Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Michael David Incognito Viognier

Lunchtime in Beverly Hills usually takes us to one of a bushel basketful of Italian restaurants located in and around 90210.  This time, we tried a place that was new, for us anyway.

Da Pasquale Trattoria Italiana in Beverly Hills is a bright and comfortable place to grab good Italian food.  There are streetside tables on the sidewalk, but I honestly don't see what people find so enthralling about dining three feet from Los Angeles traffic.  We went indoors.

The wine list is fairly decent, but when I asked which whites were unchilled, it was a choice between a Lodi Viognier and a California Chardonnay.  I think I made the right choice.

Brothers Michael and David Phillips carry on a family tradition of farming that dates back to the 1860s.  The vineyards are irrigated by the Mokelumne River, and the family no longer relies on selling their grapes to other winemakers - they make their own wine.

The Michael David website calls Incognito "the Viognier formerly known as Roussanne. Originally thought to be Roussanne, D.N.A. testing found it to be a rare clone of Viognier."  The winery also produces a red wine which goes as Incognito Rouge.

Incognito shows a beautiful golden color, with a nose not as floral one might expect from Viognier.  There is a big flourish of apricot, with a touch of peas, or maybe edamame.  Apricots dominate the palate as well, with a vegetal accent and a wet rock minerality.   Incognito has a very full mouthfeel.  It's a lush drink with nice acidity and a long finish.  It paired well with my spaghetti aglio olio, which was garlicky and simply fantastic.

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