 AM. My meeting with Winston, Antoine, and Burges was centered around the upcoming releases, then we took off for lunch at Evangeline in Calistoga. I ordered the grilled salmon with fuji apple and warm chickory salad with mustard which paired perfectly with the brilliant 2013 Araujo Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc has been longawaited, as the new team decided to age it on the lees a full year, as is done for great white wines the world-over. Suffice it to say I was not disappointed, this is the most complex and remarkable Sauvignon ever from the Araujo Estate. The 2012 Altagracia displayed its characteristic classic elegance combined with layers of complex youthful nuances and flavors that are so typical of the Eisele Vineyard, an amazing wine to be and tasted and discussed in the near future. With lunch over at 2:30 pm, I found myself driving south to Oakland Airport arriving with time to spare to reminisce about the events of the day. It was amazing; new opportunities offered and accepted, wonderful food and good conversation with friends and colleagues along with tasting some of the greatest wines available. Good times… Araujo Estate 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, ‘Eisele Vineyard’, Napa Valley - The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, a medium straw color offers aromatics of stony minerals typical of the Eisele Vineyard along with floral components of white tropical tuberose and hints of mineralized mango contribute yet another level of aromatic texture rarely found in other Sauvignons. The mid palate; thick and maintaining its floral nuances exposes a bit of lemon-curd creaminess as well as the tropical flavors of mango and pineapple leading to the finish and the guaranteed expression of minerality giving way to a long beautiful elegance. The Eisele Vineyard definitely continues to deliver. The official release date of the 2012 Araujo Estate Altagracia Red and the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is March 11, 2013. The Sauvignon Blanc, extremely limited is available to restaurants only.