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Jul 15

Wine Speed Tasting: Reds

Every year at the Wine Blogger’s Conference, we partake in Live Wine Blogging. Basically, winemakers move from table to table, telling us about their wine in 5 minutes or less. We get to make a snap judgement and blog about it. It’s sort of like speed dating for wine and it’s equally as exhausting.

This year the Live Blogging sessions were split into two: Whites & Rosés on Friday and Reds on Saturday.  Because we had so little time to learn, ask questions, and type, the notes aren’t the best. They should, however, give you a general idea of how we felt about the wine. The reds, in general, were consistently more impressive than the whites.


Wine #1: Desert Wind Ruah, Merlot blend: 46% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc
Soft and silky with structure throughout. At $20 would go great with Steak or heavier food.Little bit of tartness on the middle.Lighter tannins and acid makes this a drink sooner rather than later. A little too green for Michelle.

Kevin: Michelle:

Wine #2: Duck Pond Red Blend: 52% Merlot, 29% Syrah, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon
Wahluke Slope, Washington (Columbia Valley)
Slightly tannic, ready to drink now and rather fruit forward.  ~$15

Our rating:

Wine #3: Mollydooker Velvet Glove, 100% Shiraz single vineyard
Nice and well rounded. Surprisingly, much lower in alcohol than other Mollydooker wines.  2010 Velvet Glove will join the rest of the Mollydooker line with a screwcap.  Wine is thick and coats the glass, but the fruit is not as up front as a more traditional californian shiraz. Drinking this ruins your glass for anything else, it’s so thick. It’s also not an easy wine to get through – better off sipped over a period of time. Coffee and chocolate flavors. $185/bottle

Our rating:

Wine #4: Trio Vintners 2007 Riot Red Table Wine: 52% Sangiovese, 36% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre
Columbia Valley, WA
Light, easy-drinking, pleasant berries. Strong acid and nice overall flavor. Mouvedre smooths out the Sangiovese. Well done Italian blend. Different from others, yet tasty..

Our rating:

Wine #5: Ponzi 2008 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Almost a little effervescence and bubbles on initial taste. 11 Mo in French oak. $35 a bottle.Kind of a basic level Pinot. Newly bottled  and not the best.  Everyone agreed later that there was something wrong with this wine. It shouldn’t have been bubbly. From Michelle’s perspective, it was definitely too bright and fruity for an Oregon Pinot Noir, lacking earth.

Our review: Review withheld due to the fact we believe it was a bad bottle.

Wine #6: Stoller JV Pinot Noir 2007
Dundee Hills, Oregon
Heavy terroir and earthiness on the nose. Sustainable winery that is an old turkey farm that was transitioned to winery. Burgundy was referenced as a similar area. 10 mo in oak, mostly neutral. This is a great example of what new world grown pinot noir can taste like. Turned earth and subtle cherries all over the palate. $25

Our rating:

Wine #7: Cornerstone Stepping Stone 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Franc

Tons of tannins and acidity. Acid is flavor, tannins are a feeling. According to Craig, “Acidity is what makes a wine live.” This would age well (might even benefit). Very balanced with lots of tannins and acid, but happily lacking in vegetal flavors. $30 bottle. 600 cases.

Our rating:

Wine #8: Sequel by Longshadows 2007 Columbia Valley Syrah (98%syrah with 2% cabernet)
Washington state
We have very few notes on this one – just a rating. It’s worth mentioning that we did pick this up at a charity auction (and paid a pretty penny) because the Sequel line has such a great reputation.

Our rating:

Wine #9: Solena Estates 2008 Pinot Noir
Hyland Vineyard, McMinnville, Oregon
Solena Estates was Michelle’s big find at the Conference. She fell in love with the consistently earthy pinot noirs they produce. 2008 is set to be best  vintage ever from Oregon. Earthy with an acidic finish, but still plenty of fruit up front. Single vineyard designates is primary focus. Volcanic soil. $50

Our rating:

Wine #10: Concannon 2007 Petit Syrah
Livermore Valley, CA
Nice bing cherry and acid on the finish. Big wine – called the “little monster.” 12 mo american oak. plus 6 months in large 58 year old large barrels. 4 months since bottled, but still ready to drink. Bottle itself seems to weigh a ton. Vineyard is in a conservancy land trust near the San Francisco Bay. Made us crave steak. $15/bottle

Our rating:

Wine #12: Jordan 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot., 5% Petite Verdot, 1% Malbec
Napa Valley, CA
Decanted. Balanced and not as fruit forward as we first expected. Earthiness is in the mid palate with fruit up front and tart fruit on the finish.  $52

Our rating:

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Posted by Kevin at 8:00 am in Tastings, Wine Notes | Permalink | Comments ()

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