Today we're going to go out on a limb. A really big one, in fact. Today's offering is so completely off the radar one wonders why we would even bring it up.
Well, because it's us. And, as usual, there is a story.
It all started one blustery, cold, and rainy evening in Boston last March. We were invited to a private dinner in the library room at L'Espalier in Boston with Chef Frank McClelland. It promised to be a magical evening tasting wines from one of the world's greatest wineries in a very intimate setting.
As we were ushered along an invisible path through the busy dining room, we were able to take a peek at the commanding sterling kitchen on the way to the library, nestled in the rear corner of the restaurant. Two remarkably tall wooden doors were parted by the staff and then closed discretely behind us without a sound.
Honestly, it felt like we were being admitted into Batman's Bat Cave.
Library Room, L'Espalier
Only there wasn't one Alfred, but rather an army of Alfreds. Bustling in and out through another secret door. It was difficult to count how many Alfreds visited the room that night. Wine glasses were refilled without notice. If you went to greet someone across the room several Alfreds would descend upon the table to straighten the table setting, refold the napkin, and brush off the seat. L'Espalier staff seem to operate when you blink.
A perfect setting for the legendary wines from Vega Sicilia.
Vega Sicilia is more than a winery.
It is a myth.
If there is one winery which appears in virtually every textbook we have ever memorized in our professional studies, it is Vega Sicilia. It is one of THE great Spanish classics. Wines from Vega Sicilia typically command scores of 98+ with critics. They are very difficult to obtain. Small quantity, high demand. Legacy wines if we dare whisper.
So, why then are we going to talk about a Hungarian wine?
Oremus Mandolas Dry Furmint 2007
Tokaj Oremus was founded in Hungary by the cult Spanish winery Vega Sicilia in 1993. While most wines imported from Hungary are historic and famous dessert wines made from grapes affected by botrytis cinerea (Noble Rot), Vega Sicilia chose to produce a dry white wine made from the region's distinct Furmint grape. A bold move.
The grapes in Oremus Dry Furmint are not affected by botrytis cinerea so it is not a sweet wine. In fact, it is vinified dry, very much like a high quality white Burgundy. On steroids.
This is a single variety wine which expresses the mineral hints of its originally volcanic soil. It has fruity aromas with distinct mineral tones, and a full body with a very long finish. It may be one of the most unusual wines you will ever taste.
Just sipping this unusual wine will make you feel like a wine insider.
This is real wine geek material. If you do decide to go rogue and purchase this wine please, please, please make us one little promise.
Serve it with scallops. Serve it with scallops and watch the whole world elevate itself to perfection.
This wine paired with scallops is startlingly right.
There is a saline element to the wine, along with a richness to match the weight of the scallops. It is haunting. However, we must give the credit for this pairing to the clever folks at L'Espalier. Very well done!!!
$21.99/bottle or just $105.55/6 pack case ($17.59/bottle) or only $17.59/bottle in a mixed case of wine.
We know what at least some of you are thinking. What about the Vega Sicilia?!? The Vega Sicilia Unico 2000 will be available to us in miniscule quantity in September. We're talking about bottle stock with this one. So if you want to reserve a bottle of this 98 point wine you had better let us know. Be warned though. You don't get those kind of scores without reason. This legacy wine sells for $450/bottle or just $360/bottle in a mixed case of wine.
We'd love to hear from any of you who try the exquisite Oremus Dry Furmint and scallop pairing. The lucky Wine Club Member who sends us the best story about this pairing via email by August 15 will win a free Wine Chiller Sleeve by Vacuvin. These wine chiller sleeves are excellent for summer entertaining. Just place it in a freezer and slip it around a bottle of cold wine. It will keep the wine cool on the table throughout your meal. We use them nearly every day this time of year and love them. It also makes a great gift for wine friends!
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