BLD is featuring a new series of special winemaker dinners with a focus on small production wineries and small plates. The first dinner featured stellar dishes by Chef de Cuisine Diana Stavaridi, paired with wines from Angelica Cellars. When I think small production, I think just a couple hundred cases of wine. But Eduardo Porto Carreiro and Ben Feldman of Angelica take it to a another level by hand crafting just a couple of barrels of Syrah for every vintage.
We grabbed a 7pm seat up at the counter for this special $60 dinner. Not a bad deal for 4 courses with wine. The ability to chat and hear first hand stories from the wine makers themselves make for a really special evening. Angelica sources their grapes from White Hawk Vineyard in Los Alamos, just north of Santa Barbara. The sandy soils make for an amazing wine with complex flavors and great minerality.
Upon arriving we were treated to a taste of their very first vintage. A 2005 Syrah, of which they only have a few dozen bottles left. The 2005 is a classic Rhone style Syrah and it was a treat to taste a wine that is nearly all consumed. Each of their Syrah vintages built off the previous as the evening progressed.
The first course arrives, a savory Peppercorn Papardelle with Duck Fennel Ragu, wild mushrooms and pecorino sardo, paired with 2006 Angelica Cellars “Coquelicot” Syrah. A difficult year for this vintage, but this wine turned out marvelous. You immediately taste the blackberry fruit as it finished with a little cocoa on the palate. The peppery duck ragu paired great with this one.
The second course, an amazing House Smoked Lamb, with crispy Yukon potatoes and tomato pan jus, was paired with the 2007 Angelica Cellars “White Hawk Vineyard” Syrah. Both the dish and the wine were the favorite of the night. The 2007 had remarkable black fruit up front with just a slight undertone of white pepper. Evidence of the slight increase in new oak used in the wine making process for this particular vintage.
For the third course, Eduardo and Ben brought out their boldest red, the 2008 Angelica Cellars “White Hawk Vineyard” Syrah. With 30% new french oak and barreled for a full 21 months. It exudes flavors of blackberries and chocolate along with white peppercorns as the wine opens up. It paired great with the Grilled Flat Iron Steak with gremolita and sautéed rainbow chard.
The dessert, Chocolate Souffle Cake Affogato with vanilla malt ice cream and espresso syrup was paired with their 2009 Red Wine. 2009 was a challenging year, and they decided to blend it with a little Carignan, Viognier, and Petite Syrah. They created a voluptuous black and blue fruit, one-two punch that’s good for sipping pool side on a warm spring evening or on it’s own, paired with this inspired desert.
BLD is owned and operated by Chef Neal Fraser. This popular neighborhood spot is well known for their great food, and special events like Doughnut Shoppe, Milkshake Night, and Tweet-a-dish. Pastry chef Mariah Swan will even have her own area soon with plans to expand an unused space near the bar into a pastry section. It’s a popular destination for brunchers as well, after all it is breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more information on this dinner and upcoming special events at BLD check out there website, Facebook, or Twitter.