Reata Wines is based in Napa and takes its name from the Spanish word for lariat. The winery sources grapes from selected vineyards throughout Napa and Sonoma with a focus on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
I had some salmon on hand, as well as a bunch of fresh produce from the downtown Memphis Farmer's Market. Purple hull peas, ripe tomatoes, corn on the cob... I love salmon with Pinot Noir but the hot weather was making me lean towards Chardonnay. I chose to open both, and each performed admirably, mostly based on their mild, restrained profiles. A stronger, brasher Pinot Noir would have been overpowering and a more "buttered popcorn" style Chardonnay could have blown out the subtle flavors of the peas and corn.
2010 Reata Chardonnay
$20, 14.3% abv.
Even though two thirds of the wine was aged in French oak, the effect is mild and balanced. Just a touch of caramel underneath the soft tropical fruits. Low but even acidity with a long, relaxing finish. I loved how it worked with the assortment of fresh vegetables, in particular the lemony sorrel, which I mixed with Greek yogurt to top the salmon.
2010 Reata Pinot Noir
Sonoma Coast, California
$30, 14.2% abv.
6,200 Cases Made
Like the Chardonnay, this was also aged in French oak for a more Burgundy-style wine. Very mild plum and dried cherry aromas with low tannins and a soft finish. As I'd hoped, the poached salmon worked really well with this wine, and I would highly recommend it for similar seafood and properly roasted poultry.
Did I mention the cornbread? While the purple hull peas were simmering with bacon and chicken stock, I got a powerful craving for cornbread and made a fresh batch, served as I prefer it with soft butter and local clover honey.
Note: These wines were received as samples.