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Fisher Vineyards Tasting Supper at Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   
Blantyre Seared Maine Scallop - Fisher Wine Dinner - photo by Luxury ExperienceThe Dining Room at Blantyre, a Relais & Chateaux 19-room luxury hotel built in 1902 in Lenox, Massachusetts was the elegant setting for a Spring Tasting Supper featuring wines from Fisher Vineyards paired with Grand Chef Christopher Brooks’ culinary creations. Hosted by Ann Fitzpatrick Brown of Blantyre and Juelle Fisher and Fred Fisher of Fisher Vineyards, it was a memorable evening of dining and wine tasting.

Fisher Vineyards Spring Tasting Supper Menu
Thursday, June 2, 2011
at half after seven o’clock
Blantyre
Lenox, Massachusetts 

Hors d’oeuvres
Unity Rosé, Napa Valley 2010 

Seared Maine Scallop, English Peas, Bacon, Lettuce and Mint
Chardonnay Mountain
Estate Vineyard
Sonoma County 2008
Sonoma County 2007  

New England Squab, Mushroom Ragoût, Foie Gras Sauce
Chardonnay Mountain Estate Vineyard
Sonoma County 2004  

Dry Aged New York Striploin, Braised Ribs, Pearl Onions, Local Vegetables
Cabernet Sauvignon
“Coach Insignia”, Napa Valley 2007
“Wedding Vineyard”, Sonoma County 2008  

Cata Corner Farm Hooligan Cheese, Fresh Roasted Plum Chutney,
Parmesan Cheese Salad

Syrah, “Hidden Terrace Vineyard”, Sonoma County 2008  

Desserts and Coffee served in the Music Room   

Grand Chef Christopher Brooks began the Tasting Supper with a gorgeous selection of his hors d’oeuvres that included caviar on red beet blinis topped with sour cream and tiny violas, miniature lobster rolls, beef tartar, lamb with yogurt and horseradish sauce, and cheese gougeres to pair with the Unity Rosé, Napa Valley 2010, which Sommelier Luc Chevalier and Wine Director Christelle Cotar described as a new experiment for Fisher Vineyards, which was refreshing and light, yet had elegance and a display of character. 

Sommnelier Luc Chevalier of Blantyre, Lenox, Ma - Photo by Luxury Experience
Sommelier Luc Chevalier

My favorite hors d’oeuvres pairing was the red beet blini and caviar, and speaking with Chef later in the evening, he said that his vision was to pair the slight sweetness of the beet with the slightly salty caviar. It was a marriage that worked, and was a nice complement to the wine.  

Seated in the grand dining room, the long table beautifully dressed with cut-work linens, stunning floral arrangements, sparkling crystal, and illuminated by candlelight, Juelle Fisher thanked Ann Fitzpatrick Brown and said that returning to Blantyre was like “coming home to an extended family,” as family-owned Fisher Vineyards established in 1973, began the tradition of the Tasting Suppers at Blantyre in 2005. She continued by saying that “the wines have a little of our family in them” as their daughter Whitney is the Winemaker, son Robert is the General Manager, and daughter Cameron handles Sales and Marketing. She is a firm believer in letting the wines speak for themselves, and with that, so began a memorable evening of tasting and pairing.  

Grand Dining Room, Blantyre, Lenox, Ma - Photo by Luxury Experience
Grand Dining Room set for Tasting Supper

The first course of Seared Maine Scallop, English Peas, Bacon, Lettuce and Mint was inspired perfection that heralded spring. The colorful presentation was lovely with the scallop quickly seared and placed on a bed of pureed peas, with a chiffonade of lettuce and mint, scattered tender peas, brunoise bacon, and enhanced with a light sauce.   

Seared Maine Scallops - Blantyre, Lenox, Ma - Photo by Luxury Experience
Seared Maine Scallop

For this course, there were two pairing wines, Chardonnay Mountain Estate Vineyard Sonoma County 2008 and Sonoma County 2007, and it was interesting to compare not only how each complemented the food, but also how the wines differed. Although similar in style, both vintages were the result of vines planted in 1999 at high elevation on a steep, volcanic rock, northeast facing slope with early morning sun and limited afternoon exposure, both had 14.7% alcohol by volume, however the aging varied, and the results were different.  

The 2008 was aged 18 months sur lees in 60% new French oak, while the 2007 was aged 17 months sur lees in 50% new French oak. Although both vintages spent significant time in the barrel, they did not have the typical oakiness usually associated with California Chardonnays. Juelle explained this by saying that when you take fresh juice and place it in new oak barrels, the juice will start absorbing the oak flavors after 3 months which is the typical aging of California Chardonnays, whereas the longer it remains in the barrel, the flavors will start to meld and the oak becomes more balanced.   

The tasting notes for the 2008 brought to mind ripe pears, with balanced acidity, minerality, lovely after notes, and potential for further development as it ages, while the 2007 was fruitier, displaying nice minerality, balanced acidity, and a round finish.   

The second course, New England Squab, Mushroom Ragoût and Foie Gras Sauce, was stunning, offering an exotic earthiness that was well paired with the Chardonnay Mountain Estate Vineyard, Sonoma County 2004, with 14.1% alcohol that was aged for 16 months sur lees in 50% new French oak.   

New England Squab - Blantyre, Lenox, Ma - Photo by Luxury Experience
New England Squab

For the third course of Dry Aged New York Striploin, Braised Ribs, Pearl Onions, Local Vegetables, there were two pairing Cabernet Sauvignon wines, the “Coach Insignia”, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2007 and the “Wedding Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 2006, which offered contrasting styles.  

Dry Aged New Yok Striploin - Blantyre, Lenox, Ma - Photo by Luxury Experience
Dry Aged New York Striploin 
 

The “Coach Insignia” Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2007, 14.7% alcohol, 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Malbec, and 3% Cabernet Franc, was aged for 23 months 100% French oak (80% new) and bottled unfiltered. “Coach Insignia” is a reference to Detroit’s craftsmanship in the 20 th century automobile industry, and the Fisher family’s slogan “Body By Fisher.” Fred Fisher stated that their goal was to continue the tradition in the 21st century and make the “Coach Insignia” one of the Napa Valley’s finest Cabernets.  

The “Wedding Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 2006, 14.5% alcohol, 75% Cabernet, 25% Cabernet Franc, used whole-berry fermentation in small open-top fermenters, received 22 months of aging in 100% new French oak barrels, and is their flagship wine. The vineyard takes its name from the Fisher family’s weddings that took place there beginning with Juelle and Fred and continuing with their children’s marriages.  

Fisher Vineyards Wines - Blantyre, Lenox, Ma - Photo by Luxury Experience
Fisher Vineyards Featured Wines  
 

The last course was Cata Corner Farm Hooligan Cheese, Fresh Roasted Plum Chutney, and Parmesan Cheese Salad, paired with a Syrah, “Hidden Terrace Vineyard”, Sonoma County 2008, 14.5% alcohol, made with 100% Syrah, that was aged 21 months on primary lees in French oak barrels (50% new). The aromatic and heady wine with its dark fruit bouquet, and tannins on the palate, complemented the washed-rind cheese with its creamy interior, the hint of sweetness of the chutney, and the mélange of micro greens interspersed with micro cilantro topped with grated Parmesan cheese.    

Cheese Course - Blantyre, Lenox, Ma - Photo by Luxury Experience
Cheese Course

Coffee followed in the magnificent Music Room where guests listened to the concert pianist and indulged in enticing desserts that included olive oil cake topped with a quenelle of cream and a tiny viola, rich triangles of layered Black Forest cake, mango and passion fruit tarts, miniature chocolate cupcakes, berry and mousse compote, chocolates, and rich, buttery caramels.

Desserts - Blantyre, Lenox, Ma - Photo by Luxury Experience
Desserts   
 

It was a delightful evening learning about Fisher Vineyards through Juelle and Fred’s anecdotes and tasting their wines and pairing cuisine by Grand Chef Christopher Brooks and Chef de Cuisine Arnaud Cotar, and meeting new friends who share a passion for excellence in food and wine.   

As usual, the ambience at Blantyre was gracious, the food delicious, the service impeccable, and at the end of the evening, it was just a short walk up the impressive stairway of the former gilded age mansion to retire in a beautifully appointed guestroom; a perfect evening indeed.  

Blantyre, Lenox, Ma - Photo by Luxury Experience
Blantyre, Lenox, MA  
 

The Dining Room at Blantyre is open for lunch for outside guests Wednesday through Sunday from 12:30 pm until 1:45 pm, and for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5:45 pm until 7:45 pm. The restaurant is open daily for hotel guests with extended hours for dining. Jackets and ties are required for gentlemen.    

To learn about future Wine Tasting Suppers at Blantyre, please visit their website at: www.Blantyre.com.   

Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience Blantyre
16 Blantyre Road
Lenox, Massachusetts 02104
United States
Telephone:       +1-413-637-3556
Email:               This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:          www.Blantyre.com   

Read more about Blantyre in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, Wine Cellar, and Luxury Products - Gifts sections.  .  

© June 2011. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.  

 
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