We hit the wine tasting table running in 2017. We gathered at Ken and Taryn’s place to taste six wines, share some food and enjoy each other’s company. This particular evening the lineup featured three Sonoma wines, one from Napa, one from various California appellations and one from France.
I love Chenin Blanc and don’t understand why it’s not more popular. We began with Dry Creek Vineyard’s 2016 Dry Chenin Blanc from Sonoma County. Ken picked up apple, melon and a little peach on the nose and called it “very tasty.” Jean found it “very enjoyable.” Jake said it was “lovely.” At $13 many called it a great value and it averaged four out of a possible five stars.
Next, from The Prisoner Wine Company we tasted the 2014 Blindfold white blend. Six different grapes comprise this wine; Chardonnay, Roussanne, Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Chenin Blanc. Aged for ten months in French and Hungarian oak and in stainless steel, Ken called it “elegant and very aromatic.” Al L. enjoyed the nose and finish. Jake said it was multi-layered. I picked up a lot of tangerine and enjoyed its long finish. It sells for around $20. Our tasters were mixed on it and gave it just under four stars.
Moët and Chandon’s non-vintage Rosé Imperial was next. It comes in a pink bottle with emoji stickers. Brian called it “beautiful stuff. Could drink this all night and then again for breakfast.” I loved its gorgeous color and elegant bubbles. Kat gave it a perfect five-star score. Al G. said it was excellent. Jake said it was “silk.” At $49, it scored close to four and a quarter stars.
From Sterling Vineyards in Napa we tasted the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon. Jean liked the nice ruby color and easy tannins. Ken thought it was a great value at $20. Kat chimed in with “I’m a picky Cab person and love this one!” Brian called it “soft, fruity and very quaffable.” It scored right around four stars.
We tasted the second of three wines on the evening from Dry Creek Vineyard, their 2014 Heritage Vines Zinfandel. They grafted pre-Prohibition budwood from century-old vines onto new rootstock in the 80s. I loved the deep purple color and boysenberry nose. Kim found it peppery and a good value at $21. Al G. called it “magnificent!” Jake enjoyed the big fruit and long, smooth finish. It average about four and a quarter stars.
Our final wine was the 2013 The Mariner from Dry Creek Vineyard. Jake called it a complex Meritage with its blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Al G. liked its structure but felt it needed another year. I picked up lots of black cherry and loved the violet rim. At $45, it scored just under four stars.
Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701. Ask about special discounts.