We have been waiting a while to open this 2004 Napa Valley Bell Wine Cellars Clone 7 Cabernet Sauvignon. What better time than the annual “open that bottle night” and a meal of Steak Diane to finally enjoy this wine.
About the Dish
We were excited about making Steak Diane. After all it involves lighting brandy on fire. Sorry we didn’t get a picture of that. It was very popular in the 1950’s especially at big fancy hotel restaurants. Imagine women with coiffed hair, red lipstick, and their gloved hand clutching a string of pearls at the dangerous delight of a table side fire.
We were curious, who is Diane anyway? Turns out Diana was the Roman Goddess of the hunt, thus the connection of sauces made “a la Diane” to go with carnivorous dishes. There are different theories about the origin of Steak Diane with many pointing to a US Origin. Maybe that explains the change from royal sounding “Diana” to the more American Diane. We owe much of this info to foodreference.com
About the Wine
Anthony Bell is a Cabernet Sauvignon specialist. Trained at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and U.C. Davis in California, Anthony went on to a 15 year career at Beaulieu Vineyard, California’s “royal house of Cabernet Sauvignon.” Among other achievements Anthony performed groundbreaking research into the differences and impact of clonal variations on Cabernet Sauvignon. Anthony crushed his first vintage of Bell Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone Six in 1991, thought to be the first single vineyard, single clone Cabernet produced and labeled in Napa.
In 1994, Anthony left his positions of Director of winemaking, VP and GM of Beaulieu Vineyard to pursue fulltime his passion for Cabernet Sauvignon at Bell Wine Cellars, with a mission of producing small quantities of hand crafted, vineyard expressive wines.
We first met Anthony in Little Rock, Arkansas at a winemaker dinner hosted by Colonial Wine and Spirits. This one store sells more Bell wine than any entire state outside of California. We are proud to have wine from Bell Wine Cellars in our cellar and visit them whenever we are in Napa Valley.
Anthony Bell was born into a South African wine family. Teenage work experience in Spain, France and South Africa developed an appreciation of the elegant, sophisticated European wine style. After completing his undergraduate viticultural degree at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and his Masters degree in enology at U.C. Davis, Anthony began a 15-year career at Beaulieu Vineyard, California’s royal house of Cabernet Sauvignon.
During his innovative tenure as director of winemaking and later as general manager, he pioneered educational grower-vineyard programs, wrote the definition of the Carneros appellation, and raised the bar on BV’s grape quality by conducting the now famous, groundbreaking research into the differences and impact of clonal variations on Cabernet Sauvignon.
Anthony crushed his first vintage of Bell Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone Six in 1991, thought to be the first single vineyard, single clone Cabernet produced and labeled in Napa. In 1994, Anthony left his positions of Director of winemaking, VP and GM of Beaulieu Vineyard to pursue fulltime his passion for Cabernet Sauvignon at Bell Wine Cellars, with a mission of producing small quantities of hand crafted, vineyard expressive wines.
Clone 7 can produce high yields. Common aroma descriptors include blackberry, mint, black olive and bean. Common taste descriptors include berry and canned vegetable.
What is a clone? Clones are just plant cuttings. When you have a good parent plant you want to take a cutting because a seed would result in too much variation. But even cuttings can go there own way bit and wind up with slightly distinct characteristics. When you drink a wine like Pinot Noir or Cabernet there are usually lots of clones involved, but for the drinking and labeling world they are just referred to by the grape name. Sometimes bottles will use one only one clone to highlight its specific characteristics – like this clone 7 Cabernet Sauvignon.
If you want more information to determine what you should hold for a future open that bottle night see Pour or Store.
Now for our recipe and to see what our #winepw (wine pairing weekend) friends did with their special bottles.
Pull That Cork blogged about “Wine, Friends and Food: Our OTBN and #winePW Evening”
Join us for a live Twitter chat about Open That Bottle Night wine pairings, on Saturday, March 12, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. Just tune into the hashtag #winePW. You can also plan to join us next month’s event. In April we will be talking about Spring Meal Pairings for Southern Rhone Wines, hosted by Jill at L’Occasion. You can get the full list of past and upcoming #winePW event here.
- 2 steaks - we used New York Strip
- olive oil
- 1 Tbs butter
- ¾ cup beef stock
- ⅓ cup white button mushrooms chopped
- 1 garlic minced
- 1 Tbs. shallot minced
- ½ Tbs. stone ground mustard
- ½ Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbs. cream
- 2 Tbs. brandy or cognac
- salt and pepper
- Put beef stock in small sauce pan and simmer until reduced to ¼ - ⅓ cup
- Coat pan with olive oil and ½ Tbs. butter
- sprinkle both sides of steaks with salt and pepper
- brown on both sides cooking to just under desired doneness
- remove steaks from pan and place in tented foil
- Add ½ Tbs butter, shallots, mushrooms and garlic to pan
- Cook until beginning soften and release liquid
- Add brandy or cognac and light with match allowing to burn out
- Add cream, mustard, worcestershire and stir into sauce
- Add reduced beef stock
- Return steaks to pan, toss with sauce, and cook about 3-4 minutes until heated.
- Plate steaks, top with sauce, garnish with parsley.