Sunday, August 17, 2014

Report from ... Annual California Wine Fair Toronto - April 7, 2014

The annual California Wine Fair, held at the Royal York in Toronto, featured some 113 wineries and considering that each winery brings 4-5 wines with them you get a lot of California fermented grape juice in one room.  There is no way to taste them all so you pick and chose based on your interests or any assignment you have coming up.

Let's take a look at what caught my palate's attention this year, and as always there are plenty of Zinfandels that make my list, as Zin continues to be of my favourite Cali-varietals so I pay careful attention to those.

The California Wine Fair - a room loaded with people and wines

The Wines That Impressed ...
Chandon Brut Classic and Rose (Sparkling)
fresh, lively and fruity, while the Rose adds elements of raspberry (**** each)
Peju 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
melon and orange pith with some lemon zest on the finish (****)

Schug 2011 Pinot Noir - Carneros
earthy, raspberry and strawberry with nice acidity
and cranberry mixed in (*** 1/2+)
Marimar Estate 2010 Pinot Noir - Dona Margarita Vineyard
strawberry and red licorice with smoke and a touch of spice; there's also
anise and red berries on the tongue.  Great complexity with a long finish.
Hahn Estate 2011 Pinot Noir - Santa Lucia Highlands
black cherry and spiced plum on the nose which follows on the palate
with some sweet red fruit notes on the well-spiced finish (****)
Fog Crest Vineyard 2011 Pinot Noir - Russian River Valley
rich in earthiness and sour cherry aromas while the palate adds spiced-plum
and cherry along with Christmas cake and wonderful acidty (****)
Renwood 2011 Premier Old Vine Zinfandel - Amador County
palate starts off sweet but with nice spice and complexity
to pull it all off (****)
Boneshaker 2012 Zinfandel Limited Production - Lodi
licorice, smoked meat, cocoa and spice galore; serious and beautifully crafted

Stonestreet 2010 Monument Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon
gritty tannins hide a lot of cark brooding fruit (****)
Smith & Hook 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon
meaty with blackberry and vanilla smoke (****)

Ca'Momi 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon - Napa Valley
smoke and snise with stewed blackberry and spice,
there's also an appealing meaty note (****+)
Chateau St. Jean 2009 Cinq Cepages
lovely richness of fruit along with cassis and cocoa
there's also some white smoke and good length to the finish
Clos du Bois 2010 Marlstone - Alexander Valley
something about the spiced-cocoa finish that makes this an elegant sip from start to finish:
great dark fruit middle palate and silky tannins on the finish (****+)
Hahn 2012 GSM
this one is pure raspberry on both the nose and taste
and a great buy at under $20 (****)
Justin 2011 Justification
tobacco and cherry with blackberry and raspberry -
sure there's a lot of fruit here, yet there is also
good balance and structure (****)
Seghesio 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel
vines are an average of 80 years old (some as old as 120)
fruit driven yet with structure cocoa, plum and black cherry
Seghesio 2012 Sonoma Zinfandel
30 year old vines that have flavours of plum, vanilla and cherry
plus a nice spice that inhabits the finish (****)
Ridge 2012 Three Valleys - Sonoma County
This Zin blend has pretty raspberry and cherry
with a delicious silky finish (****+)
Ravenswood 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel - Sonoma County
silky red fruit: chewy with strawberry and hints of plum and vanilla
C.G. di Arie Vineyard 2007 Old Vine Zinfandel - Shenandoah Valley
140 year old vines which shows lots of plum, vanilla, cherry, herbal, cola,
black cherry with a linger of mineral and spice (****+)
Birichino 2012 Besson Vineyard Old Vines Grenache
Grenache planted in 1910 with light aromas, full of floral notes;
while the palate is silky with red fruit and touches of pepper on the finish
Ca'Momi 2011 Rosso di Napa
a blend of Cabernet, Zinfandel, Merlot and Petite Sirah:
good red fruit with an interesting spiced finish (*** 1/2+)

Peachy Canyon 2011 Zinfandel, Westside
vanilla, cherry and plum; quite silky on the palate
Ca'Momi 2012 Chardonnay - Napa Valley
only 4 months in a mix of French and American oak;
lovely fruit with pineapple and peach being the most dominant
Huneeus Wines 2012 Saldo Zinfandel
lush plum and black cherry with smoky vanilla (****)

1 comment:

curtis03 Lewis said...

Wine fair at Toronto, that’s sounds great! Few days ago I have visited Boston venues for wine fair and there I have seen several wine brands. That was an amazing experience for me! Keep sharing this kind of posts on fest or fairs!