As we left our heroine she had attended three wine events and had three more that week. Can she make it? By the end of the week will her palate be able to tell the difference between a Russian River or Santa Barbara pinot or will she not know the difference between a pinot and a merlot? I feel a "bodice-rippper cover" image belongs here, but we shall see.
Last Wednesday was Tre Bicchiere, one of those events that I kept meaning to attend, but had never gotten to before. This year, armed with suggestions from Lisa Shara Hall and Jason from Solano Cellars, and accompanied by our wine editor, Blake Edgar, I finally made it. The tables at this tasting are numbered, making it easy to find wines, but if you are like me, it leads to running around talking about numbers and not wine names. Of course, I am the same person who felt a need to take my daughters picture with every character at Disneyland so I may just like quests.
Overall, I thought that the wines at this tasting were very good. Quite a few of the reds could use more time, but I had expected that. My favorites of the day were The Valteliina Sup. Mazer, Donnafugata Passito (a swwet wine), Guerrieri Rizzardi Amarone, Castello di Cgognola Barbera, Firriato Harmonium, Antinori Maaeria maine, Marisa Cuomo Fiorduva, Benati Il Drappo, Felsina Fontalloro and the Tasca D'Almerita Cab. Some expected, some surprises.
Next up on Thursday night was a TTL with Elderton wines sponsored by JJ Buckley at Local Kitchen in San Francisco. Joining me at the table were @winebratsf @@drxeno, and Brixchick_Liza, along with Paige and Chuck from JJ Buckley. We tasted 8 wines from Chardonnay to Cab to Shiraz and finally a sweet Semillon. My favorites were the 2005 Command Shiraz, a $90 wine that had gotten a 97 from Robert Parker and a 94 from the Wine Spectator. This was a bottle that I wished I could take home to taste again in a few years. Number two on my list was the Semillon, which managed to be sweet, but not too sticky. It had a lot more balance than I was expecting.
My final wine event of the week was the Pinot Noir Summit. The day started out with a blind tasting of 40 color coded pinots. Colors ranged from light pink to dark gray and everything in between. I admit to trying to ponder a connection between tastes and colors, but soon gave up. My favorites of the day were the bland colors:
Tan: Claiborne & Churchill 2007 Pinot Noir, Edna Valley, $25
Gray: Pacific Coast Vineyards 2007 Babcock Vineyards Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, $62.50
Gray Blue Hahn SLH Estate 2007 Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands, $29
and Brick (okay a little color) Big Basin Vineyards 2007 Alfaro Family Vyd Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mtns $42
Color codes for the entire event can be found at: http://affairsofthevine.com/?page_id=2429
I admit that I did not stay for the announcements of top picks, but am looking forward to seeing the results soon. Another nice part of the event were the seminars. I attended Discovering New Stars and Food and Pinot Pairing. A highlight of the panels was the opportunity to chat with the bloggers sitting at my table. Rumor has it there are even some pictures here: http://johnonwine.com/2010/03/02/passion-for-pinot-noir-a-recap-of-the-pinot-noir-summit/ The new star highlight for me was Bradley Brown of Big Basin. I enjoyed his pinot, but look forward to tasting his syrah after we spent far too much time for a pinot tasting talking about it.
All in all, I week of some great wine and some not so great. Coming soon, my recap of the Alto Adige tasting.