Friday Night Wine Tasting

We had a very busy wine tasting weekend. It’s hard to figure out where to start. We started at our usual Thursday night tasting with Grenache, then on Friday we were invited to a wine tasting by some friends and Saturday we had them and another couple over for dinner. We tasted a lot of wine!

I think I’ll leave the Grenache out since Nancy will write that up as a Thursday Night tasting and I’ll talk about Friday and Saturday night. Friday night we went to the Brookside Country Club with our friends Alan and Stacey. We went more as a social event rather than a serious wine tasting and did not take comprehensive notes. It was more, this is a good or real good wine or this wine is not really that good type critique. We started with a 2009 Far Niente Chardonnay Estate Bottled Napa Valley. They do not put the wine through a malolactic fermentation and use both new and used oak. This was a very nice Chardonnay, crisp, nice flavor and not buttery or over oaked. Next we tried three different single vineyard Nickel and Nickel Cabernet Sauvignons. All three were 2007 vintage and in tasting order were the C C Ranch Rutherford, Sullenger Vineyard Oakville and the Vogt Vineyard Howell Mountain. This was real interesting to try three different Cabernets made by the same winemaker but from different vineyards. Each was excellent but gained structure and tannin as we moved from the C C Ranch to the Vogt.

We decided to hit the hors d’oeuvres next as we planned on tasting quite a bit of wine. After that we went to Grgich Hills and talked with Chris whom we had met before at a Thursday night tasting. We tried the 2006 Grgich Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2007 Zinfandel. Both are excellent wines. The Zinfandel has a lot of flavor and is an elegant wine that shows the true character of the grape. Rodney Strong was our next stop. Their 2007 Symmetry Red Meritage Alexander Valley is really good along with the 2006 Rockaway Single Vineyard Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. What we really liked, however, was the 2008 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay. Really crisp with a great flavor and just enough oak. This will be a great summer wine to drink in the backyard next summer. Very inexpensive, too.

We hit the hors d’oeuvres again along with some chocolate and the Fiscalini Cheese table. They had three cheeses they were sampling. All three were very good, We both liked the San Joaquin Gold the best. It was a dry cheese like a Manchego. After that we tried some of the local Lodi wines. On their own I think some would have shown well but when tasted next to the Napa Valley wines you really notice the amount of fruit they have due to the hot Central Valley weather. Still, it’s always interesting to see what the local winemakers are doing and the different styles they are trying.

We headed over to Pahlmeyer but they had already poured all their wine and had left so we went to the Hendry Vineyards table and tasted the 2007 Hendry Zinfandel (Blocks 7 & 22) and the 2005 Hendry Cabernet Sauvignon. The Zin had a nice pepperiness to it and the Cabernet was very smooth and elegant, not a big wine however if that is what you are looking for. We had a great time with some very nice wines but were pretty much tasted out at that point and decided to have a few chocolates and head home for the evening.

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