Typical Zinfandel Smelland/or Flavor Descriptors
Fruit: raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry, cranberry, black cherry, (jammy can be used with all)
Carbonic Maceration: tutti-frutti, candy, bubblegum
Herbal: briar, licorice, nettle
Oak (light): vanilla, coconut, sweet wood
Spice: cinnamon, black pepper
Oak (heavy): oak, smoke, toast, tar
Bottle Age: musk, mushroom, earth, leather cedar, cigar box
Here is Appellation Americas comical overview of the zinfandel grapes to help us remember what a Zin is all about:
2007 Layer Cake Primitivo – Puglia Italy
Aroma: Licorice, Musty, Nothing really stood out on the nose
Taste: Licorice , Creamy, Spices
In fairness to this wine, I tried this wine the day after the tasting and was detecting dark fruits in nose and taste, definite candidate for decanting. I have not been a firm follower of decanting as I like to smell and taste the changes of a wine over time. Unfortunately, at a tasting some wines do not get a chance to breath and open up.
wine maker’s notes:
Could not find any ratings
September 16, 2008 – Napa Valley, Calif. – Jayson Woodbridge, renowned global winemaker and owner/winemaker of Hundred Acre and Layer Cake wine brands, today announced that celebrated winemaker, consultant and good friend, Philippe Melka, will join his Layer Cake winemaking team. Layer Cake Wines demonstrate Jayson Woodbridge’s vision of crafting wines based on his own personal experiences and journeys with people and vineyards around the globe. The high quality, handcrafted wines consist of a one hundred percent Old Vine Primitivo (Zinfandel) from Puglia, Italy, Shiraz from the Barossa Valley and South Australia, a Côtes Du Rhône from the Rhône Valley in France, and a Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina, all retailing for just $15.99 – an incredible value.
Tasting Notes :
The wine is opaque and purple-colored with a nose of jammy black cherry and blackberry fruit, truffles, tar, and spice. Warm and rich in the mouth; the ripe fruit is well supported by the depth of the structure.
2006 Brochelle – Paso Robles
Aroma: Coffee, Chocolate
wine maker’s notes:
Unable to find ratings
Tasting Notes :
Layers upon layers (upon layers!) of elegantly perfumed and richly structured fruit that dances excitedly on the palate. An essence of warm, fresh baked gingerbread cookies can be found within. You will uncover notes of deep caramel, black currants and blackberry jam. There is a densely textured mouthfeel and grand finale comprising a kiss of pumpkin pie spice.
~Drink now and until 2020.
2004 Mariah – Mendocino Valley
Aroma: Blackberries, Vanilla, Lacquer (when first opened)
Taste: Vanilla , Red apple, Blackberries, Dry on the palate, Pepper, Light body like William Selyem
wine maker’s notes:
· Connoisseurs’ Guide Rating: 87pts
15% Petite Sirah; 5% Syrah; 1% Carignane. This wine’s intense first nose of ripe blackberries and sweet spices belies its tightly structured character in the mouth. Both acid and tannin take on major roles, and more than balance the ripe fruit flavors that rise up underneath.
2004 Rancho Zabaco Toreador – Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma
Aroma: Dark Plum, Blueberry, Jammy
Taste: · Dark plums · Blueberries · Very Acidic when first opened but left as it opened up
Remember the topic on good and bad acids in wines that I wrote a couple of weeks ago? This is an example of acetic acid which is a volatile acid. This is what is known as a bad acid. Don’t confuse it with Tannic or Malolactic acids which are what are called good acids and are needed to provide character and longevity to a wine. Being volatile, acetic acid will not remain in the wine once the bottle is opened and exposed to air. Decanting will assist in fast removal of this type of acid.
wine maker’s notes:
Robert Parker : 94 points.
The 2004 Zinfandel Monte Rosso Toreador is absolutely amazing and one of the great Zinfandels of that vintage. This wine boasts a dense ruby/purple color and a big, sweet nose of ground pepper, dried herbs, lavender, black cherry jam, raspberry, and licorice. Full-bodied, powerful, and concentrated, this stunning Zinfandel should drink well for up to a decade.
2005 Storybook Mountain Vineyards Estate – Napa Valley
Aroma: Berries,Vanilla, Wine with great finesse
Taste: · Fruit Forward · Noticeable tannins
wine maker’s notes:
· Wine&Spirits: 95 points.
· Connoisseurs’ Guide: 95 points
“Irresistible …aromas pile up in a heady rush of roses, wildflowers, crushed rock and black pepper. The dark, glass-coating pomegranate color shows off its power…”
95 PTS.- 100 best wines of the year.
Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wines:
In more vintages than not, this bottling has turned out to be our favorite from Storybook Mountain. And here again, it is a ripe, generous, yet impeccably balanced wine whose keen blackberry fruit in nose and mouth comes with a mix of intensity and youthful restraint that promises more and better as the wine ages. Fullness plays off against firming acids, and tannin crops up in the late going, and so much about this lovely wine calls for a bit of patience that we would caution against early drinking lest you miss the best it will have to offer.
2007 William Selyem Baciagalupi Vineyard – Russian River Valley Sonoma
Aroma: Blackberries, Red Raspberries, Cherry
Taste: Bing Cherries, dryness to the palate, Minerality to the finish, Characteristics of a Pinot (not a typical zin profile), Very elegant and classy wine
wine maker’s notes:
· Robert Parker: 93 points
Wine Advocate As for the 2007 Zinfandel Bacigalupi , this wine is dense, chewy, medium to full-bodied, with relatively elevated alcohol, loads of spice, red and black fruits, as well as herbs and underbrush.
Hopefully, we will have some converts within the group to try more Zinfandel wines. My perfect evening in the winter is to sit down in front of a fireplace and relish the spices mixed into layers of fruits of a fine Zinfandel. Remember, this is what we enjoy around the Christmas holiday. This Christmas, treat yourself to a piece of ginger bread with a fine Zin. If you want to go a step further, try a late harvest Zin with the concentrated fruits and sugars. I doubt that you will be disappointed.
I hope that the evening of Zins that we shared with their wide range of tastes and characteristics will lead you in a search for what your palate considers a perfect wine.
Until next time…Cheers,
This last weekend my husband Eddie and I were invited to taste some of their recent vintages. We hadn’t been up to their Castaic home and winery since last year. And that year proved fruitful for us all as the Clark’s met the Carpenters (over a shared story by yours truly). Chris and Jeannie Carpenter are also home wine makers, knew a slew of others in our valley, and organized the first Assistance League sponsored Sunset in the Vineyard event that highlighted private home winemakers.
This year, as last, Kerry had several Winemaker Magazine awarded vintages to try. And I jotted down a few notes during the tasting
On the wine
We started out tasting with his 2008 Grenache Blanc, a Rhone white. We were immediately brought back a year; these wines were what we had come to expect, incredibly good. Next was a Rhone white blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier and Marsanne (all Tablas Creek clones by the way). “It’s a blend of all whites,” Kerry began. “It’s a very drinkable Rhone white with characteristics of honeysuckle, spice and refreshing acidity.”
The Gruner came next with 12% alcohol. “I purchased the grapes and this is my favorite wine as it’s fuller and sweeter”.
A 2008 Muscat Susie lingered over. Again with Two Hearts Estate grapes, 11% alcohol. As 10 vines only produced about a gallon, the flavors of honey and fruit made it more than worthwhile.
Eddie liked the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon made from Washington grapes that had softened nicely after bottling.
Tasting the 2007 Malbec from Argentinean juice (that now sits on my desk for inspiration) Kerry’s back label notes read: “…dark dense structure with a full rounded mouthfeel. Prominent lush flavors of cherry, black currant and blackberry…cloves, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, spice, fruit.”
Susie makes time for gardening and the back yard, where a year ago landscaping was being done, now boasts several colorful flower pots, a beautiful clay pot fountain and spice garden. Kerry, on the other hand, only has time for farming the vines.
Kerry is now growing over a dozen varieties, made more quantity in 2008, with 2007 being the first time he was turning his own grapes into wine.
“Once the vineyard is ‘dialed in’ everything is okay and it’s just irrigation. But you’ve got to be in your vineyard a lot. We only take a few days off and then we need to work until it’s balanced again.”
We recalled that Kerry does buy some of his juice and he had something new on that front as well. “We can purchase flash-frozen grape juice. It has to remain at minus 10 degrees until you are ready to use it. I bought some Napa Sauvignon Blanc juice that way.” Eddie thought that, theoretically, you could be making the same wine as Mondavi if you can get the same grapes frozen and delivered. But it doesn’t end with the grapes.
“We also experiment with yeast, how much or how little we add. The same goes for sulfites. Sulfites reduce oxygen damage and kills bugs. We follow a formula and you know if a white wine is too gold that there was probably oxygen damage. If we siphon out a little wine to taste, we may need to fill up the the fermenting bottle with marbles to displace space, raising the wine levels and keeping oxygen out. It’s all chemistry. And it’s Susie’s nose that’s more reliable than mine.”
Susie’s guest post coming up soon tells of the Clark ’s recent attendance at a winemaker conference. “There are people there that ‘fix’ wines and wine labs that you can send a sample of your wine to (or they come to you). Then they tell you what you need to do to repair a wine instead of throwing it out or losing your reputation.”
Though the Clark’s are not concerned with their winemaking reputation they are invested in learning more and creating better vintages with each year. The last thing they’ve done besides, planting, farming and studying chemistry is to allow their dog Boomer his opportunity to assist. Because, as we finally rose to leave, it was Boomer that tore out the front door, ran up the hill and zoomed through row after row in the ever enchanting part of winemaking for a dog: chasing rattlesnakes, rabbits, quail and crow. Things sulfites wouldn’t stand a chance against.
Corry De Robertis, seemingly plucked from the dairies of his ancestor’s home in Italy, walked in to a room of wine makers with: Goat Balls.
Corry happens to be a home cheese maker. Not satisfied with kits, he found them as a jump – start to an interest not unlike the winemakers surrounding him in palatable interest. Corry had found a way to express his need to make something with his hands in a way wine makers, and non-wine makers, could appreciate.
Like having wine with winemakers or beer in a beer garden, having fresh homemade cheese was a treat no one was prepared for. Surprising, delicate, attractive and incredibly flavorful.
“I brought Sauvignon Blanc because it pairs well with goat cheese and it also would cleanse our palate so we could accurately taste the Zin later. My goat cheeses tend to lay on the palate for several minutes or more. The high acidity breaks through and cleanses away the “goaty” flavor.”
Corry is considering a cheese making party as one of his cheeses, the mozzarella, takes only 30 minutes to set up. But for the purists, that know they can’t buy these cheeses anywhere and don’t know Corry’s address, here is a sampling of the talent Corry shared with us:Cheese making is my passion (I absolutely love wine too!). Similar to wine, cheese is an expression of the land and climate (terrior). For me, the terrior changes week by week. I am at the mercy of the ever-changing local milk supply at the market.
In the last couple years, the milk supply in the U.S. has been over pasteurized (heated to extreme temperatures so it lasts longer), making home cheese making a bit of a challenge.
I might have a “connection” to some farm fresh milk! Senior Hernandez, where are you? In the meantime, I use the milk available to me. (editor’s note: To learn more about Senior Hernandez’s cheese connection try starting here: http://www.dairygoatjournal.com/issues/86/86-1/Tim_King.html)
I love spending time in my kitchen creating new cheeses. Each one with its own personality. Sometimes refreshing, delicate and young like a white wine and other times complex, robust and aged like a full bodied red.
The other cheese was a mold ripened goat cheese. I brought 2 styles. One was ripened with white Penicillin mold. (The same mold that forms the rind on Brie.) The mold softens the cheese and imparts earthy flavors. I formed some into small “goatballs” and the others into 3 inch wheels. The second style I used white mold and then brushed vegetable ash on them before the mold developed. This adds another flavor component and looks kind of cool like a geode stone when sliced. They are similar to a cheese from Indiana called the “Wabash Cannonball”.
Like with all cheeses the aging process AKA “afinage” is where it gets tricky. This requires daily flipping and monitoring humidity to ensure mold growth. This year I am focusing on rind development. There are so many possibilities. I might even try a wine soaked cheese.
Fresh bread, a piece of cheese and a glass of wine with my wife and friends …. Is there anything better? I don’t think so.
Once again we had an enjoyable time with good friends and fine wines. Unlike our last Syrah/Shiraz tasting, this time we had examples from California, Australia and France. The wines were all fantastic and it allowed us to see diversity between many terroirs.Syrah/Shiraz Background:
This grape is known as Syrah in France and Shiraz in Australia. In the United States, either name is applied depending on the style of the winery. Research points toward Persia as the origin for the Shiraz grape and appropriately, was named for the city of origin which was Shiraz. DNA and ampelographic (field of botany that studies the identification and classification of grapevines) findings however, do not support this belief. To date, the evidence supports that Syrah grapes are from Northern France. Syrah is the offspring of two obscure grapes from southeastern France, the Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. It should not be confused with Petit Syrah, a synonym for Durif, a cross of Syrah with Peloursin.
Syrah is the primary grape of the Northern Rhone and is associated with classic wines such as Hermitage, Cornas and Cote-Rotie. In the Southern Rhone it is used as a blending grape in such wines as Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Cotes du Rhone, where Grenache makes up the bulk of the blend. This was seen in our Rhone varietal tasting a few weeks ago. Syrah in its most heavily extracted form will age for decades, however, less-extracted styles can be enjoyed young providing lively red and blueberry characters and smooth tannin structure. Syrah has been widely used as a blending grape.
One of the key items that was noted at the tasting is that the wines from the warmer climates like Australia were sweeter and riper tasting. The wines from cooler climates like the Rhone valley of France, displayed more pepper and spice aromas in their flavor and lacked the sweetness.
Syrah usually becomes drinkable at an early age and most are produced for consumption within a year after release (2rd year from harvest). In Australia, Shiraz has found a real home. The Shiraz grape is the most widely planted red grape variety in Australia where it is sometimes blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or occasionally with Mourvedre. Syrah is widely used to make a dry red table wine, which can be both varietal or blended.
1. Varietal Syrah or Shiraz. Of the more well-known wines, this is the style of Hermitage in northern Rhone or Australian Shiraz.
The flavors and aromas of the Syrah grape are the results of its thick-skinned and dark, almost black fruit. Its wines are intense with a dark purple-black color. The wines taste of blackberry and currant fruit, smoke, tar and black pepper, and have a smooth supple texture. Syrah reflects minerality well, and the chalky character of the tannins provides a wonderful backbone to softer, fruitier varietals such as Grenache. In blends, Syrah provides structure, a deep blackish-purple color, minerality, and longevity.
Now that we have a little background on the Syrah grape, let’s review the group’s findings on the many examples brought to the tasting. I was glad that we did get a large variety of examples as this can show all of the different variations that a wine can achieve based on terroir and processing differences in different countries.Wines:
2006 Clos des Grives Northern Rhone, France
Aroma: Earthy, More like a Burgundy
Taste: Old world profile, Cherry , Smooth
Rating WS: 91 points
Clos de Grives is wonderfully vibrant in colour with a rich complex nose of chocolate and mocha underlaid by intense fruit character and a hint of tobacco. The tannins and the oak are wonderfully well integrated and the finish is a joy, a rare mixture of complexity, concentration and elegance.
Combier’s top cuvée is the outstanding Clos des Grives. The work in the vineyards is chemical free and organic. Produced from 100% Syrah hand picked from the Combiers oldest parcels of vines it undergoes a traditional vinification, with fermentation in inox vats and a long maceration of approximately 25 days. The wine is then aged in new oak barrique to add complexity and depth to an already outstanding product. 2007 Carnival of Love McLaren Vale, South Australia
Aroma: Jammy , Blueberries , Caramel
Taste: Blueberries , Toffee , Caramel , Mocha , Coffee , Elegance
Rating WS: 95 points
Wine Spectators #9 Choice out of the Top 100 Wines of 2008
Big, rich and terrifically ripe. A lithe mouthful of pure blueberry, wild blueberry and Asian spices, with swirls of plum and other berries as the finish rolls on, unimpeded by tannins. In the end, this has elegance to go along with its power.
2004 Blue Rock Syrah Alexander Valley, Sonoma
Aroma: Black cherries , Plum , Eucalyptus , smoke , tobacco
Taste: Black cherries , Eucalyptus on the finish
Rating Wine Enthusiast: 90 points
This is winemakers Nick Goldschmidt and Kenneth Kahn’s fourth vintage of Blue Rock Syrah, made from 100% estate grown Alexander Valley fruit. Focused on grace and elegance rather than extraction, the wine’s smoky meat, pomegranate and blackcurrant aromas are redolent of Northern Rhône. The bouquet continues on the palate, adding game and earth flavors as well as some black cherry. Soft, fine-grained tannins make this wine approachable now, but it has enough structure to continue to improve over the next five years. The tannins are dusty and astringent and give the wine a lockdown character, so you’ll want to cellar this one. Aging is no problem. The wine is dry and balanced, with a rich array of blackberry, pomegranate, cola, sweet leather, coffee and spice flavors that have been generously oaked. Should improve by mid-2008 and evolve for another few years.
Aroma: Jammy , Plum , Mineralality , Vanilla
Taste: Acidity , Blueberries , Vanilla , Anise
Unable to find reviews or ratings on the 2006 vintage
Unavailable. 2003 Mi Sueno Napa
Aroma: Jammy , Dark Berries
Taste: Blueberries , Vanilla, Tannins noticeable
Wine Enthusiast: 90 points
Shocking…Intense…Breathtaking…The blackish-purple color is the first hint as to the depth of this wine. The second clue is the dazzling array of succulent Napa Valley black fruits, violets and smoked meat aromas that waft through the air. In turn, the palate is greeted by a silky layer of ripe black fruit flavors and freshly roasted espresso. Add to that a touch of Old World leather and Mother Earth and you get the New World expression of a Northern Rhone classic. Lively acidity and fine grained tannins brings it to a satisfying conclusion.
2005 Greenpoint Reserve Yarra Valley, Australia
Aroma: Plum , Vanilla , Spices
This wine was unique in that John and I perceived that the wine had almost no taste when first entering the mouth. Then it opens up builds to a long finish. I have never tasted a wine with this characteristic. This is also noted in the second paragraph of the Professional/Vintners notes below by the professionals tasters.
Wine Spectator: 91 points
Rich magenta with a ruby hue. Intense fruit aromas of blackberries, mulberries and boysenberries combine with hints of black pepper, anise, violets and gardenias to produce a vibrant and aromatic wine. Soft and supple upon entry, the wine extends to offer concentrated flavors of cracked black pepper, anise and coriander. Delicate and opulent, the mouthfeel is further enhanced by soft and velvety tannins to provide a signature cool climate Shiraz.
Syrah wines from the US were in-between France and Australia when it came to alcohol content and sweetness. Does this mean that it would be safe to say that the temperatures that the grapes are grown is directly proportional to the alcohol content and sweetness of the wine? Remember that other factors come into play such as when a winery decides to pick the grapes as well as when they decide to stop the fermentation process. The key thing is how much sugar is available.
In closing, here is a Comical overview by the Rhone Rangers of the Syrah grape to help remember its characteristics and roles in the wine world.
“During the Roman occupation of Gaul you rose to fame as a captive vine turned gladiator. Your legend grew in the spartan competition of Northern Rhône amphitheaters. But little did the Romans know; you had more than just brute tannic power. Behind your fiery, spicy attitude there was the soul of a great leader. You outlasted the Romans and eventually ruled the Rhone Valley from the hill of Hermitage. But your greatest victory was to come in the New World, as emperor of the masses ‘Down Under’. Never one to rest on past laurels, you have set your sights on America. It is only a matter of time before you conquer this continent, leading the charge of an imposing legion known as the “Rhone Rangers”.”
What an empirical sensation! French and Italian are about the same size, meaning you give attention to both. The word “Time” is prominent on your’s, and indeed, that is one of the most important ingredients in wine right?http://scvtalk.com/2009/06/04/one-more-word-cloud/#comments
Lets look at a few examples of alcohol levels. French and Italian wines. Most French and Italian wines (old world) are in the 12% range. Italian Wines are noted for being served with foods. Present wines from the New World (US, Australia, etc), it is hard trying to find wines that are less than 14%.
What is the affect on the cellar life of wines (low verses high acidity). This is another topic that could be reviewed.
Here is a list that I found that summarizes the effects that PH levels have on wine quality. When looking at this table, remember that a PH of 1 is the most acidic, 7 is neutral and 14 is the most basic.
Oxidation: Less in Low, More in High.
Amount of color: More in Low, Less in High.
Kind of color: Ruby on Low, Browner in High.
Bacterial Fermentation: Less in low, More in High.
According to this, wines that have more acid are preserved and protected better over time. The length of time is not defined, so I would interpret the time element to mean from bottling to consumption. Whether that is 2 weeks or 30 years. In Chablis France, during low sugar years, they are allowed to add sugar to the grape juice (chaptalization). The addition of sugar in winemaking is not allowed in California. However, the addition of tartaric acid (and others acids) is allowed to increase the acidity of the wine.
In summary, we need acids for a couple of reasons. And as a note, we are talking about tartaric and malic acids (good acids) and not acetic acid (bad acids). As we have seen, acids are needed to preserve and provide a wine with good color, no oxidation, etc. Acids are also required to provide crisp fresh taste when we taste a wine. Probably most noticeable in certain whites such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis and some Chardonnays. It is also important when eating fatty foods to cut thoroughly the fat and cleanse the palate before the next bite. Doesn’t Spaghetti and meatballs with a fine Italian Barolo or Brunello di Montalcino (one of my favorites) sound good?
Aren’t they lovely? Not looking “three sheets to the wind” at all. (a phrase my Minnesota-raised spouse uses for drunks – that I would appreciate a comment on this blog as to where in the heck that comes from…?)
For me, attending the SCV Wine Classic was a wonderful experience. Starting with the library wine tables – where at any other wine event you either 1. didn’t get or 2. you paid per taste for. I still don’t know how wine chair, Jeff Jacobson, gets his countless friends, with the best cellars, to pour.
Steve Elzer, Rober Schwartz, Priscilla and Warren Faubel, Roman Weiser, Chris and Jeannie Carpenter and Les Hershberger must have to keep their addresses a secret. How else would they be able to keep their Spotswood, William Selym, Sea Smoke, Martinelli, 86 and 87 Joseph Phelps Cabs, 2001 Bryant (only 200 cases made), and too many to count and list Bordeaux to themselves for long?
Too busy tasting to write down everything, Chris Carpenter was going to save me empty bottles from the library tables for reference.
In between the library wines I sampled some of the food, but to be honest, never ate enough as there was too much to see/drink.
I met lots of readers and was hugged to death! Ones I didn’t already list on the post below this one include John Kelley, formerly with Raven Oaks, and his friend Dawn Colebank, Laura from Yelp, Victor Abascal from Vines on the Marycrest, Nate Hasper from Pulchella (gave me the best hug encompassing my neck, waist, head and all parts in-between), John Whitman from Old Creek Ranch Winery, Craig Butler from B & P Winery, Michael Cobb from Sorth This Out Cellars and Nick Morello now pouring for new Terravant Wine Company.
My husband bought me the wine necklace that Cathy Craig was selling at the Silkwood table when my friend Diane waved it at me. I missed the entire auction and most of the food…
Next year? I will do it all the same way! But next year I will find Michael P. and YOU!
New! From Correspondent Michael
When I go to an event like this, I go with no expectations other than to have fun. For me at least, this is not really the time and place to evaluate the attributes of what I am drinking. If I happen to come across something earth-shattering, that is just a bonus.
I also rarely go to the library tables. I prefer younger wines, and Zins, Syrahs and the like that rarely show up with the rare Cabs and Bordeaux. Besides, the library tables tend to be the most crowded.
Instead, I usually just meander around, stopping by various tables as the action there lulls.
I had nice visits with the people from Vines On The Marycrest as wells as Midlife Crisis, two Paso wineries I’ve enjoyed for some time.
And I shared the enthusiasm of the owners of Laraneta Vineyards, also of Paso, pouring their very first release at the Classic.
I tried Silkwood Wines of Modesto for the first time and really enjoyed their wines, especially their Petite Sirah.
And it was great to visit with Jay and David of All Corked Up and taste the terrific wines they brought to the event.
There were other wonderful wines as well, but it starts to get a little blurry, except…
Pulchella — I’ve been wanting to try their wines for some time. And they did not disappoint. Both Zins they were pouring were outstanding, although the winemaker and I disagreed on which was “better”. But, now I have to decide — the last thing I need is to be in another wine club. But, they are local and supporting a local business is a good thing, right? Decisions, decisions….
And now I must thank Jay of All Corked Up for encouraging me to go over to the library tables. As I walked up to where Steven Elzer was pouring, I saw a bottle of Scholium Project on his table. I’ve been wanting to try something from this producer for a long time. Abe Schoener is somewhat controversial and is known for making challenging wines. Steven was pouring the 2004 Scholium Project Syrah. Wow! Outstanding! The word that came to mind for me was “muscular”.
Steven and I talked some more [what a great guy!] and the subject of my fondness for Zinfandel came up, so he poured for me the 1996 [I think that was the year] Turley Moore “Earthquake” Vineyard. Excellent! I thanked him for that. I told Steven that I have been a fan of Turley for several years but regretted that I got on their allocation list too late to ever get one of their releases from the Aida Vineyard. Well, what do you know? He popped open a bottle of that! Another goal achieved. Thank you Steven Elzer!
The food at the Classic was excellent as well, although I am a little hazy on specifics as my wife kept me supplied with food as I endeavored to keep our wine glasses full. The ones that stand out in my mind are: Persia Restaurant, Stonefire Grill, Macaroni Grill, Bristol Farms, Whole Foods, RSVP Catering Company, and COC’s Culinary Arts Program.
All in all, we had a blast.
Now, back to making that wine club decision…
So, back to reality. Nothing to wear of course. Hair will not cooperate and I haven’t even tried yet. Manicure? Pedicure? Why-a-cure? I yam what I yam. In the immortal words of Sponge Bob to that snail that professes to take over the world, “Well…good luck with that.”
So, tonight we have the Classic wine shindig of the year, where I’m bound to run into dozens of fellow wine aficionados and 101ers…and I’m freaking out a little.
Will I knock over my wine-filled glass like I did at Vine 2 Wine a couple of years ago? Not because I was snockered but because I’m a klutz? (And bringing my klutzy second-time-he-broke-the-same-shoulder husband?)
Will I forget someone’s name, misquote a wine rep, pour/spit out too much in comparison to non-wine-writing guests? Yep times three.
This is the deal. In sprinting to the library table I may miss the wines from…China. In my quest to find my fave Lima Limon food I may miss…some ice cream. While I try and flag down Marlee with my paper cocktail napkin I may miss…or splatter…you.
So please, flag me down. Tell me your name slowly and clearly, wait for me to retrieve my pad and pen, and hold my friggin’ wine glass for just a minute while I work my craft. Save your really good quotes until you find me.
And the full story? You know, the one that lists all of the volunteers, wines, food and what I might get at the auction? In the West Ranch Beacon blog next Friday! In the meantime I’m at least now hoping for a reserve Sterling Cab to go with the outstanding photos on your left that Chris C. just sent in! Just the thing to calm my un-wined-frayed nerves.