The Chef in the Hat

The Chef In The Hat is Thierry Rautureau, the talented force behind Loulay Kitchen & Bar and Luc restaurants, bringing a French twist to the best of Pacific Northwest cuisine.

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Chef Thierry's Favorite Washington Wines

Last week, I was having dinner with friends at Loulay who love wine, visiting from France and I wanted to show off our talented winemakers here in Washington in celebration of #WaWineMonth. I went down to my cellar and we opened up a few of my favorites which I think would show well right now. Needless to say they were extremely impressed and went back to France with high praises about our wine regions. Here are a few we tried:

Leonetti, Merlot 2001: This wine is perfect with smoked and cured meats as it is smooth, supple, and silky and ready to drink now and for the next few years. We had the merlot with our charcuterie plate of 3 terrines of pate de campagne, head cheese and foie gras with all accompaniments.

Leonetti, Cabernet 2002: If you have this wine in your cellar it could easily stay 5 more years in the bottle. It held up perfectly in the glass and had a bold structure with a bit of wet leather and a hint of berry. After decanting the wine and drinking it about 2 hours later it showed very graciously with low tannin and balanced acid. 

DeLille Estate, Harrison Hill Cabernet, 2005: The youngest of the three, but the favorite to most present after decanting and starting drinking right away. Very forward, hint of oak, fresh smooth berry, tannin still a bit high showing a bit of wilderness in the wine. Long finish, pleasant in the mouth and long lasting. Great pairing with smoked pork cheeks.

Here are two other favorites of mine: 

Lullaby Winery, Viognier 2011: This luscious white wine is the perfect opener to a fabulous dinner. I’d pair it alongside a smoke salmon and goat cheese tartine.

Seven Hills, Cabernet 2012: A beautiful forward red with soft oak, bright berries, and young cherries. Great with our burger (with a duck egg), or any burger for that matter.

I’m happy to say that I’ve been around long enough (for decades!) to drink and cellar many of the great wine producers of Washington state; a few of my favorites mentioned here. The craftsmanship is world class and the proof is in the bottle. As we pop the corks on a great many Washington wines this month in celebration of our local winemakers, I hope you store a few bottles in your cellar to enjoy in the years to come.

Drink responsibly and always with someone dear to you,

Thierry & Kathy