I spent the past week eating and drinking my way through Porto and the Douro in northern Portugal. There were so many wonderful wines, from still white and red Douro wines to the famous and historical Ports, both ruby and tawny. But at each and every tasting, the one wine that stole my heart was the Colheita and that is why it is the Please the Palate Pick of the week.
Port can be ruby or tawny. Ruby Ports, whether young, reserve, LBV or vintage, tend to be more fruit driven as they do not age in oak. A tawny port is a port that is aged in wood so that oxygen flows through resulting in the loss of color and the development of different flavors. Tawny Port is available in 10 Year, 20 Year, 30 Year, 40 Year and Colheita, an aged Tawny Port made with grapes from a single vintage.
"Colheita" means "harvest" in Portuguese. Colheitas are required by law to mature in wooden casks for at least seven years, although it can be much longer. The wine is bottled when the producer feels it is ready to drink.
The first time I went to Los Gatos was when my friend and I rushed to the Michelin-rated Manresa to enjoy their "Bar Bites" menu before heading to catch our flight out of the San Jose Airport. As we drove into the town on our single-minded mission, I made a mental note of how adorable the town of Los Gatos looked and how I wanted to go back. And I finally did!
In between events in San Francisco, I headed south to Redwood Shores (20 minutes north of Palo Alto) to visit friends. When I was invited to check out The Catamount, I thought it was a perfect chance to return to Los Gatos. Little did I know that Los Gatos is a good 45 minute drive from Redwood Shores but thankfully my friend was a good sport and willing to drive.
We entered the charming town of Los Gatos where the streets are lined with shops and pulled into the lot where The Catamount is located.
Opened in May of 2017, The Catamount is a very large (10,000 square feet), bright and airy space with a beautiful Carrera marble bar welcoming you at the entrance and a warm, modern comfortable overall feeling. The historic building dates back to 1923 and the name The Catamount is a combination of "the cats" (translated from Los Gatos) and the Santa Cruz Mountains, which can be seen from the windows in the restaurant.