Generally, the final wine tasting for the year at Fine Wines of Stockton is the first week in December. We all take a Holiday break from the weekly tastings and taste on our own at various Holiday events!
The final tasting was a collection of “New Arrivals”. We tasted two whites and four reds. George told us one of the white wines was a Chardonnay and the other a Sauvignon Blanc. Then he challenged us to distinguish the two. The red wines contained one Merlot among the four and our charge was to pick out the Merlot. All wines were tasted blind, as usual. To accompany the wines, Gail prepared smoked salmon and sour cream hors d’oeuvres. Stephanie, one of the tasters, brought sliced salami, capicola and blue cheese.
2008 Waterbrook Columbia Valley Chardonnay – The color was light yellow and had a citrus and mineral nose. Flavors of citrus and minerals lingered for a long time and a lot of acid was present.
2009 Turnbull Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc – This wine had a light yellow color. Pineapple and hay were very evident on the nose. Flavors of citrus and grass followed. The finish was moderate in length and a lot of acid was present.
Nearly all of the tasters were able to identify the Chardonnay. The grassiness in the second wine identified it as the Sauvignon Blanc.
2009 Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel – The color was dark ruby. The nose was tart fruit and smoke. The flavor tasted of dark fruit and spice (pepper). There were a moderate amount of tannins, lots of acid and a moderately long finish. The finish also tasted hot to me, indicating high alcohol (15% alc.).
2005 Tassi Rosso di Montalcino (Italy) – The color was a dark garnet indicating is was slightly older. The nose was minty, smoky and smelled like dark fruit. It tasted like dark fruit, smoke and spice. There were a lot of tannins and acid with a moderate finish. The mouth feel was light for such a flavorful wine.
2006 Bodegas Sierra de Guara Idrias Abiego – The color was ruby-garnet. The nose was stinky initially, but this blew off to caramel and vanilla. The flavors tasted of dark fruit and became vegetal (green pepper) over time. There was a lot of acid and moderate tannins with a long finish. Most agreed this was an elegant, flavorful but restrained wine.
2006 Provenance Napa Valley Merlot – The color was dark ruby. The nose smelled of dark fruit and a slight amount of vanilla. It tasted of sweet dark fruit and spice with a pleasant vegetal quality in the background. The flavors were rich and complex. There was a moderate amount of tanning and good acid with a long finish. Many of the tasters correctly identified this as the merlot. It was a very complex and rich wine.
We had a great time tasting and nibbling. It was a great end to a fun year of tasting wine. We have learned a lot this year tasting with this group and look forward to 2011!