Located in the heart of Westwood Village, the Napa Valley Grille is frequented by local business people and those affiliated with UCLA. It is not a new restaurant and will not likely be written up by the local food press sources. But, we should not overlook the Napa Valley Grille. Behind the doors is a restaurant that has been served diners for more than 15 years. General Manager Brian Cousins and Chef Kenny Spost are staying current and with the fall season upon us, they have created a new menu and paired the menu with some unexpected wines.
The Napa Valley Grille focuses on California cuisine with an emphasis on wine country. Historically the wine list has been primarily filled with California wines. However, GM Brian Cousins has been adding wines from around the world to the list. While still predominantly California, you can find wines from Italy, France, New Zealand and more. And now, with the new menu, Brian has paired the dishes with wines from Germany and Bordeaux, two distinct destinations, offering surprising styles.
Brian invited a group of LA Wine Writers in to try the new pairings.
Affordable and Bordeaux are not two words that typically go hand in hand. Bordeaux is perceived as intimidating, complex and stuffy. First Growth wines can be found for $500 or much, much more and are the wines collectors seek.
But what about us mere mortals? Is there affordable Bordeaux for us to drink? Yes, actually there are plenty. But what if I told you one of them came from First Growth producer Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) for less than $50. You might say that is the stuff legends are made of but Légende has made it true.
Chateau Lafite Rothschild is one of only four classified first growths in Bordeaux. The Chateau was purchased by Baron James de Rothschild in 1868 and today is run by Baron Eric de Rothschild, the fifth generation in the family.
While the Chateau Lafite Rothschild garners praise and high prices for those who seek it, the family also produces a range of more accessible wines that can be enjoyed every day. These wines were originally called the “Réserves des Barons.” From the “Réserves des Barons” and with the idea to offer classic Bordeaux wines that are affordable and can be drunk immediately, the line of Légende was born in 2002 and became available in the U.S. in 2017.