High above Manhattan on the 63rd floor of 70 Pine, a landmarked Art Deco building, in a private room at Saga, one of the city’s hottest restaurants, La Patiala’s readers and guests were treated to an exclusive wine tasting with one of California’s finest wineries, Joseph Phelps Vineyards.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards’ winemaker Ashley Hepworth flew in for the intimate evening to unveil the 2019 Insignia and host a wine-tasting dinner with La Patiala’s founder, Kristen Shirley. Guests dined on a specially curated menu designed to highlight each wine while enjoying a bird’s-eye view of the city skyline.
The evening began with a glass of 2015 Ovation, the winery’s sparkling wine, and passed canapés. Ovation’s winemaker uses the same traditional-method winemaking techniques as the finest Champagne houses, aging the wine on the lees for three years to give it complexity and notes of toasted brioche alongside bright stone fruit and citrus aromas.
Once seated, guests indulged in a four-course tasting menu that introduced them to several Joseph Phelps wines that are exclusively available at the vineyard and to the winery’s members. The dinner began with a fluke crudo paired with the 2020 Viognier, which highlighted the wine’s bright citrus. A delicious roast duck with beets and persimmon followed, a perfect pairing for the 2019 Syrah from Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard.
For the main course, guests chose between beef tenderloin with truffle pomme purée and roast chicken with Maitake mushrooms, paired with a vertical tasting of the 2009 and 2019 Joseph Phelps Insignia. Tasting the unreleased 2019 vintage alongside the same wine with a decade of aging was a revelatory experience for guests who discovered how much the wine evolved over time. The evening finished with the winery’s sweet wine, 2018 Delice, paired with a chocolate malt dessert.
Throughout the evening, Hepworth and Shirley introduced each wine and led guests through a guided tasting, plus spirited question-and-answer sessions in keeping with La Patiala’s educational mission. “I love connecting with wine enthusiasts,” said Hepworth. “An intimate dinner or event is the perfect place for one-on-one conversations that can run the gamut, from wine pairing to favorite restaurants or travel. By the end of the evening, everyone has hopefully had a wine ‘aha’ moment to cherish.”
Below, see photos from the glamorous event. Sign up for La Patiala’s exclusive events here.