If you’re trying to decide which red wine to choose at a restaurant, here are a couple of bottles to consider to pair with your meat dishes or with pasta and red sauce – Ashton Troy 2014 Bisou and Ashton Troy 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ashton Troy wines are designed exclusively for the restaurant market. They are the second label of Lauren Ashton Cellars, one of our favorite Washington state wineries in Woodinville. Ashton Troy wines cost less but demonstrate the same high quality and style as the LAC bottles.
There’s a charming story behind the these wines. Ashton is the eight-year-old son of winemaker Kit Singh and his wife Riinu; when he asked for his own label, Kit couldn’t refuse. “Our hope is that the two labels side by side are distinct, but also have the look and feel of the same family of wines. These wines are playful, full of energy and warmth, all attributes that Ashton embodies. He’s a very thoughtful kid and the wine takes inspiration from him as a child.”
Ashton Troy 2014 Bisou ($30)
We heard the buzz about this wine long before we tasted it. Not surprising, we really enjoyed it too — a full-bodied blend of 64% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petite Verdot. A lovely nose of red fruits, plums and a hint of slate is followed by raspberry, black currants and cherries on the palate. Kit suggests pairing it with grilled meats, roasted duck, or enjoying on its own.
Here are our initial notes, when we first tasted this wine before a recent vacation. “We opened Bisou for a BBQ with friends on Friday and it was a resounding hit with all of us. We decanted it on Thursday, closed it back up and then decanted again on Friday, and it was beautiful.” In other words, with good decanting, this wine is ready to drink now, but it also can be cellared for a couple more years.
Ashton Troy 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($30)
Regular readers know that we love big, rich Cabernet Sauvignon, and we found that this 100% Cab Sauv has the potential to be absolutely luscious. Aromatics of black cherries and blackberries lead into more black fruit, spice, vanilla and mineral notes on the palate. Kit suggests pairing it with Gorgonzola, red meat and lamb, or enjoying on its own. This young Cab is approachable now, particularly with decanting, as we did with the Bisou back in May. But it will be even better in 2-3 years. We must get another bottle or two for our cellar!
Of note, Kit suggests that you ask a restaurant if they carry Ashton Troy Wines or wines from Lauren Ashton Cellars. “If they don’t currently, maybe your request will encourage them to take a look!”
Thank you, Lauren Ashton Cellars, for the samples.
Margot and Dave