Last night Carl and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. We don't usually do a lot to commemorate the day, but (being us) we did take the time to really enjoy some nice wines and a good meal at home, topped off by the most amazing cake I have ever eaten.
First, the wines:
-Carl had received the lovely gift of a bottle of Maison Mumm RSRV Cuvée 4.5, a special Brut Champagne bottled in 2011. It was lemony and bright, fruit-focused. We enjoyed it very much before and during our light pasta supper.
-Next, we shared a bottle of Allegro's 2013 Reserve Chardonnay, a mature honeyed white with a flavor note neither of us remember tasting in it before: strawberries.
-With dessert, we sipped the 2017 Cadenza, which is primarily a blend of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Carl's notes on the wine remind me that he recommends cellaring this vintage for a few more years. He calls it a "baby," sharing in the pedigree of Allegro's older great Cabs. (I have to say that it's pretty enjoyable now, too.)
-Speaking of great older Cabs, after dinner came the true winner: the 1998 Cadenza. This was a wine which was grown and made before our time at Allegro, but which Carl helped bottle when he first showed up in July of 2001. It was made by John Crouch as a tribute wine to his winegrower brother Tim, who passed away in 2000. (The front label has a photo of a pink geranium, taken by Tim.) The wine has so much body and flavor, color and tannins--despite its age. One sip also took us right back to our first days at Allegro--and this will be our 20th harvest here!
Then, about that cake.... Our 18-year-old has added to his new list of skills-in-the-time-of-COVID: He now can apparently formulate and bake the most amazing cakes. For this particular cake, he listened carefully to what his parents dreamed of in a dessert: dark chocolate, not too sweet, no gratuitous frosting, maybe raspberries. Then he spent quite a while yesterday afternoon making it happen. Dutch process cocoa, three layers of cake and two of raspberry jam, raspberries adhered to the top with chocolate, a light chocolate syrup glaze and just a dusting of powdered sugar. It was jaw-dropping to look at and pretty perfect to taste. Happy sigh. We're really lucky people.