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Flights of Fancy

Taking flight - hey, all that wine isn't going to just taste itself...

The wine-tasting parties have worked for many years. We spend around six hours together with a dozen or so of our friends tasting our way through a variety of wines and food. The wines involved and our expert tasting groups are shown below:

2015 Holiday

   

We tried to repeat our twist for a wine tasting party for a third time by combining an afternoon tasting with a walk to the beach to watch fireworks off the pier, but alas the fireworks part got rained out. We persevered nonetheless. The wines were done in parallel flights of whites and reds, paired with snacks, cheeses, desserts and Mary Lou's famous chili.

Whites:

2014 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ

2013 Alpha Omega Sauvignon Blanc 1155, Napa

2008 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc, Paso Robles

Reds:

2012 Navarro Deep End Blend Pinot Noir (Magnum), Anderson Valley

2011 Kosta Browne Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

2012 Melville High Density Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills

2010 Alpha Omega ERA (Magnum), Napa

2006 Opus One Overture, Napa

2007 Hanna Bismark Mountain Titan, Sonoma

2012 Fireworks

       

We repeated our twist for a wine tasting party from last December by combining an afternoon tasting with a walk to the beach to watch fireworks off the pier, ending with a couple quick "nightCabs" in the evening. The wines were Bordeaux style or Bordeaux style blends, paired with cheeses, desserts and Mary Lou's famous chili.

Life's still just a Cabernet, old chum:

2011 Duckhorn Sauvage Sauvignon Blanc, Napa

2003 Hanna Reserve Merlot, Alexander Valley

2009 Alpha Omega Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa

2011 Alpha Omega Sauvignon Blanc, Napa

2008 Darioush Signature Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa

2001 Hanna Bismark Mountain Noir, Sonoma - Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot blend

2006 Paraduxx Postmark Rector Creek, Napa - 60% Zinfandel, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cab Franc

2007 Lone Madrone Tannat, Paso Robles

 

2012 Birthday

   

1 Beaune appétit Burgundies
Fabien Coche-Bouillot: Chardonnay Puligny-Montrachet La Garenne, Premiere Cru (Meursault, France 2008)
Domaine Pierre Amiot et Fils: Pinot Noir Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru (Morey-Saint-Denis, France 2008)
Windward: Pinot Noir Barrel Select Monopole (Paso Robles 2005)
Kosta Browne: Pinot Noir (Sonoma 2008)

2 Lyon’s share of Rhones
Guigal Condrieu: Viognier (Condrieu-Rhone, France 2010)
Hanna: Bismark Mountain Syrah (Sonoma 2003)
Tablas Creek: Esprit de Beaucastel Panoplie (Paso Robles 2005)
Quixote: Petite Syrah (Napa, Stags Leap 2008)

3 Bordeaux’ Graves situation
Chateau Granville-Lacoste: Sémillon / Sauvignon Blanc / Muscadelle (Graves, France 2010)
Alpha Omega: Bordeaux-style Rosé (Napa 2010)
Hanna: Bismark Mountain Merlot (Sonoma 1997)
Esterlina: Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley 2006)

4 Turin the Piedmont
Tablas Creek: Vermentino (Paso Robles 2010)
Vietti: Barolo Castiglione DOCG (Falletto-Barolo, Italy 2006)
Moccagatta: Barbaresco Brik Balin DOCG (Barbaresco & Neive, Italy 2005)

2011

   

We took a new twist for a wine tasting party in December by combining an afternoon tasting with a walk to the beach to watch fireworks off the pier, ending with a quick "nightCab" in the evening. All the wines were Bordeaux style or Bordeaux style blends, paired with food along the way.

Life is a Cabernet, old chum:

2006 Paraduxx Postmark Howell Mountain, Napa - 61% Zinfandel, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Merlot (a 1.5L Magnum)

2005 Opus One Overture, Napa - Bordeaux blend

2002 Penfolds Bin 707, South Australia - Cabernet Sauvignon (my favorite wine for many years)

2003 Arrowood Monte Rosso, Sonoma - Cabernet Sauvignon

2006 Esterlina, Alexander Valley - Cabernet Sauvignon

2000 Hanna Bismark Mountain, Sonoma - Cabernet Sauvignon

2002 Blackjack Ranch Harmonie, Santa Barbara - 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc & Merlot

2009

   

No skin in the game: Fess Parker Marcella’s Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Barbara 02), Cloudy Bay Chardonnay (Marlborough, New Zealand 05), Porter Creek Viognier (Russian River Valley 06)

California Pinot code: Goldeneye vs. Goldeneye Migration - side by side comparison (Anderson Valley 05), Alma Rosa La Encantada (Santa Rita Hills 06), Melville High Density (Santa Rita Hills 07)

A taste of Italy: Avignonesi Vino Nobile (Montepulciano, Italy 05), Marchesi de Frescobaldi Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo (Montalcino, Italy 04), Hanna Bismark Ranch Nebbiolo (Sonoma 98)

Unrepentant Ziners: Orin Swift The Prisoner (Napa 07), Lone Madrone Barfandel (Paso Robles 06), Rabbit Ridge Zinfandel (Sonoma 00)

Life is a cabernet, old chum: Blackjack Ranch Harmonie (Santa Barbara 04), Hanna Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma 03)

2008

     

Drawing a blanc: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough 07), Porter Creek Viognier (Russian River Valley 06), Arrowood Reserve Speciale Chardonnay (Sonoma 05), Larson Family Pinot Noir Rose (Carneros 05)

Beginning Burgundians: Navarro Methode l’Ancienne Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley: vertical side-by-side tasting of 04 & 05), Rochioli Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley 05), Goldeneye Confluence Vineyard Pinot Noir (Anderson Valley 05)

Home, home on the Rhone: Le Cigare Volant (California 00), EOS Cupa Grandis Petite Syrah (Paso Robles 04), Copain Les Copains (Paso Robles 05), Tablas Creek Panoplie (Paso Robles 05)

No boring Bordeaux: Opus 1 Overture (Napa), Blackjack Ranch Harmonie (Santa Barbara 04), Hanna Bismark Ranch Merlot (Sonoma 97), Dover Canyon Carmenere (Paso Robles 06)

Semi-sweet goodbyes: EOS White Cabernet (Paso Robles 07), Millerick Road Meritage (Sonoma 03)

2007

 

A golden state: Porter Creek Viognier (Russian River Valley 05), Michael David Incognito Viognier (Lodi 05), Tablas Creek Roussanne (Paso Robles 05)

Blind ambition: A blind taste test: Darioush Signature Merlot (Napa 02), Hanna Bismark Ranch Syrah (Sonoma 01), Husch NFS Cabernet Sauvignon (Mendocino 01)

Pinot (noir) envy: Navarro Methode l’Ancienne (Anderson Valley 04), Foxen Bien Nacido Block 8 (Santa Maria 03), Elias (Russian River Valley 03), Goldeneye (Anderson Valley 03), Davis Bynum le Pinot (Russian River Valley 02)

Dispelling past zins: Domaine Saint George STG (Chalk Hill 99), Raymond Reserve (Napa 98), Porter Creek (Dry Creek Valley 98), Pedroncelli (Dry Creek Valley 93)

Merit + heritage = meritage!: Bogle Phantom (California 03) Old vines Zin, Petite Syrah, old vines Mourvedre, Graham’s “Six Grapes” Reserve Porto (Portugal)

2006

   

Take Off - Drawin a Blanc: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc / Viognier (Clarksburg 05), Stryker Chardonnay (Russian River Valley 02)

Some Reading Material - Library Wines: getting older, getting better: Kendall Jackson GE Chardonnay (Arroyo Seco 00), Tablas Creek Clos Blanc Meritage: Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, Grenache (Paso Robles 00), Hanna Bismark Ranch Merlot (Sonoma 97), Benziger Zinfandel (Sonoma 96)

First Class - Ultimate Reds: Rosenblum Zinfandel (Rockpile Road Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley 03), Davis Bynum le Pinot (Rochioli Vineyard, Russian River Valley 02), Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon (Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Padthaway 02)

Six On-Time Arrivals: Three Vintage Wars – Side by side comparisons: Joseph Phelps Pastiche (California 00 vs. 01), Santa Barbara Winery Syrah (Santa Ynez 00 vs. 01), Bogle Phantom Meritage: Old vines Zin, Petite Syrah, old vines Mourvedre (California 01 vs. 02). The '00 Pastiche was the consensus winner over the '01 while the Syrahs and the Phantoms were a toss-up between vintages.

Catchin Cabs: Clos du Bois Reserve Cabernet (Alexander Valley 02), Joel Gott Blend #815 Cabernet (California 04)

Jet Lag: Just Desserts: Castoro Cellars Zinfandel Port (Paso Robles 01)

2005

  

Chards Take Off: Macrostie (Carneros 03), Santa Barbara Reserve (Santa Ynez 00), Chalk Hill (Sonoma 98), Vintage Wars #1 – Side by side comparison: Larkmead Cellars (Napa ’97 & ‘01) - the unanimous winner was the '01

Mutts of Merit(age): Opus One Overture (Napa 00) Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Petite Verdot, Cab Franc, Vintage Wars #2 – Side by side comparison: Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel (Paso Robles ’00 & ‘02) Mourvedre, Syrah, Grenache, Counoise - no clear winner between these two, Hanna Bismark Ranch Noir (Sonoma 99) Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot, Malbec, Cab Sauvignon

Pinot (Noir) Envy: Foxen Bien Nacido (Santa Maria 01), Rochioli (Russian River Valley 03), GoldenEye (Anderson Valley 02)

Exotic Single Varietals: Porter Creek Carigane (Sonoma 03), Hanna Bismark Ranch Nebbiolo (Sonoma 98), Yalumba Bush Vine Granache (Barossa 02), Catena Malbec (Mendoza 02)

Just Desserts: Ferrari Carano Eldorado Noir Black Muscat (Russian River Valley 01)

2004

 

California Whites: Ojai Vin du Soleil Blanc (Santa Barbara 02), Arrowood Reserve Chardonnay (Sonoma 00), Vintage Wars #1 – Side by side comparison: Larkmead Cellars Chardonnay 97 & Larkmead Cellars Chardonnay 02 (Napa) - the consensus winner was 1997

Red Meritages: Bogle Phantom (California 01), Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel (Paso Robles 00), Franciscan Oakville Estates Magnificat (Napa 99)

Aussie Shiraz: Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna (South Australia 97), Penfolds St. Henri (South Australia 99), Vintage Wars #2 – Side by side comparison: Mad Fish Shiraz 00 & Mad Fish Shiraz 01 (Western Australia) - the consensus winner was 2000

Cabs: Gianni Paoletti Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa 98), Firestone Cabernet Sauvignon (Santa Ynez 98), Geyser Peak Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley 98)

2003

  

California Whites: Arrowood Viognier (Russian River Valley 01), Thunder Mountain Chardonnay (Beauregard Ranch, Napa 99), Larkmead Cellars Chardonnay (Napa 97), Jarvis Reserve Chardonnay (Napa 99)

California Lighter Reds: Turnbull Estate Merlot (Oakville Napa 99), Kendall Jackson Merlot (Alexander Valley 97), Porter Creek Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley 98)

Shiraz / Syrah: Mad Fish Shiraz (Western Australia 01), Arrowood Syrah (Sonoma 99), Yangarra Park Shiraz (Mclaren Vale 01), Hanna Bismark Ranch Syrah (Sonoma 99)

Fuller Reds: Penfolds Koonunga Hill Cabernet Merlot (SE Australia 01), Le Cigare Volant (California Rhone-Style Red 00), Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma 99)

2002

 

Champagne: Kornell Brut & Kornell Extra Dry

Ca Chards: Vintage Wars #1 – Side by side comparison: De Loach 1999 & De Loach 2000 (Russian River Valley) - the consensus winner was 2000, Chalk Hill Estate (Sonoma 96), Larkmead Cellars (Napa 97)

Ca Lighter Reds: Davis Bynum Pinot (Russian River Valley 98), Rochioli Pinot (Sonoma 98), Rombauer Merlot (Napa 97) - a Merlot with Zin qualities

Full Bodied Reds: Vintage Wars #2 – Side by side comparison: Mad Fish Shiraz 1999 & Mad Fish Shiraz 2000 (Western Australia) - the consensus winner was 2000, Porter Creek Syrah (Russian River Valley 97), Franciscan Oakville Estate Cabernet (Napa 97), Estancia Meritage (Alexander Valley 98)

2001

Champagne: Kornell Brut & Kornell Extra Dry

Ca Chards: Morgan 99, Chalk Hill Estate 96, Ferrari Carano reserve 97, Larkmead 97

Ca Premium Reds: Rabbit Ridge Reserve Zin 97, Hanna Bismarck Ranch Syrah 97, Turnbull Cab 97

2000

Ca Chards: LeCrema (Sonoma 98), Hanna (Russian River Valley 98), Ferrari Carano (Alexander Valley 98), Santa Barbara Winery (Santa Ynez 97), Larkmead Cellars (Napa 97)

Surprise Zins: Topolos Russian River Valley Bella Lisa 97 -  Distinctive eucalyptus smell, Benziger Sonoma 97 - Very sweet fruity taste with blackberry nose, Porter Creek Estate Russian River Valley 97 - Very complex with deep flavors and nose and exceptional follow

Ca Reds: Rochioli Pinot Noir (Sonoma 98) , Le Cigare Volante Red Wine (California 97), DeLoach Cabernet (Russian River Valley 97), Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet (Napa 96)

Dessert: St Supery Moscato (California 98), Scott’s Mystery Port

1999

Champagne: Kornel Extra Dry, Kornell Blanc Rouge

Ca Chards: Belvedere 97, Clos DuBois 98, LeCrema 97, DeLoach 96, Romsbauer Larkmead 97

Red: Bogle Merlot 97, Rabbit Ridge Zinfandel 97, Franciscan Oakville Estate Zin 96, Rabbit Ridge Reserve Pinot 96, Stags Leap Cabernet 96

Dessert: St Supery Moscato 98

Up Tasting & Labels Flights of Fancy Food

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