Sunday, June 3, 2007

2006 Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc and the Wild Ginger Wine Celler

I took Sara to Wild Ginger last Friday, since she had never been. Finding a good red wine to go with Thai and other Asian food is hard. Experience has show it's better to just go with a nice white. So I asked Nabil to help me find a decent white. I asked for something that wasn't sweet, was a bit crisp and had some fruit to it. He brought me the 2006 Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc. At $30, I was a bit skeptical, but he assured me it would be wonderful.

It is always a good sign when the Sommelier looks at the bottle and says, "Ah, yes, we just got our allocation up in the cellar and I've been eyeing it in anticipation." It wasn't on the wine list yet, but it turns out they had cases of the stuff. I generally bring my own bottle when going out to the higher end restaurants, because I would rather pay the corkage fee than the markup. I sometimes feel bad if the wine I bring is actually on the list, though. Sometimes.

The wine itself was everything I asked for. It was very crisp, slightly dry wine with hints of apple and pear, and just a touch of oak. There was no alcohol burn. It was obviously a white wine made well. Usually I don't like Sauvignon Blancs at all.

Throughout the meal, the Sommelier kept returning to top off our glasses. After dinner, we still had close to half a bottle left, however (we're light weights). So I invited him to have a taste with us. He poured himself a glass and we spent about 10 minutes chatting about the various wines we like, and he told us about some of the rare one-off bottles they had upstairs. Then he offered to take us up to the cellar to have a look around. Of course we accepted.

Their cellar was certainly well-stocked. The front room consisted of boxes of wines on their main list. The next room consisted of wines on the full, expanded list which comes in a binder if you ask for it. The back room also contained the really old or rare bottles. He explained the acquire many through estate auctions or people selling their entire cellars. He let me hold a 1945 Haut-Brion. He also showed us some Latour bottles from the 50's and 60's. They had Grange going back to, oh, around the beginning of time as well as many other Aussie wines of all vintages.

Another interesting feature was the extensive collection of "send-backs." These are the bottles that are, ostensibly, corked and rejected by the consumer. It was an eclectic collection. He said they save them and return them to the distributor.

It was great experience and Wild Ginger now moves up my list of great Seattle restaurants quite a bit.


Genevieve said...

We had the Rochioli SB the night we went to Waterfront a couple weeks ago! It was the bottle we had before we had the De Lille Chaleur Estate. We loved both wines in their own ways.

jeffdav said...

Yeah, you really should try the D2 or Doyenne from DeLille.

Also, if you can find it, for it be as rare as rocking horse poo, grab some Cayuse -- any of them.