I think it’s pretty common knowledge that the restaurant business is on a short list of the most difficult businesses to run. That’s not even taking into account the “fine dining” aspect. Dealing with sixty employees in a pressurized environment trying to meet an almost impossible standard of excellence 5 nights a week is a challenge for sure. Working with the wine side of the restaurant is usually a lot more fun. Funny though, finding the classic Saturday nighters is always easier than finding fantastic Tuesday nighters, wines we can drink every day without breaking the budget.
Tuesday night Cabernet Sauvignon is probably the most challenging of all– at times it seems to simply not exist. That is until this incredible sample of Trousse Chemise Cabernet Sauvignon crossed my desk last month. I had forgotten I had this very same conversation a couple of years ago with the brilliant, young winemaker behind that label, Anne Sery. Luckily for us, she remembered quite well.
Anne has consistently wowed us with her Pinot Noir and Chardonnays over the past few years. Heck, we’re not alone. Head to some of New York City’s hottest restaurants with the best wine lists and you will find Anne’s wine by the glass at prices we offer by the bottle. So as she continues to expand her red hot brand, it didn’t strike us as odd when she told us she was turning to Bordeaux varietals for her next project. After all, she did earn her masters and enology degree from the University of Bordeaux– and has been turning out beautiful examples of Cabernet and Merlot for Laurent Montalieu’s Solena Estate label since joining his team in 2009. “I’m really excited about this”, Anne told us at that meeting two years prior. “I think you guys will be too once you get the samples.”
Wow! Is it any surprise her first crack at Cabernet is crazy good? She sourced the wine from two special vineyards in the Columbia Valley of Washington State, both with very special iron rich clay that produces pure, juicy Cabernet fruit. She then made the wine mostly in neutral wood, choosing to feature and emphasize the pristine quality of the fruit. Consider this her ode to the Left Bank Bordeaux she loves so much.
This is bright and juicy Cab, loaded with flavors of cassis and black berries with just a touch of coffee and dark chocolate. It’s the perfect party Cab, delicious by itself or a great complement to just about anything off the grill. But here’s the craziest part: Washington Cabernet continues to produce some of the best value in the world. The price is crazy; we’ve been grandfathered in to Anne’s Trousse- Chemise best offer price, so we can pass our savings onto you. It’s fairly conceivable to blind taste this wine in a group of $50+ Napa Cabs and have this one come out on top. At $20 retail, I didn’t even think; I went all in. You should too– you won’t regret it for a second!
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