I wanted to bring something special for the evening. And so I brought a bottle of Valhalla Vineyards Alicante Bouschet 1999. Valhalla Vineyards has been growing grapes and producing award winning estate wines from a 2000ft. mountaintop overlooking Roanoke Virginia since 1998. Their 21 acre vineyard produces world class cabernet sauvignon, syrah, merlot, chardonnay, cab franc and more. Its decomposing granite soils and unique climate (similar to Rhone Valley of France) afford the premiere terrior on the East Coast.
Tetrazzini is an American dish usually involving diced fowl or seafood, mushrooms, and almonds in a butter/cream and parmesan sauce flavored with wine or sherry and stock vegetables such as onions, celery, and carrots. It is often served hot over spaghetti or some similarly thin pasta, garnished with lemon or parsley, and topped with additional almonds and/or Parmesan cheese.
Before the meal, we nibbled on aged, imported Italian Parmasean and Old Chatham Sheep Herding Heart-shaped Camembert. And then we opened the wine. The Alicante Bouschet 1999 was something that had been sitting in my cellar for years. Valhalla is the only grower of this true red grape (the juice is actually red) outside the state of California. Alicante is opaque black in color reminiscent of ink with aromas of dark fruit, cassis, and tobacco. A rare treat!
The wine was like smelling a bowl full of dark cherries. And the cherries came through on the pallet as well. Lots of big fruit up front. A deep, dark, delicious dry red wine! And for a 1999, it had cellared well, and the fruit was still front and tender. not too much acidity, but actually, very well balanced. This was an exceptional quality wine!