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  • Writer's pictureCody Maxwell

Wine Dinner at Dusty Green Featuring Eleven Winery


I wanted my first wine post to be a very special one, and wow! I couldn't be happier to have met Matt Albee from Eleven Winery on Bainbridge Island for the June Wine Dinner at Dusty Green Cafe in Port Ludlow on June 14, 2021. Eleven Winery got its name from founder and winemaker Matt's love of bike racing. The winery is named after a bicycle racing term. When you have to give it your all, you use the eleven gear. That's his approach to winemaking as well.


It was a very rainy night, and our first wine was the 2020 Chenin Blanc, and it really set the expectations high! This could easily become one of my favorite Chenin Blancs. It not only helped start the night off, but it paired perfectly with the Goat Cheese Pesto Mousse it was served with. Now, this is my first wine posting, so please know I like to describe wines a little bit differently. Get ready!


Chenin Blanc

Yakima Valley

2020

Dewy morning by a stream running into the sea. Hints of smoothed ocean rocks and lemon balm growing on the banks, opening up to a crisp day.



The second Wine is one I have to admit that I wasn't as familiar with. Made from the Roussanne grape, which has only been in Washington State since 1990! It's a French grape, or as Matt said, "Roussanne is Chardonnay's more interesting cousin, who you wish you had met a long time ago!" It was paired with a fantastic corn chowder, seriously, one of the best corn chowders I've ever had!


Roussanne

Yakima Valley - Sugarloaf Vineyard

2019

A warm afternoon in a natural wheat field, warm bark floating through a soft breeze with hints of ripe papaya.




One of the best parts of attending the wine dinners at Dusty Green Cafe is watching the other people really enjoy getting into the local food and wine. The next pairing is perhaps one of my favorites of the evening. The La Primavera Rose and a Burrata Caprese Salad with rosemary-infused olive oil. The La Primavera brought out the notes of the rosemary with perfection. It was perhaps my favorite of the night, and that's saying something! The rose is a blend of six different grapes, Mourvedre (23%), Syrah (23%), Malbec (17%), Lemberger (16%), Cabernet Sauvignon (12%), Tempranillo (6%), and Viognier (3%).




La Primavera Rose

Washington

2020

Cool summer afternoon, candied mango over grilled pineapple. Crisp mountain air with aspen trees just starting to change colors and late season salmon berries ready to pick.





The third course brought our first red wine! "The Deputy." A wine that's 100% Mourvèdre, it was paired with the Stoneground Glazed Pork Lion with roasted fingerling potatoes and fennel. I found the pairing to be best with the potatoes and carrots on the plate. The Deputy really brought out the flavour of the fennel in a way that I hadn't tried before and really enjoyed.


The Deputy

Mourvèdre

2018

Evening campfire, whole wheat toast with late-season strawberry fig game. Coffee beans with smoked chocolate and four color peppercorns.



The last wine of the evening was paired with a fantastic Blackberry cobbler. I was impressed at how the flavor of the blackberries really came through in the cobbler, and it wasn't over sweet which I especially enjoyed! The wine, La Diavola, paired with it especially well! It was probably my second favorite of the wines during the evening.



La Diavola

2019

Cool evening, smoked candied raspberries with soft stone, sage and black currents.




The evening was enjoyable, educational and fun! I highly recommend checking out both Dusty Green Cafe and Eleven Winery!


Cheers!

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Paul Maxwell
Paul Maxwell
Jun 14, 2021

Made a rainy evening seem lively ... nice group of happy dinner guests. Wines were all good; Cody's descriptions really sing!

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eviehm31
Jun 14, 2021

Wow! Sounds like lots of fun with great food and drink. How magic.

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