Kevin bringing you a round up of this part years Cincinnati International Wine Festival. Once again, it was a good time to get a chance to meet a large number of interesting people from around the world and talk about something that we all love: wine. The quick summary follows, then the full review after the jump.
Highlight of the event: Finding a large number of Chardonnay wines that are attempting a balanced flavor with just enough oak and butter without overwhelming either flavor. Meeker Winery, Pine Ridge, and the Newton Red Label were nice examples of this style.
Lowlight of the event: A separate tasting area for "Special Wine Tasting"? $35 dollars for 7 pours in a room an hour before the tasting seems both excessive and goes against the spirit that all wine should be enjoyed by anyone. It’s the basic idea of the room that hits my sensibilities as I was unable to actually peruse the tasting area prior to the Friday afternoon tasting.
As I mentioned in the quick recap, I wasn’t able to taste as many wines as I had in the past, but a few things really caught my attention.
Ohio and Kentucky Wineries had a great showing this year, with 8 attendees. Firelands, a recent interviewee in Michelle’s Ohio icewine article attended for the second year and also our friends at the local make your own wine winery, Tino Vino, attended to show off their standard stock.
TGIC Importers brought a nice selection of Malbec and Syrah wines from their portfolio and had 3 to 4 great selections. The Montes Alpha Syrah and Kaiken Ultra Malbec were two of the more memorable offerings, with the Malbec having the full fruit flavor with a strong spice component and a touch of tannins on the end. The syrah was different with a rich berry component that had very little pepper.
Moet Hennessy USA had the Newton Chard I mentioned earlier and also the Domain Chandon Pinot Meunier which had a light cinnamon spice that helped to bring a full flavor to the wine. The spice faded on the finish.
Styring Vineyards brought 3 selections with them and all three tasted wonderfully. Available at Party Town in Kentucky, the Pinot Noir is one of the few must have purchases we made specifically due to the festival. Overall, this was one of the standouts of the festival.
Four Vines had a nice sampling of their 2006 Zinfandel selections and all had the taste and flavor you would expect from the big, fruity zins that are currently being produced.
Redhead Ranch: Michelle really enjoyed the R3 blend of Cabernet Franc, Cab Sauv, and Malbec. They also had a great Zinfandel dessert wine.
What did I miss? What did you think of the festival this year? Was the "special wines" room a plus or minus?
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