Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wines served at President Obama’s State Dinner in Honor of Prime Minister Singh from India.

Picture: Source-Huffington Post

Picture: Photo by Lynn Sweet

At Tuesday night's inaugural Obama administration State meal, Guests of honor were the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and his wife, Mrs. Gursharan Kaur. The following wines were served. In selecting the wine the President and his wife focused on “green” wine.

2008 Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, California, Modus Operandi

Modus Operandi is operated by Jason Moore, a newcomer to the Napa Valley. His first vintage was in 2004 and 2009 will be the first vintage at "JuiceBox", a state of the art new "business park" winery located in south Napa. A number of wines are made here including several already well established brands. Jason also makes wines here for a few other small boutique producers. The 2008 Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from an organic vineyard in Rutherford. The total production is currently under 1000 cases.

2006 Riesling from the Willamette Valley, Oregon, Brooks Winery

Brooks Winery is a family owned and operated winery in the Willamette Valley in Oregon since 1998, producing old world style Rieslings and Pinot Noirs. Brooks is committed to organic and biodynamic farming, hands on in the vineyard and minimal intervention in the winery. Jimi Brooks was born and raised in Portland. He developed his passion for winemaking while working for the Deschamps family, in the Beaujolais region in France. Brooks returned to Oregon in 1996 and began working at WillaKenzie Estate in Oregon's Yamhill-Carlton wine region. He started the "Brooks Wines” label while still an assistant winemaker at WillaKenzie and oversaw production of 3,500 cases of Brooks-label wine. Brooks died in 2004, at the age of 38, at his home in McMinnville, Oregon. He left the winery to his son, now age 13.

2007 Grenache, from Santa Ynez, California, Beckmen Vineyards

Founded in 1994 by Tom and Steve Beckmen, Beckmen Vineyards is a family-run, estate winery located in Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley. Since its founding, Beckmen Vineyards has emerged as one of North America's premier producers of Rhone varietal wines, while also helping to establish Santa Barbara County as one of California's most highly regarded winegrowing regions.

Eager to return to his farming roots, and convinced of the Santa Ynez Valley's vast potential to produce world-class wines, Tom Beckmen began searching for promising vineyard property in the early '90s. He found what he was looking for on a 40-acre parcel of land with an existing small winery. There he established Beckmen Vineyards. Working together, Tom and Steve began revitalizing the site. They replanted the vineyard with carefully selected varietals, clones and rootstocks., 2006 marked Beckmen’s transition to a fully dedicated program of biodynamic farming. As a result, all 125 planted vine acres of Purisima Mountain Vineyard are now certified both biodynamic and organic, with the property’s surrounding 240 unplanted acres acting as a natural buffer zone. The estate winery that has established a reputation as one of North America’s premier producers of Rhône-varietal wines, including Syrah, Grenache, and Marsanne.

NV Sparkling Chardonnay, Brut, from Monticello, Virginia, Thibaut Janisson

The dinner was finished with a sparkler from the Monticello district near Charlottesville in Virginia. Thibaut-Janisson is an French-French joint venture and up-and-coming specialist in fine sparkling wine in Virginia. Winemaker Claude Thibaut is convinced that Virginia has the climate and terroir to produce excellent bubbly – and evidently the president agrees. Born and raised in the Champagne/France, this worldly winemaker left his family’s vineyard in France to study oenology in Reims and then spent years creating award-winners in Australia and California. About seven years ago, billionaire-bubbly-bottler Patricia Kluge entreated Thibaut to add sparkle to her cellar. At the Kluge Estate, Thibaut challenged notions that cool climates and limestone soil were essential for producing a wine that compares with its Champagne cousin. When he approached 50, he realized hat his dream would not be complete until his own name—like his father’s—appeared on the bottle. So he launched his own winery, together with Frenchman Manuel Janisson, dedicated exclusively to producing sparkling wines from Virginia grapes. The Janisson Family winery started in 1920’s in France with Manuel Janisson’s grandfather vision to produce his own wines from the vines that he grew in Verzenay France. Manuel Janisson produces Champagne under the name Champagne Janisson & Fils Tradition.

With his third vintage in the bottle, Thibaut-Janisson Blanc de Chardonnay, $28, is a Mid-Atlantic success story.

The dinner's menu is available on the White House Web site here.

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