For the seventh year in a row, Wine Vault & Bistro is pleased to announce the long awaited Saxon Brown winemaker dinner. Winemaker and owner Jeff Gaffner is coming down from Sonoma to personally host this dinner. This will be a great opportunity to sample five of these limited production gems (average production is around 250 cases for each varietal) and rub elbows with one of Sonoma's most respected winemakers. Those of you who went on our Sonoma tour a few years ago will have fond memories of visiting Ram's Gate, a boutique winery where Jeff is the consulting winemaker, and meeting him there. If you're unfamiliar with Saxon Brown, here's a little background info on this highly acclaimed yet under-the-radar producer:
Jeff’s winemaking career began in 1981 at Chateau St. Jean under the tutelage of renowned vintner Richard Arrowood. While there, he later went on to be part of the winemaking team responsible for their super premium Cinq Cepages, named Spectator's 1999 Wine of the Year. In 1997 Jeff launched his own label, Saxon Brown. His flagship vineyard is his family's century-old Casa Santinamaria Vineyard in Sonoma but they also source fruit from several other premium vineyards in Sonoma and Napa. Gentle handling in the vineyard, slow fermentations and extended barrel aging (Jeff's wines typically debut one to two years later than most other wines of the same vintage) all combine to produce exceptional yet affordable wines of elegance and longevity.
We hope you'll be able to join us for what will certainly be another memorable event. Wine notes and bottle prices are at the end of this announcement if you're interested. Here's the line-up:
NOTE: Due to the complexity of this menu we regret that we will be unable to accommodate vegetarian requests.
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Seafood Spring Roll | Soy Dipping Sauce | Napa Cabbage | Sweet Garlic Chile Dressing
2015 Etre Chardonnay (5 oz. pour)
Crispy Pork Belly | Caramelized Persimmon | Whipped Goat Cheese | Balsamic + Fig Reduction | Braised Greens
2012 Saxon Brown "Fighting Brothers Cuvée" Semillon (3 oz. pour)
Mushrooms 3-Ways: Shiitake Risotto Cake | Garlic + Cremini Cream Sauce | Roasted Brown Beech Mushrooms
2013 Saxon Brown "Gap's Crown Vineyard" Pinot Noir (3 oz. pour)
Peking Style Duck | Sizzling Crêpes | Charred Scallions | Roasted Bean Sprouts | Housemade Hoisin Sauce
2013 Saxon Brown "Fighting Brothers" Zinfandel (3 oz. pour)
Pan Roasted Skirt Steak | Crispy Potato + Wild Spinach Hash | Confit Garlic Oil
2012 Saxon Brown "Parmelee-Hill, Owl Box Block" Syrah (3 oz. pour)
Pecan Bread Pudding | Salted Caramel | Bourbon Spiked Whipped Cream
Eagle Rare 10-Year-Old Bourbon (1 oz. pour served with two rocks)
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RSVP ~ (619) 295-3939
Please make your reservations directly with Wine Vault & Bistro at 619-295-3939. We're very good about returning calls promptly, so please leave a message with the best time to return your call if you get the dreaded voice mail.
Cost for the complete dinner including all six courses and all five wines is $69.50 per person. Sales tax and an 18% gratuity will be added to the cost of all dinners. Due to limited seating, CREDIT CARD RESERVATIONS ARE AN ABSOLUTE MUST. We accept Visa and MasterCard only.
SPECIAL DIETARY NEEDS
Due to the complexity of this menu we regret that we will be unable to accommodate vegetarian requests. If you have any other special dietary needs, please let us know when you RSVP, not when you arrive. We will do our best to accommodate special dietary needs if we can and if given advance notice. Please be aware that last minute menu aberration requests without advance notice will be impossible for us to accommodate.
You may cancel your reservation up to 72 hours in advance without penalty. NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED WITH LESS THAN 72-HOUR NOTICE unless we are able to replace your cancellation at the last minute. (See below for groups over 4 people.)
LARGE GROUPS (OVER 4)
If you want to come with a group of friends, please make one reservation for your entire party so we can reserve a block of seats for you ... however, in the interest of fairness to others, we reserve the right to limit the number of people on a single reservation at our discretion. The cancellation period for canceling the ENTIRE reservation without penalty is doubled from the standard 72 hours (see above) to 144 hours (6 days). If you need to cancel only 1 or 2 people, the standard 72-hour notice still applies.
The bar will open at 5:45 for a pre-dinner reception with Jeff until 6:30. Dinner will then begin promptly at 6:30, but we HIGHLY, HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend that you arrive well before then to better your chances of getting a closer parking space and to beat the last minute rush.
Wine Vault & Bistro is located in the heart of San Diego between Little Italy and Old Town at 3731-A India Street on the upper terrace. Follow the black handrail from the sidewalk up the stairs to our front door.
On-street parking is also usually available within a 3-block radius. Remember that it’s OK to park in yellow commercial zones after 6:00 pm and that meters are also not enforced after 6:00 pm. You can also park in the lot behind Shakespeare Pub two doors down, but do not park in El Indio's lot unless you want your car towed! If you can’t find parking next to the restaurant, there’s always LOTS OF PARKING on San Diego Avenue and the adjacent side streets just past the Chevron station across Washington Street. So please don't drive yourself crazy endlessly going around in circles waiting to pounce on that perfect spot when there's TONS OF PARKING less than three blocks away!
We'll be pouring 3-5 ounce tasting portions of wine (see the line-up above) totaling 17 ounces plus an ounce of Eagle Rare Bourbon with dessert, or the equivalent of well over three-quarters of a bottle of wine per person. Pour buckets are provided for designated drivers.
Although some wines may be in limited quantities, all wines poured at this dinner will be available for purchase at the restaurant until sold out. We reserve the right to limit sales of any rare or allocated wines at our discretion.
WINE NOTES & BOTTLE PRICES
2015 Etre Chardonnay ~ $23
(Sonoma Coast) Winemaker’s Notes: Nose of fresh pippen apples with background aromas of pineapple and lemon oil. Bright acid and oyster shell minerality bring everything into balance in this true Chablis-style Chardonnay.
2012 Saxon Brown "Fighting Brothers Cuvée" Semillon ~ $16
(Sonoma County) Winemaker's Notes: Exotic notes of white peach, citrus blossom and fig permeate our incredibly lively, refreshing and food-friendly Semillon. The crisp high-toned fruit flavors are beautifully supported by the wonderfully rich, slightly yeasty mouthfeel. The wine finishes with tremendous length and finesse, ending with a flourish of floral accents. 500 cases produced.
2013 Saxon Brown "Gap's Crown Vineyard" Pinot Noir ~ $42
(Sonoma Coast) Review by Wine Advocate ~ 91 points: A slightly darker, more Cotes de Nuits style Pinot Noir, with notes of forest floor, blackcurrent and black cherry, soft tannin, decent acidity, and pure, rich, medium to full-bodied flavors. This is a well-executed Pinot Noir for drinking over the next 7-8 years.
2013 Saxon Brown "Fighting Brothers" Zinfandel ~ $26
(Sonoma Valley) Review by Wine Advocate ~ 93 points: Displays notes of Provencal garrigue, pepper, kirsch, liqueur and black currants in a complex, intense style. This is very Mediterranean in character, but full-bodied, hedonistic, and just a total joy to smell, taste and appreciate.
2012 Saxon Brown "Parmelee-Hill: Owl Box Block" Syrah ~ $26
(Sonoma Coast) Winemaker's Notes: Combines rich, dense flavors built around meaty dark berry, cedar, pepper and spice notes, with a roasted herb accent woven amid the firm tannins. Supple texture. Drink now through 2024.
Eagle Rare 10-Year-Old Kentucky Bourbon
(Kentucky) Complex nose of toffee, hints of orange peel, herbs, honey, leather and oak. Bold, dry yet delicate taste with notes of candied almonds and very rich cocoa. Dry, lingering finish. Distilled at Buffalo Trace, home of Pappy Van Winkle.
THE FINE PRINT
Due to fluctuations of supply, we reserve the right to make substitutions of equal or greater value in case any of the wines or foods become unavailable. Please, ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NO ONE UNDER THE AGE OF 21 ... even if your babysitter flakes out on you at the last minute!
Hope to see you here. Buon appetito and cheers!