While Michelle is in Chicago at BlogHer, I'm (Kevin) representing our blog at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Sonoma.
We're about to do a live "speed tasting." 6 Minutes per wine maker to explain a bottle of their wine. Then switch to the next group of 10 attentive tasters. Post will be updated with pics when I get a chance. 18 tables, 3 winemakers are stuck in traffic from San Francisco. We are delayed as IT is called to fix the wifi.
Round 1: Schramsburg 2006 Blanc de Blancs
Winery started in 1965. 4 areas are used for grapes to create the bubbly. Sweet fruity flavor upfront with a little apple. Small amount of yeastines and not trying to be French style. On lees for 2 years and I think our table lucked out with the best way to start a tasting. Retail $36.
Round 2: 07 Lilly Hills Zin from Bella Vineyards. Syrah and Petite Syrah in the blend as well. 15% Abv. Earthy and leathery on the palate and about the opposite of the last thing we tried. Overall it needs alittle more time in bottle to relax. Retail at $38
Round 3: 2007 River of Skulls from Twisted Oak. Smoother than last year, higher Syrah percentage. Mourvedre. $35 at retail.
Round 4: 07 Barbarra from Northwest Wine Academy. Sweet flavor and little depth. Would work better with food.
Round 5: 08 Fish Eye Pinot Gris. Central Valley grapes. Going for year after year consistency. I am still not a huge Pinot Gris fan, but this has a open and acceptable flavor profile. $6.99 retail for 750. $14.99 for the 3L. I'd bring this to a party without heavy wine drinkers and I think there would be no problem.
Round 6: Pinot Evil. $20 for a 3L box. Nice basic Pinot. Would recommend for when hosting a party or to have an everyday red available for drinking.
Round 7: 07 Cab Sauv from Cupcake. 2 different vineyards combining for 85 CS, 12 Syrah, Petit Sytah for the rest. Going for an adult treat. Good again this year a little warm on the finish, but plenty of fruit to balance. Used Cab Sauv to make cupcake frosting on the paired cupcakes for after the tasting.
Round 8: 05 Snows Lake 2 Blend. Nice tannic, CS shows through, needs time to open up a little. Very deep wine with great food potential. $45 retail and worth it. 14.2% AbV doesn't overwhelm and is very nice.
Round 9: 07 Petite Syrah from Line 39. Very light with alot of tannins. At $10 this would be a great introduction to the varietal to anyone who is starting on red wines.
Round 10: 07 Ancient Vine Mouv from Cline Cellars. Nice spicy and earthy. Cline has nice sandy soil that lends to growing this varietal. 25% new American oak keeps the flavor pure. 15% AbV does not overwhealm the rest of it. 10,000 cases made yearly. $16
Round 11 (two left): 07 Chard from Tandem. Very buttery and subdued oak. Chewy flavor and a nice example of Cali Chard. 2000 ft elevation Dijon 809 clone used in making the wine. Balanced, but not my style of chard. $54 retail.
Round 12: 07 Estate Chard from Foggy Bridge. Winery to open in San Fran next year. Balanced and 1/2 malo and 1/2 stainless. Crisp finish and good acid. 190 cases and $18 a bottle. Malo balances the wine and makes this a nice value Chard.
This will be prettied up later, but another great tasting at the WBC!
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