Author: Nancy (CSW)

Tannat — One of Our New Favorites

This is a varietal we were introduced to by our good friend, Dave. One Monday night, a couple of years ago, he brought a bottle of 2008 Pasos Vineyards (1) Tannat. It was inky dark, had complex dark fruit flavors with eucalyptus and perfumed scents. The tannins were substantial, but well integrated. We loved the combination of fruit flavors and big tannins. This experience with Tannat was enough to prompt us to look for it on wine lists and in wine stores.

Chile — Carménère and Cabernet Sauvignon

The tasting at Fine Wines of Stockton last Thursday night was all about Chile. We tasted six wines, two of which George told us were Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Carmenere. Our assignment for the evening was to identify the two Cabernets. As an aside, George wanted us to think about whether Carmenere could be a substitute for Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Wines of Howell Mountain

Howell Mountain American Viticultural Area (AVA), located within the Napa AVA, was the first sub-appellation to be designated in 1983. Howell Mountain is located on the northeast side of Napa Valley. The AVA ranges from 1400 to 2200 feet, putting it above the fog line.

Right Bank Bordeaux Vintages 2005 to 2009

The Thursday night tasting at Fine Wines of Stockton had us tasting Right Bank Bordeaux vintages 2005 to 2009. All wines originated from Pomerol. Kind of. Except for one. George, the wine shop owner, was short one Right Bank wine for this vintage range, so he chose a Left Bank wine with the highest percentage of Merlot he had in his cellar. He knows how to improvise.

Left Bank Bordeaux Vintages 2005 – 2009

The Thursday night wine tasting at Fine Wines of Stockton was a study of five recent Bordeaux vintages. Two of these vintages, 2005 and 2009, are considered great. The growing seasons were warm and produced lush fruit and opulent, complex wines. The others, 2006, 2007 and 2008, just average.

South African Wine Party

We are planning a trip to Africa in July 2014. We will be visiting Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We will fly into Johannesburg then travel on to Chobe National Park via Victoria Falls. From Chobe we visit the Okavango Delta, then fly on to Kafue National Park in Zambia. Next, we fly to Zimbabwe and visit Hwange National Park before returning to Victoria Falls and then Johannesburg. Whew! This part of the trip is planned for us. We need only show up with our very minimal luggage.

Cabernet Franc – That Other Cabernet

Cabernet Franc is most often used as a blending grape because it has such a distinctive bouquet. But, it also makes a lovely wine all on its own. Our tasting this week was six Cabernet Franc wines from the USA, France and Argentina.