Sonoma County wine featured at White House state dinner

The Knights Valley wine is the only red wine on the menu.|

The White House State Dinner Menu

Butter-poached Maine Lobster with American osetra caviar, delicata squash raviolo and tarragon sauce;

Calotte of beef with shallot marmalade, triple-cooked butter potatoes, sunchoke and creamed watercress, and a red wine reduction;

Award-winning American Cheeses: Rogue Creamery’s Rogue River Blue, Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog’s soft ripened goat cheese, Deer Creek Cheddar;

Orange chiffon cake with roasted pears, citrus sauce and crème fraiche ice cream.

A Sonoma County wine will be highlighted at the White House Thursday evening during a state dinner with President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.

The 2019 Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon from Knights Valley will be poured as the choice red, likely to accompany a “calotte of beef with shallot marmalade, triple-cooked butter potatoes, sunchoke and creamed watercress, and a red wine reduction,” according to the released menu.

A 2018 Newton Chardonnay from Napa Valley and a Roederer Estate Brut Rosé N.V. from Mendocino also made the list.

Anakota, Knights Valley

Best known for its arresting, limited-production cabernet sauvignon from Knights Valley, Anakota releases just three wines per year, including two single-vineyard bottlings and a Knights Valley-designated wine.

Renowned French winemakers Pierre Seillan and his daughter, Hélène Seillan, are the talent behind the wines, which highlight fruit from the winery’s sustainable estate vineyard on the slopes of Mount St. Helena.

There, in the far-flung reaches of Knights Valley, grapes like cabernet sauvignon and other Bordeaux varieties thrive in one of the warmest appellations in Sonoma County.

“It is an honor to have the 2019 Anakota Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon served at the White House state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron,” says Hélène Seillan, assistant winemaker. “This wine has always been close to our hearts as it shows both the influence of the volcanic soils of Sonoma County and the winemaking style my father, Pierre Seillan, developed during his many years of experience in Bordeaux. As a French-American family making wine in Sonoma County, we are honored to be taking part in this distinguished event celebrating the longstanding friendship between France and the United States.”

A wine fit for presidents

For the 2019 Anakota Cabernet Sauvignon ($75) at the White House, the Seillans blended fruit from three Knights Valley vineyards and aged the wine for 12 months in 20% new French oak. The winemaker’s tasting notes describe it as “powerful and rich, with vibrant aromas of dried black currant, dried blackberry, and sun-dried Herbs de Provence. Notes of dark chocolate-covered espresso beans, subtle baking spices, supple tannins and mouth-watering acidity round out the palate.”

That sounds like a stately wine.

You can reach Staff Writer Sarah Doyle at 707-521-5478 or sarah.doyle@pressdemocrat.com.

Sarah Doyle

Wine & Lifestyle Reporter

Wine is the indelible heartbeat of Sonoma County. As the wine industry continues to evolve, my job is to share the triumphs, challenges and trends that affect our local wine region, while highlighting the people — past and present — who have contributed to its success. In addition, I cover spirits, beer and on occasion, other lifestyle topics.

The White House State Dinner Menu

Butter-poached Maine Lobster with American osetra caviar, delicata squash raviolo and tarragon sauce;

Calotte of beef with shallot marmalade, triple-cooked butter potatoes, sunchoke and creamed watercress, and a red wine reduction;

Award-winning American Cheeses: Rogue Creamery’s Rogue River Blue, Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog’s soft ripened goat cheese, Deer Creek Cheddar;

Orange chiffon cake with roasted pears, citrus sauce and crème fraiche ice cream.

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