Monthly Archives: March 2010
What has Your West Coast Oenophile done for you lately?
I shouldn’t feel derelict. I have striven to record each event he has attended on behalf of Sostevinobile with utmost fidelity. But I have a backlog of thirteen different wine forays to record since my last entry here, not to mention my participation in orchestrating three significant wine tastings, a handful of sustainable workshops and forums, and the arduous grind of assembling the financial backing for this venture. With Rhône Rangers Grand Tasting rapidly approaching, I must reluctantly admit I cannot give all these past gathering the thorough review readers know I strive to record in each blog entry. Rest assured, however, that each of the more than 100 wineries I have visited with during this period will be faithfully entered into Sostevinobile’s ever-expanding database and accorded full consideration when we launch our wine program. So, for now, let me give you a succinct overview of what Your West Coast Oenophile has done for you lately:
||Just before Valentine’s Day, the up & coming rockstars at Rock Wall in Alameda put on a decadent pairing of wine and confections aptly billed as Chocolate Kisses & Bubble Dreams. The first wine event to be held in their brand-new Bubble Dome, a airy, geodesic edifice adjacent to the winery’s converted airplane hangar at the decommissioned Naval Air Base, the afternoon gathering appropriately debuted Rock Wall’s two new sparkling wines, the 2009 Sparkling Grenache and the Grenache-blended 2009 Mixto. After the party, several of the wineries that contract Rock Wall’s facilities, including Carica, with its delectable 2006 Kick Ranch Syrah, and Ehrenberg Cellars, which featured its 2008 Petite Sirah alongside its just-release Zinfandel futures.
Valentine’s Day 2010 proved a decidedly muted affair, as I still grapple with the vacuity of home life post-Ginkgo Girl. As such, a trip to the wine country during the middle of the week proved a much-needed tonic. This sojourn included a visit to Silenus Vintners, a collective of Napa artisan winemakers not unlike Rock Wall that includes B Cellars, Due Vigne di Famiglia, Gridley, Ideology, Ilsley, Matthiasson, Poem Cellars, Ramian, and Venge. Tasting Room Manager Scott Turnnidge guided me through their rotating selection of wines from their nine producers, some familiar, others revelatory. Naturally, I couldn’t resist trying the 2006 Due Vigne Dolcetto after first sampling the 2008 Due Vigne Viognier, but found myself most allured by the 2006 Ramian Estate Debauchery.
nticleer as part of First Taste Yountville. Arriving with barely 15 minutes left to the event, rather than simply enjoy a leisurely his 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2008 Chanticleer Sangiovese, I raced to acquaint myself with those participants still lingering as wineries like Casa Piena and Dominus folded their tables. I did manage to squeeze in some quick samples from Bell Wine Cellars, Corley Family, Gamble, Gemstone, Grgich Hills, Ghost Block, and Piña before we were shooed from the exhibit hall and wove my way back to downtown Napa for a final invite to BarBersQ’s showcasing of new wines from Mia Klein’s Serene and Elizabeth Spencer.