Drylands 2008 Sauvignon Blanc

Need a good, inexpensive Marlborough sauvignon blanc? Well, Good Wine Under $20 recomments Drylands 2008.  I have not tried the 2008 yet, but I have enjoyed previsous Drylands vintages, and I am guessing that this is a pretty good tip.

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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First Rate Food at The Fourth Estate

It is one thing to decide to take one’s wife out to dinner at the last minute; it is another to find a good place on short notice. It had been a long week, so we wanted something simple and quiet with good food. Trolling the Open Table list, I saw a restaurant that I had not noticed before — The Fourth Estate at the National Press Club. It turned out to be exactly what we were looking for that night.

The Fourth Estate is located, not surprisingly, at The National Press Club, 14th & F, N.W. Its interim Executive Chef, Mauricio “Moe” Aguilera, has spent the past 14 years as its Executive Sous Chef. Before joining The Fourth Estate, Chef Aguilera worked at the Loews L’Enfant plaza hotel as chef de partite and participated in the culinary “L’Academie de Cuisine” with chef Françoise in 1989 and 1990.

4th Estate View

Our reservations were for 7pm and the place was surprisingly quiet. In fact, I was a bit worried at first given the lack of a crowd. I was distracted from my initial concerns, however, by the pictures of the members of the press and famous politicians lining the walls of the restaurant. There is a lot of history to view and to discuss over an opening glass of wine and a salad.

The wine, actually, turns out to be one of the nice features of The Fourth Estate. The restaurant has a lovely and diverse wine list, and a relatively high percentage of the wines are available by the glass. I recommend the Saint M Riesling from Pfalz as a lovely opener to accompany a beautifully plated Caesar salad.

If you are looking for a good, basic meal with a few nice touches thrown in as opposed to something more experimental, The Fourth Estate is for you. Be sure the check out the dinner menu, as it changes on a regular basis. I had the rockfish with dirty rice and my wife tried lamb chops with roasted potatoes. Although I eat seafood, I always order it with a bit of hesitancy, never sure if I am going to feel fulfilled by the experience. But the rockfish was lightly fried with perfect texture, and was flavorful enough to stand up to the glass of red Burgundy that accompanied it. The dirty rice was a perfect compliment. My wife’s lamb chops were covered with a wonderful combination of herbs and were prepared with a perfect contrast of texture between the crisp outside and the tender meat inside. It was an excellent meal.

Oh, by the way, The Fourth Estate is doing a 3-course prix fixe menu for $30 throughout the summer on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. You can go to their website for more info.

4 Stars
Appx. $25 per dinner entree

Published in: on July 25, 2009 at 6:32 pm  Comments (1)  
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No, I Can’t Post Too Much About Riesling

An entertaining and largely true post from Lenndevours about how the average wine drinker reacts to rieslings.  Personally, I started at Stage 1 and skipped right to Stage 4.

Published in: on July 12, 2009 at 5:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pollak Vineyards: The Best is Yet to Come

This blog is in the midst of a significant transition to a new URL with a new name, new look, the whole nine yards.  In the meantime, here is a quick note on a lovely wine that is a sign of things to come from a relatively new winery.  Pollak Vineyards is a family-owned winery founded in 2003 just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia.  My wife and I happened upon it by chance shortly after its doors opened in 2008.  I remember being very impressed with the quality of the wine at such a young establishment.  A few nights ago I decided to put my tastes to the test by bringing a bottle of Pollak’s 2007 Estate Grown Viognier to a small gathering with some of my favorite wine fans.


It was well received.  The wine was medium bodied and crisp, with a bright, fruit-forward palate and good acidity.  It went well with several different light foods, including tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, green salad with cherries and walnuts, and a bit of roast chicken.  Socializing distracted from more detailed notes; luckily, I can refer you to John for a full analysis.  The bottom line is this is a wine that can be enjoyed by experienced wine aficionados and newbies alike.

Of course, it’s been a year since I have been to Pollak, so they have a new vintage on sale.  If you are interested in trying their 2008 Viognier, you can find the tasting notes here.  I am down to one Pollak wine in my cellar, their 2006 Cabernet Franc.  I have noticed on their website that their 2007 Cab Franc is out, along with a 2007 Reserve.  I may need to find my way back down there before too long.

4 Stars
$18 per bottle

Published in: on July 6, 2009 at 8:41 pm  Comments (1)