This week we had a good turn out for our SF tasting, though we missed some of our regular attendees. None of those in attendance were from our Pinot Selections club, and as a result I think the appreciation of this noble grape may have slipped a bit from past tastings. That said, the affordable Banshee ($25) held its own.
We tasted through all 11 of the wines selected for my various wine clubs, and attendees had an opportunity to place an order that night and save 10%. Here were the favorites:
- Trinitas, 2008 Meritage, Oak Knoll AVA $55. A blend of four of the five classic Bordeaux varietals (all but Petite Verdot), led by Cabernet. Trinitas Cellars just celebrated the grand opening of their new hospitality facility, which features a tasting room bored into the hillside where guests taste in a cave-like environment complete with a babbling brook (and free of bats, I presume, though I was sadly unable to attend the opening soiree to see for myself!)
- Trinitas, 2009 Mysterium (Red Blend), $25. A complex amalgam of five red grapes, led by Zinfandel and Carignane, this is fruity and spicy and full of yum, for those that enjoy wines that feature more fruit than earth. Very California. Very flirtatious. Just nosed into second place by a bottle or two.
- Diatom, 2011 Chardonnay “Hamon”, $42. This is a big wine, from Winemaker Greg Brewer of Brewer-Clifton fame. At 16.3% alcohol, it’s a white wine that’s definitely packin’ some heat, particularly on the finish. But the wine is also big and complex and interesting enough to show more balance than I’ve ever seen in a wine over 15%.
- Domaine Fontanel, 2010 Cotes Catalanes (Grenache/Syrah 70/30), $16. This wine was voted the best value of the lot, for its relatively modest price tag and its less-than-modest demeanor, which is just an overly-wrought way of saying this is a lot of wine for the money. From the Languedoc region in Southern France, you can almost smell the lavendar and dried sage brush and herbs next to the fruit and spice. Nice stuff.
I thank all the Bay Area members and customer who could attend. We’ll postpone this summer’s club shipment until after the heat has passed, but we’ll still be holding a summer tasting event – sign up on our email list or join Dave the Wine Merchant on Facebook to learn the details. Hint – it will feature six (at least) great summer wines from different parts of the word, allowing you to understand typical styles and determine your favorite. A fun evening is assured, even if we have to pretend it’s a hot summer day in foggy San Francisco.