Rob Moshein - Austin Wine Guy
Winemaker Dinner with Robert Foley
January 08, 2011Forgive the delay in blogging Gentle Reader, please. I have been playing Construction Manager to repair significant termite damage to my house. I'm spending my days at Home Depot, the house is torn up, am sleeping in the Guest House and all day long is the sound of compressors, drills, saws etc.
Got this invite in the email. Meet the Winemaker: Robert Foley Wine Dinner. How does one say no? One does not of course.
Urban is a good restaurant for such a dinner, lovely private room and two great chefs in the kitchen. Bob Foley, as he insists on being called, is a down to earth guy. He insists he is a musician, who's "day job" is winemaker. Personable from the get go, and very much a regular guy, who happens to be passionate about wine. Simple discussion over dinner shows he "gets it", and is a consummate professional about his craft, but there is no sense of ego whatsoever. It shows in his wines
Robert Foley Pinot Blanc 08: Alsatian in style, without being Alsatian in terroir of course. Clean bright acidity, wonderful fruit tones and nose. No wood thank the Lord. I can drink this wine. Bob Foley does as well. He confessed that he and his family reserve a whole pallet (56 cases!) for themselves, which the consume entirely in a year. I would too if I had the access to it. Lovely. Paired wonderfully with a playful first course of a bacon, foie gras, truffle sandwich!
Robert Foley Charbono 08 Gary Heitz Vineyard, Calistoga: I love Charbono. Sadly few people do it well. Bob's is a fruity, well balanced wine, with bright clean acids, a nice light earthiness to it. Something again, easy to drink, but still serious enough. Quail and Fish as a "surf and turf" went nicely.
Robert Foley Merlot 08 Napa: Wow, another Napa Merlot I can drink. Bob uses fruit from Calistoga and Howell Mountain to achieve a nice balanced wine. Pretty cherry fruit, slightly smoky, with a hint of minerality, but smooth, clean and very pretty. It went nicely with Rabbit two ways.
Robert Foley Claret 08: It is actually 100% Cabernet in the current cuvee. Bob doesn't want to confuse loyal customers by calling it Cab. Fair enough. To be honest, my least favorite of the wines, but I see why customers love it. Bright forward fruit, and a woody tannic backbone. I found the flavors a bit muddled and the wine too heavy. I actually went back to the wine a second time later, as there was a very odd flavor I thought was from the liver course. It wasn't. That same flavor was in the wine itself. Ah well. But, that's merely the palate of Yr Mst Hmbl & Obdt Svt. I'm not your average Joe Napa Cab buyer. This wine is designed for them.
Robert Foley Petite Syrah 07. Another winner of a wine. Not one of those jammy flashy Petites. Nossir. A steady, meaty, earthy wine, nice balance, good clean acids and bold character. The only flaw of the evening was the dessert course, a savory gorgonzola thing, it didn't work for me, but heck I was just fine with the Petite as my dessert.
Bob Foley is a solid, caring, talented guy. Very down to earth. Easy to like, easy to spend time with. His winemaking skills are at the top of the game.
Austin Wine Guy