I enjoyed a bottle of Papillon with some friends at The Blue Star, a restaurant in Colorado Springs, Colorado with a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence.
Papillon is a Bordeaux blend from Napa, with (according to the website - I am not discriminating enough to tell varietals with such precision) 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, and 1% Cabernet Franc.
The bouquet was gentle but brought strong aromas of oak and a hint of vanilla. The color was a deep red (the website for the wine lists garnet, and that's appropriate enough). Its body was on the heavy side of medium-bodied.
The first taste that hit me was the fruit, in true California style - red and dark berries. After that came tastes of the oak as well as a hint of vanilla and a slight smokiness.
The finish was long and pleasant, holding the oaky note. It was fairly high alcohol (15.1%). It had rich tannins that balanced the acidity in the wine nicely.
I enjoyed the wine with several tapas as well as the an entrée.
The first item was a Pasta Crostini with bolognese. The tomatoes in the bolognese brought out too much of the acidity in the wine and killed the tannins. It was not ideal.
The second item was Port Salut, a creamy French cheese made from cow's milk. This pairing was exceptional, the cheese highlighting the fruit in the wine.
The third item was Humbolt Fog, a pasteurized goat's milk cheese with a layer of edible ash in it. This cheese was very pungent and brought out too much of the wine's tannins. Also not an ideal pairing. You live and learn. By itself the cheese was quite nice.
The entrée was black pepper seared beef tips with burgundy demiglace and mashed potatoes. The wine really shone here, bringing out a succulent meatiness from the meat. It was one of the best food-and-wine matches I have yet experienced.
Overall, this was an exceptionally nice bottle. However, given the price point (MSRP $55), it's not one that will be repeated often.
Books: Still on Hitchhiker's Guide. I with I had Towers of Midnight right now!!!
Bottles: Papillon. Amazing.
Writing: 800 words on short story, finished Chapter 2. Story total: about 6200.