Pinot Noir 2008One of my very good friends was celebrating a milestone birthday at Au Midi restaurant in Aptos, so I took along an excellent bottle of Bargetto Reserve Pinot Noir ($40) wine to share. With about 20 people sitting down to dinner, the bottle didn’t go very far, but those who tried it most certainly loved it. And I made sure that my birthday friend and I got a healthy pouring. Fortunately there was plenty of champagne flowing as well, and many bottles of wine were ordered from the restaurant’s list. As well as carrying some good French wines, Au Midi has a pretty good selection of local wines as well. As I took my first sip of the Pinot Noir, I savored each fabulous drop and the lovely experience of sharing it with friends.
The grapes for this superb reserve wine come from Bargetto’s Regan Estate Vineyard in the Corralitos area of the Santa Cruz Mountains. The perfect climate there is just what the Pinot Noir grape needs—warm sun during the day and a cooling off in the evening. And the end result for this 2008 Pinot is a crimson beauty with a gorgeous bouquet of cherries and spice—with robust earthy flavors of vanilla and red fruits. One of the awards that last year’s release of the 2007 Pinot won was a gold medal in the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association commercial wine competition. I’m sure the 2008 release will garner more than a few accolades as well. It really is a stunning wine.
The small and intimate Au Midi has a delightful atmosphere—not to mention outstanding cuisine. Owned by French couple Muriel and Michel Loubiere, Muriel is a genius at conjuring up the most amazing food—all inspired from her background of growing up in France. Everybody had a wonderful time at the party and the restaurant stayed open until late to accommodate the birthday celebration. My only regret was having only one bottle of the Pinot Noir—when I really needed at least 10.
Bargetto Winery, 3535 N. Main St., Soquel, 475-2258. bargetto.com. Open daily from noon to 5 p.m. Au Midi Restaurant & Bistrot, 7960 Soquel Drive, Suite E, Aptos, 685-2600. aumidi.com.
Author David Darlington will talk about his informative book “An Ideal Wine: One Generation’s Pursuit of Perfection—and Profit—in California.” Joining Darlington will be Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard. Monday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m.Capitola Book Café, 41st Ave., Capitola, 462-4415. capitolabookcafe.com.
O’Neill Yacht Charters is putting on Wine Tasting Sails on its spectacular catamaran—a brand new feature. The first two are set for Wednesday, July 20 with Vino Tabi Wines from 6:30-8 p.m.; and Saturday, Aug. 6 with Vine Hill Winery from 4:30-6 p.m. Feel the wind in your hair as you sail out on the briny and sip on excellent wines paired with artisan cheeses. Cost: $40. Info: oneillyachtcharters.com.