This time last week I was on my way to San Francisco International airport en route back to Washington DC. Wow, I can’t believe the first North American Wine Bloggers Conference has already come and gone. Over 170 wine bloggers and industry professionals converging on Santa Rosa California for 3 days made me realize how big wine blogging has become. We are actually having an impact on the wine community at large, and that in itself is quite amazing.
I have recapped the 3 days in pictorial fashion and highlighted the breakout session on credibility, but I thought I would use this post to showcase a few of my favorite wines from the conference. After tasting hundreds of wines, most of which would be a blur without my trusty notebook, it is hard to come up with favorites, but to write about all of them would take until the end of 2009. That being said, I probably had about 50 favorites from the weekend, from which I have selected three:
From the Kick Ranch Vineyard tasting and lunch –
Philip Staehle winemaker and owner of Enikdu was on hand to pour his 2006 Odyssey Russian River Syrah. It had a great nose of fresh peppercorn, blackberry and earth with flavors of black currant jam, black cherry and olive tapanade. Inky color, full body and leathery tannins helped this to make it my favorite Syrah of the weekend.
From the New Zealand Growers tasting –
During the self serve tasting this wine definitely rose to the top of 100 plus wines that were there and it was the 2007 Kemblefield The Distinction Gewürztraminer Hawkes Bay ($14.99). The wine was a classic example of the varietal with an abundance of rose aromas on the nose with accents of lychee and tangerine. On the palate I was greeted with apricot, undistinguishable floral notes and a hint of lime. Mouthfeel components were a great combination of medium acidity and viscosity that made for a pleasing multi-layered experience.
From the Luxe Sonoma Tasting –
Lisa Ciolino the winemaker was on hand to pour the 2005 MonteMaggiore Nobile ($45) a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Syrah. The aroma was full of concentrated raspberry, blackberry and sautéed veggies with hints of leather and grilled meat. The flavor profile was dominated by black currant and sweet cedar with just a touch of green olive. The aroma and flavors were highlighted by the round full body and smooth lush tannins. I wish I couldn’t have gotten more of this wine.
I enjoyed many more than these 3 wines but they were definitely my favorite from these 3 tasting events.
Keep checking back for more wines reviewed from some of the non WBC events that I attended.