This past weekend is one of our favorite weekends of the year, it is circled as soon as I get the new calendar hung up on the inside of the kitchen door. This is the weekend where we get to tour around one of the largest outside museums in the world, if you consider vintage cars pieces of art that is…I do. The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is the largest, most prestigious car show on the East Coast. On Saturday night my son Michael and I visit two of our very best friends, Vince and Holly Cavallo, for a wonderful dinner with amazing wines and great stories of wines gone by. This year was, of course, no different from any of the past years. Vince put together a delicious meal and reached deep into his fantastic library of spectacular wines, all leading to a picture perfect Sunday of drooling over two-, three- and four-wheeled stunning works of automotive art.
Our pre-Concours dinner on Saturday night started with a bottle of 2009 Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyards “White Bones” Chardonnay. This small production wine (3,000 bottles) is produced by one of the most iconic and talented wineries in the Southern Hemisphere. Widely known for their single-vineyard Malbecs and Cabernet Sauvignons, Catena Zapata is among the most highly respected wineries in South America. I had purchased a wooden three-pack of this incredible Chardonnay and its sister wine, “White Stones,” a couple years ago at a small tasting event. The grapes are produced in Tupungato, the northernmost sub-region of the Uco Valley in Mendoza, at over 4,200 feet. The altitude lends itself to high, full-ripening temperatures, but also makes for very cool evenings that achieve a wonderful acidic balance. This wine is for those who appreciate great white Burgundies. Beautifully balanced, fresh, intense chalky-minerality…I had no idea that Chardonnay like this was being made in Argentina and it should only get better and better.
As we finished the caprese salad, Vince got the veal marsala going and I opened a bottle of–in keeping with the stellar lineup of exotic Italian sports cars we were going to see on Sunday–1999 La Fiorita Lamborghini Campoleone IGT. This Umbrian wine, made by famed Italian winemaker Riccardo Cotarella, is an equal blend of Merlot and Sangiovese. The fruit was still evident, but it was the rich tannin, spice and full body that knocked me out–what a terrific wine. It went just right with the veal, gnocchi and haricot vert. Michael thought his root beer was a better match with dinner, but I’m sure that his opinion will change in a few years.
Just so you know, the “Best of Show” was a 1930 Cord L-29 Brooks Stevens Speedster and Concours de Sport was a 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spider. I have come to the point where I’m not sure what I look forward to more…the fastidiously maintained, wonderfully unique and wholeheartedly enjoyed…wines or cars? Oh well, cars and wine can both be works of art in their own way and I plan on a long appreciation of each.
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