Oh goodness. Friday was a day that had roughly 10 hours of tasting wine and that's a little much. Combine that with the fact I woke up and spent most of the day thoroughly out of sorts / discombobulated. I dropped things, tripped over things, forgot things. … so imagine me at the wine festival for a moment. Egads! I even lost my digital camera somewhere between the festival and a wine warehouse.
My discombobulated-ness really came into play during our live blog experiment. Kevin did a lot better because he has a tactile keyboard on his Treo. I was using the iPhone and while I have always had a hard time with the darned thing, trying to walk, talk, taste wine, and live blog with a virtual keyboard? For me, it was a recipe for disaster. Add to that, the stupid phone rebooted itself twice for no reason. Sigh. That's why the live blog is mostly Kevin. He did a spectacular job, by the way, even covering our trip through the Special Tasting Room on Friday evening.
As a note, the Special Tasting Room is quite nice. Is it nice enough to pay $100 for your ticket instead of $65? I'm not so sure about that. I would prefer if I'd had more than an hour in there, but for just an hour? Hmmm … we probably won't be doing that again.
After the jump, I've recapped some of my favorite wines from the festival, no iPhone required.
My notes were quick, as there just really isn't time for a lot of
detail. Many of them are fairly illegible and some of them I haven't
even found yet. Maybe next year I need a real keyboard.
Row 11 Pinot Noir
Here I tried three fantastic pinots: the Vinas 3 (three vineyards), Russian River, and Santa Maria. They were all excellent, although the Russian River was my favorite, followed by the Santa Maria.
I often think Chianti is underrated for folks, which is why I tried the Piazzano Chianti 2007. I seemed to have enjoyed it and the 2006 Giacomo Mori.
TGIC is a distributor, and I generally love their wines. It was even better that the sweet guy who used to pour at the Dilly Deli (Bert, I believe?) is also now the TGIC rep. (He was happy I offer a mobile site.) TGIC carries my favorite Chilean wines – Montes. I happily tried several of the wines he offered, but I was really there for the excellent Montes Alpha. Yum.
Of course I stopped for a sip of Mumm. In this case, it was the Mumm Napa NV brut rose sparkler. I was surprised to learn that the juice is only in contact with the skins for about 30 minutes to get the great pink color. Truthfully, I think I learned that a few years back on a trip to Domaine Carneros, but it had completely slipped my mind.
I stopped here because I was curious how they could get away with actually having Champagne on their bottles. Turns out, Barefoot has been making the sparklers since 1965. They are grandfathered in and can legally call their sparkling wine Champagne. That was news to me.
This is a local winery and our schedules have never meshed. I loved their Traminette. I also enjoyed their sweet red offering. I just remember this one by the way. I cannot seem to find those notes. I do know we'll be visiting this place soon. (You should too!)
The thing that stands out in my memory from this winery is the Viognier. Okay, I realize I'm partial, but I do love the stuff and this was a nice, fruity (fruit loopy) style aromatic. I liked their rosé (see below).
I only had a chance to try their chardonnay, but I was impressed by the suppleness of this particular wine. (I've had their Seduction before, and it's rather nice as well.)
I have a soft spot in my heart for Ohio's Firelands Winery. Their 2006 Riesling is bright, acidic, with pear and apple. Quite yummy.
I enjoyed their rosé (see below). I also enjoyed their 2007 Winemaker's Red (called Bordeaux with a twist) – a blend of cabernet, merlot, syrah, cabernet franc. Their 2007 Winemaker's White was an enjoyable blend of chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, semillon, and viognier.
I enjoyed several rosés. Most of these were dry rosé (not sweet) and in some cases, bordered closely on being reds.
- Meeker Pink Elephant
- Del Rio Rosé (this one almost tasted like a sparkling)
- MaryHill Rosé of Sangiovese 2007
Lost Notes: Somewhere in there I also enjoyed Reininger / Helix, Graziano, and a few others. We had a wine brunch on Sunday at Oceanaire with the McNab Ridge winemaker Rich Parducci, so I'll cover his wines in that post, later in the week.
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