Saturday, May 8, 2021
Saturday, April 24, 2021
ThankfullyTed and Shannon have been enthusiastic participants in my recent drive to taste every wine given any award in the recent 2021 SF Chronicle Wine Competition. We, contrary to Miles, are very willing to drink more #@%!$ing Merlot.
We found the weekend open, when the Albariño tasting was pushed off two weeks. We had tried to do the tasting the weekend before, but my inability to sleep caused us to cancel; I blame my job. The weather didn't look good for an outdoor, socially distanced tasting, so we decided to do it remotely. I'm not fully vaccinated yet and am hesitant to move things inside.
Some back and forth with Jose after I had informed him of Malbec Day had me thinking it was Sauvignon Blanc Day and regretting that my Sauvignon Blanc tasting was incomplete. More googling indicated that May 7th was the day this year, which may prod me to do something. As if I need prodding.
Ted and Shannon brought over two Merlots to add to the 3 medal winners I had picked up. We bagged, randomized, and sent them home with 5 half bottles. An hour later we met on zoom to taste. We had a great time tasting with them both.
A - 2011 Hartwell, Estate, came in first place with an average of 4.38. Ted and Shannon brought this.
C - 2018 Trujillo, Napa Valley, came in second place with an average of 4.00. It cost $65 from the winery. It won Double Gold in 2021 SF Chronicle Wine Competition.
B - 2017 Wild Diamond, Lake County, came in third place with an average of 3.50. It cost $42 from the winery. It won Best of Class in 2021 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
D - 2013 Chateau St Jean, Sonoma County, Reserve, came in fourth place with an average of 3.13. Ted and Shannon brought this.
E - 2018 Bargetto, Regan Vineyard, Reserve, Santa Cruz Mountains came in last place with an average of 3.13. It cost $40 from the winery. It also won Double Gold in 2021 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
The winner was obvious from the start. The only question: The order of the other 4. All of the wines were enjoyable. If I can give the ones I brought more time, meaning not drink them for 5 plus years, perhaps we'll try them again.
Friday, April 16, 2021
When we tasted Kuleto Cabs with Paul and Jennifer, Jennifer generously offered to put together a tasting of her favorite, Stag's Leap Wine Cellars.
Jennifer found four different Stag's Leap cabs all from the same year, 2009. We met the next Friday to taste them. We let the wines breath for two hours before we started. Ten minutes before it began, we cooled the wines to the ideal serving temperature, 60-65, putting them in the fridge, and measuring with a surface temperature thermometer.
Jennifer kicked off the tasting singing Tiny Bubbles while playing ukulele, Don Ho style. It was wonderful! Jennifer has used the pandemic to learn new skills, unlike most of us.
We had a great time tasting these amazing wines with Paul and Jennifer.
Friday, April 9, 2021
Years ago we attended Taste of the Town in San Francisco with Bob and Carolyn. Out of the literally hundreds of wines to try there, Sue found a favorite in Kuleto's Cabernet Sauvignon, India Ink. Bob agreed she had found a good one. They both went back for a couple of retastes. Years later we visited their beautiful winery. We learned they had renamed India Ink to El Coyote. Given Sue's love of the wine, I would occasionally purchase some for her as gifts. This last time I went to acquire some, I thought it would be fun to put Sue to the test, blind taste all of the Kuleto Cabs I could find in the same vintage, seeing if she truly knew what her favorite was. Worse case scenario: She would find one she more preferred. You may have noticed, I like to think of ways to do more blind tastings.
I picked up all these 2016s
- El Coyote, Napa Valley
- Lone Acre, Napa Valley
- The Point, Napa Valley
- Villa Vista, Napa Valley
Saturday, March 27, 2021
As I've said, we've watched al lot of WINEKING. Peter Koff's love of Sangiovese inspired me to plan a Sangiovese tasting. I figured if I could use his company, Great Wine 2 U, even better. A lot of the choices were unavailable, but I found my way to a selection if 4.
I was concerned about the age of two of them. I contacted the company with this concern. Peter responded, saying he had tried one of them recently and it was "lovely." He said he hadn't tried the other recently, but would. He responded later that he was trying the other and it was "delicious!"
Despite the assurances, I was still concerned. A couple of days before the tasting, the latest WINEKING tasted some Sangiovese. I decided to add one last minute, if I could get it to everyone involved.
It was yet another celebration via remote tasting, but there's light at the end of the tunnel, and I look forward to in person, vaccinated gatherings.
In an effort to reduce the cost of the tasting, 4 of us split bottles the day of the tasting. I was worried about some of the corks being problems, since they were over ten years old. I used an AH-so wine opener and didn't have any problems.
We used these great half bottles I found on Amazon, inspired by Jose's suggestions.
When Jose picked up his bottles, he dropped off a box of Alfajores Lili had made for me for my birthday. What a wonderfully delicious surprise!
We all joined up at 6 to taste and enjoy each other's company.
Friday, March 19, 2021
As I mentioned before, we've watched a lot of WINEKING lately. One of the episodes involved a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc. I had never heard of this. Given my recent love of whites, I set about gathering a tasting. I could only find 4 of them, 2 from TotalWine and 2 from K&L. K&L had six or so for pre-arrival, but I wasn't willing to wait. Overall, it was slim pickings.
Ted and Shannon were eager to try the varietal, unsure they had ever tried it.
We let the wine breath and warm up for 30 minutes before we joined Ted and Shannon on the zoom. The ideal temperature for tasting these wines is 64-65 degrees. They were a little cold when we started. We had a great time tasting them.
I don't usually get much on the nose of the wines, but for the third wine I was thrilled to get a strong note of warm bread.
A - 2019 Domaine de Marcoux, came in first place with an average of 3.63. It cost $60 from K&L.
B - 2018 Clos St Michel, came in second place with an average of 3.44. It cost $45 from TotalWine.
C - 2019 Domaine de Beaurenard, came in third place with an average of 3.25. It cost $60 from K&L.
D - 2018 Domaine Presidente, came in last place with an average of 3.00. It cost $36 from TotalWine.
Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc is interesting. All the wines were well made, but I'm not certain I like the flavor profile. More research may be required.
Saturday, March 13, 2021
The results of the 2021 SF Chronicle Wine Competition inspired me to pick up 5 different tastings. If you snooze, the wine is unavailable. Even after springing into action the day the results were published, I found an Idaho Albarino unavailable to non club members after its Double Gold win. I was also disappointed to find that Texas Heritage Vineyard was unable to ship their Best of Class Barbera my way. Sue was somewhat relieved. Needless to say, I would have added a Barbera tasting, had they been available.
We've been watching a lot of WINEKING. Peter Koff's love of less familiar varietals has inspired me to expand my blind tasting. Sangiovese was the perfect place to start. Fortunately our good friends Ted and Shannon are always willing to try, indulging my madness.
The cherry blossom tree out front always looks beautiful when Spring is in the air, and my birthday near.
We let the wines breath for an hour before we joined the zoom session. We had a great time tasting with Ted and Shannon.
A - 2016 Procedo, Red Willow Vineyard, Columbia Valley, came in first place with an average of 3.83. It won Double Gold at the 2021 SF Wine Competition. It cost $76 from the winery.
C - 2017 Las Positas, Estate, Livermore Valley, came in second place with an average of 3.58. It won Double Gold at the 2021 SF Wine Competition. It cost $48 from the winery.
D - 2017 Deer Hill Vineyards, Tiffany Hills Vineyards, Lamorinda, came in third place with an average of 2.96. It won Best of Class at the 2021 SF Wine Competition. It cost $55 from the winery.
B - 2016 Idle Cellars, Speedy Creek Vineyard, Knights Valley, came in last place with an average of 2.81. It won Gold at the 2021 SF Wine Competition. It cost $60 from the winery.
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Silverado sent me an email at the right time, offering a Valentine's Day Tasting, a bottle of their 2016 Geo and some truffles. It sounded fun to me. I added all of their 2016 Cab offerings and decided to do a blind tasting.
February a number of our friends participate in a dry month, promoted by a friend. We mostly refer to it as Teduary. This limited our participants. I pinged Paul, knowing Jennifer loved cabs, but they were unable to attend. I promised Paul we would do something in the future. I knew Jose had a new love of cabs, and had expressed a fondness for Silverado, which is why I was on their email list. He joined us.
We split the bottles, and let them breath an hour before we zoomed. We had a great time tasting with Jose.
A -2016 - See Selection, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, came in first place with an average of 4.50. It cost $90 from the winery.
D -2016 - SOLO, Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, came in second place with an average of 4.03. It cost $125 from the winery.
C -2016 - Oakville Station, Napa Valley, came in third place with an average of 3.73. It cost $90 from the winery.
B -2016 - GEO, Coombsville, Napa Valley, came in last place with an average of 3.70. It cost $75 from the winery.
Friday, January 15, 2021
I've been wanting to try the canonical Merlot: Duckhorn Three Palms. Articles like The Napa Legends Making Iconic Wines You Can Actually Buy and Duckhorn Vineyards And The Unusual Triumph Of Merlot In Napa Valley further convinced me. It also showed up in 15th place as the only Merlot on the 2020 Wine Spectator Top 100 List.
I reviewed a lot of "Best Merlots" lists and found my other two bottles:
- 2017 Sequoia Grove Winery, Best of Class from the 2020 SF Chronicle Wine Competition
- Trefethen Family Vineyards, Oak Knoll District, Best of Class from the 2018 SF Chronicle Wine Competition. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the 2015 and had to settle for the 2018.