Bottle Rocket: Oak Cliff Cellars
Heading out to dinner a few nights ago, we were pleased to learn that the new restaurant was operating under a BYOB policy. This good news came just as we were dying to drink the bottle of Oak Cliff Cellars wine that a friend had just given us, and it seemed appropriate to sip a “Dallas” wine at a Big D restaurant specializing in locally sourced ingredients.
But calling Oak Cliff Cellars’ wines “local” is a bit misleading. OCC owner Jim Richardson lives in the historic neighborhood immediately southwest of downtown Dallas, and has long kept a personal stock in his home cellar. His passion for the Napa Valley’s products led him to begin producing wines in small batches in Calistoga, CA, in 2007. His lovely products are now available to wine-lovers across the nation.
Oak Cliff Cellars make fewer than 700 cases of wine each year, including varietals like Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnary and Pinot Noir. It was the 2007 Mendocino Pinot Noir we took to dinner – and that stole our palates, even more so than the much-anticipated food.
OCC crafts this pinot from 70 percent Anderson Valley and 30 percent Mindocino Ridge grapes. It has a big cherry fruit up front and some apple on the nose. It paired well with both the salmon and the pork chops served us at dinner, and we think it will complement duck, elk and other game we’ll enjoy this fall.
Priced at $35, the wine can be ordered at from the winery, but will soon be available at Ellerbe Fine Foods in Fort Worth.
June Naylor is State Fare Editor of EscapeHatchDallas. A Fort Worth-based food writer, cookbook author and restaurant critic, June has been a journalist on the Texas food scene for more than 20 years. Join her on one of her culinary adventures: TexasToastCulinaryTours.com.