Yesterday I had the good fortune to experience Enoteca at the Signorello Estate, which rests on an enchanting step above the Silverado Trail. The Enoteca project is the creation of winemakers Ray Signorello and Pierre Birebent. The menu is the artistry of executive chef, Rodger Babel (Creative Palate Works), who has an overpowering passion for the marriage of haute cuisine and very fine wine which he wields with genius to carry small groups into a state of wonder and awe.
The first appetizer was an albacore tuna poached in olive oil and dressed with harrisa & picholine olives on a grey salt and coriander cracker, accompanied by a savory chevre cake, with a cured lemon and chervil salad. These hints of Moroccan cuisine were paired with two Signorello wines: the 2008 Seta and 2007 Veilles Vignes Chardonnay, both from the estate.
The first salad set included both a warm local rabbit smoked in allspice blood orange with kuriso, wild mushrooms (including morels), pistachios, and blackberries,
as well as a roasted Snake River Farms Kurobuta Pork with frisee and roasted tricolored beets in a beet and truffle vinaigrette.
These two salads were paired with the Signorello 2007 Pinot Noir, Las Amigas vineyard (Carneros).
The main course included a smoked duck with toasted barley, sundrop tomatoes, basil and pinenuts in a fig vincotto
accompanied by Snake River Farms filet of beef, fingerling potatoes, black olives, roasted trumpet mushrooms, and a black currant sauce.
These dishes were paired with the Signorello Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, and the Padrone 2006 Estate blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
I look forward to experiencing the new creations that will emerge from Enoteca Signorello, and recommend to my friends that they accompany me in this marvelous adventure.