Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m waaaaaaaaaay behind on this. Between craziness at work (helllloooo mandatory overtime…and no, I don’t work in retail!!), being sick for god only knows how long (the bug overstayed it’s welcome) and in light of the events in recent weeks (if you’re not familiar with what’s happened, google “Clackamas mall shooting” and “Sandy Hook School”), I have honestly been so pissed at the world we live in that it isn’t even funny.
So after the morning of education, we all headed back to the main room for the second round of Speed Tasting…this time with Reds.
First up was the Jacob’s Creek ’08 Reserve Shiraz.
This wine, from Australia’s Barossa Valley, was full of spice, cedar, tobacco, tart fruits and plums. And at $12 a bottle MSRP, it’s a great value for an everyday drinking wine!
From Australia, we headed to Europe…Piedmont, Italy to be exact. For the Vietti ’09 Nebbiolo Perbacco.
This was full of lovely menthol & spices on the nose which led into baking spices & tart fruits on the palate. This was very drinkable. $25 MSRP
After a venture in Australia & Italy, we headed to California for the Hahn ’10 GSM Blend.
This wine can be summed up into one phrase. “Yummy.” There’s a floral note on the nose and a beautiful red raspberry flavor on the palate. And honestly, the longer you keep this open, the better it gets. I’ve had this one open and sitting on my counter for a few *weeks* now and I’m impressed each and every time I go back to it. With time, there’s a deeper raspberry component, but also some chocolate…which makes it intriguing! (sample provided by the winery…thank you!)
Drink this out of a real glass…a plastic wineglass…hell, for all I care, drink this out of a paper cup…you’ll be in for a treat! This was, without a doubt, my favorite wine of the conference…and that’s saying A LOT since there were a ton of wines there!!
From California, we headed back to the “Old World” of wine to France and the Chateau de Saint Cosme Les deux Albions 2010 Côtes du Rhône.
This one gave me a lot of jammy fruits on the nose and the palate was full of red fruits. My simple note on this? “Easy to drink”.
This is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Carignane, Mourvedre & Clairette.
From France, we headed back to California (damn, I’m getting jetlagged…haha) for the Frank Family 2009 Zinfandel.
This was full of raspberries, leather & white pepper on the nose that led into raspberries and sweet plum on the palate. It was a good, hearty wine, but it was also light. Kudos to the winemaker for making a wine that can stand up to a cold winter’s night, but can also be perfect for a not-so-nice summer day!!
Next, we stayed in California for the Hope Family Troublemaker Blend 3. I honestly think this was named after me because honestly…I’m a hellion…I’m just good enough that I’ve never been caught! 😉
This is a Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend with a hint of Petite Syrah. On the nose, there’s lots of dark fruit that leads into a palate of juicy red fruit.
Next, we moved to a little fruity number known as Rinute Lambrusco.
With an SRP of $6, this is definitely a budget friendly wine. But it doesn’t come with a bargain basement taste. Oh now. There’s a lovely, fruity raspberry on the nose and the palate is light, with raspberries and sweet cherries that tease you.
After a dalliance with Lambrusco, we headed back to one of my favorite regions…the Wahluke Slope in Eastern Washington for the Milbrandt Vineyards 2010 Northridge Vineyard Malbec.
This has tons of rich blueberry & white pepper on the nose, with just a hint of wet stone at the very end. And the blueberries & white pepper carry through to the palate. This is a beautiful wine with a dark, inky black color. It is a smooth, easy drinking wine that I recommend to have with you on a cold, nasty winter’s night. 🙂
Next, we moved on to Pinot Noir. But not an Oregon Pinot! This is a California Pinot made exclusively for the BevMo! chain of stores.
The 2010 Longhand Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is full of cherries, berries and a leathery spice component on the nose that makes is soooo intriguing! On the palate, there’s a lovely tart cherry and leather note that make it delicate, but crisp at the same time.
And for $29.99??? This gives some of the Oregon Pinots in the same price range a run for their money…
We finished the speed tasting round with a Port from August Cellars.
Now, my love affair with Ports and Port style wine came from a road trip with my cousin where we went to her ex-father-in-law’s wedding. (Don’t ask. It’s a very long, complicated story best told over a good bottle of wine. LOL) So when I saw that we were getting a Port-style wine (complete with chocolate!), I was a happy girl! Plus, after all the red wine, I was *dying* for some chocolate!
This Portus Augutus had a beautiful nose of chocolate & raspberries which led into sweet berries and dark cocoa on the palate.
Now, usually, this would have ended the tasting, but one of the people at my table saw that Maryhill would have been next for us…and he called them over (thank you Matthew!!! You are awesome!) for a “bonus” pour of their 2008 Zinfandel.
As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of Maryhill’s wines. And this didn’t disappoint. Bright, jammy notes greet you on the nose and those jammy flavors lead into cherry & dark chocolate flavors on the palate that make this wine the ultimate comfort wine.
So after speed tasting, we were treated to a lovely five course dinner from King Estate Winery’s kitchen team…instead of boring you with descriptions, I’ll just let you drool over the food p**n that we indulged on (the pictures are in order of the menu, which is also pictured)!