17 August 2012

Reata Wines

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
Carneros, California
$20, 14.3% abv.
11,500 Cases

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.


Joe said...

Ha! I just picked these up for distribution. Have to go out and pimp them the next couple days. Nice to see they showed admirably.

Got to meet Fredric this past weekend. Seems to be a sweet guy and I'm glad to know all the big wig Memphis wine bloggers now :)

Benito said...


On your next trip to Memphis you have to meet Michael Hughes to complete the triumvirate of Memphis winebloggers. Fredric is a dear friend, and Michael and Samantha Dugan are soulmates. One day we'll get everyone together in the same room...

Are you selling the Whiplash as well? I thought the Redemption was a fun burgers and pizza kind of wine.