Everyone received tasting grids on which to write their notes, as well as aroma charts to help them with descriptors and vocabulary. The results were, as always, fun and interesting. Several individuals were delighted to discover their strengths; others realized they needed more practice.
The reveal: All the wines were from Paso Robles, under $30 retail, and from known wineries. In fact, I had chosen all the wines from the Wine Seller's shelves, and many of the participants had drunk most of these wines previously!
The surprise favorites of the night turned out to be the 2 white wines.
2014 Saint K Grenache Blanc – Winemaker Chris Kiranbay – "The name Saint K is a nod to my proclivity to earn a reputation. The label is a little freaky, it reflects my love for post-apocalyptic/urban-decay scenes and my sly regard for certain landlords I’ve known. My skin-contact Grenache Blanc and a Mourvedre echo the inner-city elegance I know so well."
2017 Pomar Picnic Chardonnay – Unoaked. A bright palate of Braeburn apple, white pear, and a lemon zest finish.
2016 Adelaida Pinot Noir –Rarely found in the warm Paso Robles AVA, the 33 acre site has a coastal mountain microclimate. Screw capped, this bottling emphasizes the wine’s current drinking style. Aromas of blackberry tea, dried rosebuds, leafy forest floor, and miso broth begin the tasting impression followed by flavors of baked black cherries, roasted plum tomatoes, steeped earl grey tea and brown spices.
2012 Kenneth Volk Tempranillo – The Kenneth Volk 2012 Tempranillo was produced from the Paso Robles AVA on California’s Central Coast, where the varietal has had great success. The wine offers aromas of strawberries and confectionery spices that lead into flavors of vanilla and plum on the palate. This Tempranillo is well structured with fruit and tannins and has a savory, dusty finish.
2014 Victor Hugo Merlot – 25 months in French and Hungarian oak. Intense aromas of Bing cherries and spices are complimented by a background of spicy oak. Rich flavors with layers of complex, supple tannins interlocking with rich oak flavors and a long, intense finish.
2016 Vina Robles Cabernet Sauvignon – The fruit for this wine was selected from two estate vineyards in Paso Robles – Huerhuero and Creston Valley. Huerhuero Vineyard, in the hilly terrain between the El Pomar and Geneseo Districts, benefits from the moderating Pacific breezes that blow through the Templeton Gap in the afternoon as well as its limiting calcareous subsoils. Creston Valley Vineyard has picture perfect high terrain, southern exposure and shallow soils with noticeable granulated limestone. Both of these vineyards produce Cabernet Sauvignon with an overall balance of expressive flavors and structure. Full-bodied - cassis and blueberry - chalky tannins. This was also a big fave of the class! Beautiful balanced texture with a great finish. #tasty!
2016 Halter Ranch Syrah – This wine aromas of dark plum, leather and violets. The palate offers complex flavors of wet stone and black cherry followed by a hint of earthiness that leads to soft, well-integrated tannins.
2016 Peachy Canyon ‘Westside’ Zinfandel – 81% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 9% Alicante Bouschet. This wine opens with aromas of rhubarb, saw dust, and allspice. Plum, black cherry, and boysenberry marry with notes of leather, tobacco, cassis, and menthol on the palate for a slightly dry finish.
As a special "bonus" wine, we poured a wine that had been brought in by a student who had searched high and low to find the wine that he loved from his early drinking days. It was...interesting.
NV Gallo Hearty Burgundy, California - From a website (I forget, I think it was Wine.com): "A blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah, it's dry, full-bodied and rich in cherry jam, licorice and black pepper flavors, subtly touched with smoky wood." In reality, it was flabby and flat, without complexity. But you get a magnum for $7.99. Our student was happy.
|Proprietor Ley Vaughn|
Next month, Tasting Wines from Monterey County! Cheers!