Does gender matter in wine? It has long been a topic of discussion. Randall Grahm recently did a post on it at :http://www.beendoonsolong.com/2010/01/chick-vit-or-what-do-women-want-in-their-wine/ Be sure to read the comments section for some interesting thoughts, particularly from Meg Houston Maker. The upcoming Pinot Noir Shootout (http://affairsofthevine.com/pn_summit_8.php) features the opportunity for visitors to "explore and assess the reactions and preferences of women versus men, in regards to Pinot Noir. Descriptors and scores of the female and male panelists will be denoted, as well as the reactions of the Pinot Noir Summit attendees, in an attempt to discover whether women and men prefer different wine styles."
But, this post is not to debate that issue. This post is to say a bit more about the Wine Entre Femme tasting I was delighted to attend last week. When the invitation popped up in my inbox I had never heard of the organization but the opportunity to taste wines from "45 women vintners and wineries from Napa, France, Switzerland, Japan, Turkey and South Africa" was irresistible. As always, my tasting notes are spotty so I will mention a few highlights. What is interesting as I look back is the frequent mention of California Cabernets, wines I drink rarely at home. Some of these were special.
Cave des Tilleuts 2007 Amigne de Vetroz Reserve I have not had a lot of Swiss wine, but found this quite interesting.
Chappellet Pritchard Hill Cab 2006 I don't drink a lot of California Cabs as I find that most that I truly enjoy are far out of my price range. This one is out of my price range as well, but worth seeking out.
Corison I have been tweeting with Cathy Corsion but had not tasted her wines. When I had dinner with Lisa Shara Hall last week she mentioned Cathy as someone to seek out. I was therefore delighted the next day to find Cathy at this tasting. I enjoyed all of the wines she was pouring, particularly the 2004 Kronos Vineyard Cab. It was both powerful and elegant and another cab worth looking for. As I have said before, one of the highlights of tastings for me are the opportunity to talk directly with the winemakers and owners.
Crocker & Starr Another lovely Napa Cab, this one a 2006 Stone Place from St Helena
Haskell This is another stop where I was charmed by the winemaker. I enjoyed both the Pillars and the Aeon and came home with an almost empty bottle of the IV, hand labeled by the winemaker, These wines show the potential of South Africa.
Lorenza Rose How could I resist a rose? This charming bottle is made in Ca but has a French feel to it. At $20 it is one I may drink a lot of over the summer. I'm looking forward to featuring it when we do our rose tasting later in the spring.
Provins Valais was tasting a 2008 Petite Arvine maitre de Chais and a 2006 Diolinoir Domaine de l"Eveche. Another Swiss producer these wines were lovely and unusual. I'd like to taste them again with time.
Tierra Rouge Another lovely Ca, this one a 2006. Tierra Rouge is interesting in that they produce only one wine each year. In 2006 they made 250 cases. Linda Neal was lovely and I am hoping to visit the winery soon.
For sweet wines, the Chateau Guirard Sauternes and Chateau Sigalas were both lovely.
My apologies to all of those attending that I did not mention here. As always at tastings, I do not try everything, although I wish I could. I find my palate gets far too overwhelmed. I've also realized that at some tables I end up talking and enjoying and not taking accurate notes, both Titus and Wolf Family suffered that fate as well as a few others.