2002 Bressler Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley, St. Helena (3/23/2011)

Wow. This wine is firing on all cylinders right now. Dark and rich with waves of mouthfilling dark fruit flavors that coat the mouth and last for almost a minute. Creamy mocha, or even hot chocolate. Hint of mint on the nose. Smokey. Big, but balanced. This wine is showing its very best right now. Drink over next 3 years. (94 points)

Posted from CellarTracker

The Bressler was the perfect partner to take to dinner at Asena Restaurant in Alameda.  This was our first visit — but hopefully not our last — to this small restaurant specializing in Mediterranean cuisine.  The flavors of Italy, North Africa, and Turkey are all presented in delicious style.  Service, mostly by the owner himself, was friendly and warm but sometimes seemed a bit disorganized even though the restaurant was far from full during most of our meal.  I think he (the owner) may have been doing a bit too much schmoozing with all the guests at the expense of following up on drink orders, leveling a table that had a disconcerting wobble, and generally orchestrating the dining experience.  This is not a big gig in our book: we’d probably prefer this homey approach over cold efficiency.  The food was mostly wonderful with highlights including crispy breaded artichoke hearts with lime aioli ($6.95), house-made humus and flatbread with linguiça ($7.25), and paella with chicken, linguica, Mediterranean mussels, prawns, leeks, saffron, and rice ($19.95).  Members of our party also raved about the shrimp special though I didn’t catch the details on that one.  The “miss” on the menu was grilled lamb tenderloin with mint-burgundy demi glace ($20.95).  The lamb was tasty enough and cooked to the right temperature but two of us really had our hearts set on the mint in this recipe — loving that flavor with lamb — but alas, the mint was subtle to the point of non-existence.  For dessert, the blood orange cheesecake, chocolate pot de creme, and tiramisu were all wonderful.  Corkage was a very fair $12.

2 Responses to “2002 Bressler Cabernet and Asena Restaurant (Alameda, CA)”

  1. Bud Carey says:

    Great note, Randy. I still have one bottle left. Sounds like one to drink for a near-term special occasion.

  2. Yes, Bud. I need to drop a line to Bob and Stacy and let them know how much I enjoyed it.

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