Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Report from ... California Wine Fair Preview - March 10, 2009

April is California Wine Month … I say that because it's the month the California Wine Fair rolls into town with some 450+ wines to taste. I never get through the whole event … I think it's physically impossible … but there sure is a lot of wine on offer. That's why I take any opportunity I can to taste beforehand, giving me an outside shot at doing the entire show properly. This evening we got a chance to try about ten percent of the wines that would be at the show, as we got an insider preview … an opportunity for me to glimpse into the world of California wine before hitting the floor of the Royal York on April 6. This event always gives me an idea of what interesting wines or producers I should be putting on my must try list. If you're going, here are some of my selections you might like to search out and try:

Chardonnays … 11 tried- 4 recommends:
Kendall Jackson 2006 Grand Reserve Chardonnay
Sonoma Cutrer, Russian River Ranches 2007 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Cuvaison 2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay, Carneros
Merryvale Vineyards 2007 Starmont Chardonnay, Napa Valley

Pinot Noirs … 5 tried – 1 recommend:
Lewis and Lewellen Vineyards 2006 High Nine Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara Coast

Zinfandels … 7 tried – 3 recommends:
Kenwood Vineyards 2006 Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi
Bonterra 2007 Zinfandel
Treana Winery Non-Vintage Candor Zinfandel (this is a second label for Treana)

Cabernet Sauvignons … 14 tried – 2 recommends:
Sebastiani 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County
Heitz Wine Cellars 2002 Martha’s Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

"Other Reds" … 8 tried - 3 recommends:
Bogle Vineyards 2006 Petite Sirah
JanKris Winery 2005 Crossfire (50% Cabernet Sauvignon / 25% Merlot / 25% Syrah)
JanKris Winery 2005 Riatta (50% Sangiovese / 25% Zinfandel / 25% Cabernet Sauvignon)

To find out what you like from California you'll have to go to the show (April 6, 2009).

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