It was a very special dinner indeed for the lucky 12 as Jimmy Hayes, VP Sales & Marketing/Sommelier for Araujo Estate Wines makes a rare and first visit to Canada. Prior to his current VP position, Jimmy was the Sommelier/Wine Director for The Thomas Keller Restaurants Group.
Araujo Estate Wines is widely considered to be one of California’s “cult” wineries with the famed “The Eisele Vineyard” was called “the object of a cult like no other” among California wine lovers. Prior to the takeover by the Araujo’s, Joseph Phelps produced the “Eisele Cabernet” from 1975 – 1991. For the lucky ones who have tasted Bart and Daphne Araujo’s wines, one can attest that Araujo belongs among the state’s honorary “First Growths.” The ”Eisele Cabernet” is everything you want in a Cabernet – concentration without the heaviness, complexity, finesse and elegance in a glass that invites you for another glass in its youth and yet the wine can be cellared for decades to be savored at a future time.
Sidecut Modern Steak at Four Seasons Resort in Whistler was the perfect setting to showcase the wines from Araujo. Kudos to Chef de Cuisine, Edison Mays, Jr. along with Restaurant GM/Sommelier, David Foran who created a sumptious food and wine pairings to showcase Araujo’s elegant wines. Our evening began with a sparkling cocktail made with the Adami Prosecco Vigneto Giardino and mouth-watering amuse bouches that were beautifully presented. Next we sat down to a tasty Diver Scallops paired harmoniously with Eisele Sauvignon Blanc 2010. The meltingly tender Red Deer Chop was the first meat entree to grace the table along with a Bordeaux Blend, Altagracia 2009. This is a second wine from Araujo with all the makings of a ”Eisele” but at a fraction of the price of their first wine. Our star wine tonight, “Eisele” Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 was partnered with “Cut of Essence” – a 49 day Dry Aged PEI Blue Ribbon Rib Eye along with an array of delicious side dishes. Can the evening be any better than this?? Our sweet conclusion to this outstanding dinner was a Deconstructed Strawberry Jublilee with Araujo’s Cabernet Sauvignon Grappa 2007.
Beautiful wines and food in an a fabulous outdoor setting with great camarderie, it was truly a memorable August evening for all that attended.