Monday, February 27, 2012

Full Circle with Lachini Vineyards & Restaurant Iris

A few years ago I remember sitting down with Chef Kelly English, Jeffrey Frisby (GM/Wine Manager of Iris), & Elizabeth Mall (CSW at Delta Wholesale). Before Kelly & Restaurant Iris worked so hard to win such acclaim & well deserved accolades there was just the four of us tasting through an impressive lineup of wines. One of the standouts was from a small family owned winery in Newberg, Oregon. As we all sipped the Lachini Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir 2005 each of our eyes lit up & smiles spread across our faces. This wine was truly astonishing. The earthy tones, dark fruit, hedonistic yet elegant texture, & haunting sensuality. All four of us were changed after sipping what was in our glass. Shortly thereafter Ron Lachini came into town & Restaurant Iris very first wine dinner ever was to be with Ron. Unfortunately they didn't get their occupancy license yet so the dinner had to be switched to another restaurant.
Flash forward to last Friday when we all had a trip down memory lane with Lachini Vineyards.
Both Chef Kelly English & Jeff Frisby spoke to their love of Ron's wines & how that first sip stuck with them. Ever since they opened the doors Ron's wines have been on their list. Now they finally had a chance to show Ron how talented they were. Chef English's menu was absolutely perfect up against the gorgeous pinot noirs. The lucky 21 people in the room got a rare retrospective of 2005-2009 vintages along with a sampling of his Washington State projects La Bestia & Spur.
As we sipped we all engaged with one another & commented on each wine. Each glorious bite of food & each mouthful of elegant pinot was met with more oohs & aaahs & eyes rolling back into heads.
Ron is a very cool guy whose passion about his wine is infectious. When he got up to address the room he had everyone's undivided attention. We all wanted to hear from the man whose wine's we had fallen for.
Thankfully he didn't talk too long because I really wanted to dig into this alongside his 2010 Pinot Noir Port.
The rich creamy dark chocolate brownie with maple bacon....yes I said maple cream & caramel. Oh my god. With a sip of the Pinot Port it was absolute heaven. I ran a finger through the melted ice cream after all was said & done. It was pure delicious gluttony at its best. Thank you Restaurant Iris for the unbelievable meal. Thank you Jeff for the incredible service. Thank you Ron Lachini for the absolutely gorgeous wines.

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