Purlieu Wines reveals their 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at Wallace Cunningham’s “Ray” House in La Jolla
September 3, 2014
Written by: Maria Watkins
Photographed by: Michael Wesley
Saturday, August 23rd, I was fortunate enough to spend my evening in La Jolla at the “Ray” home designed by San Diego architect, Wallace Cunningham. The exclusive event introduced the launch of a new Purlieu Wine (2011 Cabernet Sauvignon from Coombsville), and coincidentally took place in the beautiful “Ray” home which is currently on the market.
When I arrived at the event, I was offered a complimentary ride around the neighborhood in a Tesla, and then invited into the home where I gaped at the 20-foot floor to ceiling glass walls that displayed the ocean. As more guests arrived hors d’ oeuvres were set out, wine was poured, photographs were taken, and conversations ensued. This unique event brought together some of California’s most successful entrepreneurs from the areas of winemaking, realty, investing, business planning, and cooking. I had the opportunity to speak with some of the key people at this gathering and got the inside scoop on their expertise.
Julien Fayard: The Winemaker
Winemaker and business owner, Julien Fayard, spoke with me about the future of winemaking in California. Having grown up in Bordeaux, France, Julien began studying the art of winemaking at the young age of sixteen. He moved to Napa Valley in 2000 and now owns a company called Azure Wines. Julien disclosed to me that while France has perfected the art of winemaking, California is in its infancy of the trade and therefore presents endless opportunities to create something new. Julien stated that, “California is exploding” in terms of wine production, and that he is excited to see what the future holds.
When I asked Julien to give me specifics about the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon from Coombsville, I was interested in learning how he chose the flavors that went into the wine. His response was that he did not choose the flavors. Instead, he takes a noninterventionist approach to winemaking and allows the fruit to dictate the flavor. Julien continues to work with the fruit to create a beautiful end product.
Julien also talked with me about the changing palate that is trending in California. He explained that Americans, but Californians especially are changing the way they eat, drink and exercise to lead healthier lifestyles. With that said, Californians are leaning away from sugary food and drink and toward a more acidic diet in regards to wine. Julien expressed to me that he has always loved to produce a more acidic wine because that is part of the classic taste that he has taken from the wines of France. Throughout the evening, we got to enjoy three of Julien’s classic yet California inspired wines that pair with delicious bites from the master chef in the kitchen.
Brian Redzikowski: The Chef
Renowned chef, Brian Redzikowski, went to work in the kitchen well before the guests arrived, and his pace did not stop until the event was through. With little preparation time between each course of hors d’ oeuvres, I got to observe the chef first hand in his element. As I followed Brian around the kitchen, I asked him questions about his creations for the event and whether or not he had specific instruction. Brian stated that he was given Julien’s wines to sample and from there he developed a plan of what he would pair with each wine throughout the evening.
For one course, Brian prepared a carrot soup which melted in your mouth, enhanced by a sip of the white wine. For another course, Brian broke all the wine pairing rules and presented a salmon dish with red wine. I asked him about this, and he stated that when prepared differently, through roasting and searing, salmon could become the perfect match for a nice red wine. He declared that he wants to get rid of the myth that fish and red wine do not go together. The evening’s menu was simple and delicate with the intention of the ingredients speaking for themselves. Currently, Brian is the chef at a restaurant called Kettner Exchange, opening this week in Little Italy, San Diego.
Purchase Purlieu wines from the website below and be sure to check out the grand opening of Kettner Exchange!
Sotheby’s International Realty
Wallace Cunningham’s “Ray” Home
Co-Presented by: Kyle Ballarta Falkon Ventures www.falkonventures.com