2005 Cakebread Cellars Merlot

Due to the early start to the season and its late conclusion, the grapes for this 2005 Merlot, which includes 22% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Syrah, enjoyed a long hang time on the vines, developing concentrated flavors at moderate sugar levels.

From the Wine Maker – “Our 2005 Merlot offers a constellation of bright fruit aromas keyed on fresh black cherry, blueberry and plum, with fragrant scents of rose petal, tea-leaf, tobacco and cocoa adding interest and complexity. On the compact, supple palate, vibrant cherry, blackberry and cassis flavors are enlivened by a zesty black-tea spiciness that segues into a long, cocoa-tinged finish. Delicious now, this rich, firmly structured Merlot will soften and develop further nuance with 2-3 years’ additional bottle age.”

Grilled Filet Mignon with Mushroom and Avocado Salsa

2 1/2 lbs. Beef Filet, preferably from the head or middle of the filet
1 head garlic
1/4 c. Olive Oil
2 sprigs Rosemary, chopped
Salt & Pepper
2 c. Dried Morels, soaked
2 cloves Garlic, minced
8 oz. Tomatillos
2 Avocados
2 T. Cilantro, chopped
1 Lime
2 oz. Queso fresco, crumbled

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the pointed end of the garlic off to expose all the cloves. Place in the middle of a sheet of foil. Drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil. Wrap in foil to seal and place in the middle of the oven to roast for about an hour until the garlic is soft. Remove and when cool enough to handle, squeeze out the pulp and mix with the remaining olive oil and chopped rosemary.

Clean the beef filet of any fat and connective tissue. Cut into two 3″ sections across the grain of the meat. Holding a large knife parallel to the cutting board, cut the filet lengthwise to form thin steaks, about a ¼” thick. Place in a shallow dish and rub with the roasted garlic mixture. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least two hours.

To make the salsa, soak the morels in warm water for twenty minutes until soft. Drain and rinse to rid them of any dirt. Cut into small pieces and sauté in a small skillet with two tablespoons of olive oil. Once mushrooms start to brown, add the garlic and cook for another minute, reserve. Place a small saucepan of water over high heat. Once water comes to a boil, add the tomatillos and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. Roughly chop the tomatillos and avocado. Combine with the morel mushrooms and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Season with a squeeze of lime juice and salt and pepper.

To serve, remove the meat from the refrigerator and season with salt and pepper. On a very hot grill sear the steaks for thirty seconds to a minute per side. Serve with pinto beans, top with a spoonful of the salsa and garnish with the crumbled queso fresco.

Rating:

This wine was given a 86 point rating by Wine Enthusiast.

Availability:

2005 vintage in a 750 ml – Standard Bottle is currently in stock at Byram and Hackettstown for $69.99 a bottle, $377.95 a 1/2 case with a 10% half case discount, and $671.91 a case with a 20% full case discount. SKU#14367

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