Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Last week, my friend Anthony Arger and his parents, Dr. Kosta Arger and his wife Julie, were in NYC for a winemaker dinner at Il Postino. They served a 5 course meal paired with 5 different wines. This is a small vineyard in Napa that is owned and operated by the Arger and Martucci families. Dr. Arger is a practicing cardiologist but finds time to make some great wines, in addition to having his own cooking show. Sons Anthony Arger and Vincent Martucci are the day-to-day operators of the winery. Vincent also helps Dr. Arger with the winemaking.

To begin, an antipasta was paired with the 2006 Chardonay from the Carneros region. This dry wine had aromas of nectarine, toasted almonds and cinnamon. On the palate, I tasted apples, mangoes and some spices. The wine was aged in 100% French oak that infused some oakiness into the wine. Overall, a good wine that retails for $20.

Next up was the 2006 Viognier which was produced primarily from Russian River fruit, supplemented by the young vineyard around the winery. This wine was blended with tiny amounts of Gewurtztraminer (2%) and Muscat of Alexandria (2%) to enhance the bouquet and flavor complexity. The bouquet serves up a hint of melon and peaches followed by a mouthful of lush, spicy flavors. The texture is crisp, with good acidity, yet finishes with a softer touch. The flavors of melon and peach with a touch of bananas follow through on the palate. The Viognier retails for $22. One of my two favorite Arger-Martucci wines.

A pasta dish was served with the 2005 Gold Medal winning Syrah. These grapes were harvested in their Odyssey Vineyard on Atlas Peak. This 1,350' peak has produced some exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with grapes being grown above the fog line, thus getting longer time on the vines. These cooler temperatures allow the grapes to ripen slower than the heated valleys, resulting in more flavor and definition. On the nose, there was dark fruits, licorice, and white pepper. They blended the Syrah with 4% Merlot to soften the blow, but was still a knock out. The big cherry flavors were combined with smokiness and oak. A nice powerful punch that retails for $25.

The Odyssey is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petite Verdot. Once again, Dr. Arger described this as having layers of flavors, with black cherry predominating; yet nuances of white pepper, chocolate and cinnamon are present. This has a smooth long finish. The Odyssey retails for $50.

The semifreddo and mixed berry dessert was paired with the 2004 Dulcinea. This is a blend of 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc. The sweet juicy peach aromas are continued on to the palate along with some apricots and a creamy honey on the back. A nice ending to any meal. Retails for $45.

Make this a stop on your next trip thru Napa. Ask for Anthony and tell him Jason sent you. Check out their web at www.arger-martucci.com.

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