Markham Vineyards dinner at Triangle Wine Experience - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 02-13-2007 05:36 PM

The dinner was held at the Capital City Club and sponsored by Nomacorc (a synthetic cork company based in Zebulon, NC). Kim Nicholls, winemaker, and Bryan Del Bondio, President of Markham Vineyards were on hand. The company is part of Paterno Wines International according to the program but I also thought the winemaker from Raymond who was at my table said that it was owned by a Japanese company that is a sister company to Kirin Brewery which owns Raymond. The Capital City Club is on the 21st floor of the Progress Energy Building and is a members and guests club so ordinarily I wouldn't have the opportunity to dine there. I would say the food was excellent. We were greeted with Champagne or sparkling wine (never got the name). Hors d'oeuvres of brie, raspberry and poached pear phyllo tart and shrimp tempura with a saffron harissah aioli dip were served with 2005 NAPA VALLEY MARRKHAM SAUVIGNON BLANC. I found the S.B. acceptable but not awesome. It utilizes a different clone (Kim Nicholls, the winemaker, said something like Sauvignon Muscati) which has some of the Muscat characteristics including a more flowery nose. She uses large barrels of neutral oak.

The first course was wild sea scallop and citrus ceviche over caramelized cippolini onions and was accompanied by 2005 NAPA VALLEY MARKHAM CHARDONNAY. 40% of the juice goes through secondary fermentation. Kim doesn't want a buttery, creamy texture. I really was attracted to the chardonnay and drank the full pour unlike with the sparkling wine and sauvignon blanc. It had a slightly vanilla nose and taste--but not overdone--and also some pear. I liked this style. Very balanced. Tasted again at the Vintners' Tasting the next night and same verdict.

The intermezzo course was a passion fruit and sweet coconut sorbet.

Second course was seasoned veal tenderloin with sweet red pepper risotto and fine herb olive oil drizzle with 2002 MARKHAM CABERNET SAUVIGNON. This and the chardonnay were my favorites of the wines. The 2002 was recently released and a dark opaque purple. No merlot this vintage. 12% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot. Two years in French oak. Very fruity. Cassis and dark berries in the nose and flaovrs. Medium-length finish (3+ lapper?) The grapes are from Markham vineyards in Calistoga and Yountville districts.

Third course was morel mushroom and garlic herb boursin cheese souffle with basil and tomato coulis served with 2002? MARKHAM PETIT SIRAH. The petit sirah is from old vines--some 90 years old! The wines was viscous or "leggy" with a berry jam/blackberry characteristic. In warmer climates the variety shows less peppery character and I did not find this particularly peppery. It spends two years in barrel.

Fourth course was caramelized pineapple, ginger and raspberry panna cotta with 2003 MARKHAM MERLOT. A merlot was not really the best wine match for the dessert. However, I thought the menu had a certain consistency with caramelized accents and some fusion cuisine touches. Markham is known for its merlot and this is the wine they make in greatest quantity. However, I prefered the chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon. The blend uses Carneros grapes for raspberry flavors and Oak Knoll grapes (further north) for blackberry and black currant flavors and Yountville and Rutherford grapes for sour cherry notes.
A fun dinner that took course(unintended double meaning) over three hours (7:00 to 10:00 PM).

[This message has been edited by wondersofwine (edited 02-13-2007).]

- winoweenie - 02-13-2007 09:07 PM

As you know I've been an admirer of the Markham wines fer them meeny, meeny years. Have never gotten the reason for their penchant for focusing on the Merlot as I've always foun my fav of their line-up to be the cabs. WW

- wondersofwine - 02-14-2007 03:16 PM

In agreement with you, WW.

- Drew - 02-14-2007 08:27 PM

I actually gave up on the cabs due to their very tannic nature and I couldn't seem to wait long enough to see if they would calm it me or are they overly tannic beasts?


- winoweenie - 02-14-2007 09:14 PM

Need 7-10 to show their colors. WW

- VouvrayHead - 02-16-2007 11:56 PM

How are the 2000 Markham Cabs drinking now?
We have a handful of them at $18.99.

- winoweenie - 02-17-2007 10:59 AM

Didn'y buy the vintage or for that matter very few Calif 00s. Concemtrated on the 00 Bordeaux. WW