WINEormous tastingIt’s red wines this afternoon, 1st up is 2012 J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir. Award winner at California State Fair, named after a falcon on top of the lone pine tree on the property. They recommend pairing with salmon or grilled lamb. $17 price point. 50% new French oak. Pretty nose, easy on the palate, nice value. Video available at 1st of ten reds, the next is moments away.

The second wine is 2010 Fletcher’s Red blend from Westerly Wine, named after Fletcher Jones, not the car dealer. Produced at Crown Point Vineyard in Happy Canyon, easternmost AVA in Santa Ynez Valley. Blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. $60 retail. Exceptional Bordeaux blend that will only get better.

2011 Main & Geary Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley. Has 11% Syrah, aged 10 months in American oak. Distributed by BevMo at $19.95, available on their 5 cent sale. Lots of blueberry, not overly fruit forward. I like this a lot at the price point.

Our 4th wine is Cornerstone 2011 single-vineyard called The Cornerstone from the iconic To-Kalon vineyard. Predominately Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. I feel spoiled… I love this wine. At $150 a bottle it’s an ideal special occasion wine. Really spectacular, well-balanced with a long finish. 100 case production.

IMG_4079Halfway point. 2012 White Hart Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands. 42 year-old vines. $24. It’s 100% Pinot Noir aged in neutral oak. Named after a white deer the winemaker saw in the vineyard. True Pinot characteristics. Good price point.

Banfi Wines Centine pronounced Chen-tin-nay. It’s a red blend predominantly Sangiovese  from Montalcino, Italy. Sells for about $12. Earthy, old-world style. i would love this with pasta or pizza!

I was in Georgia earlier this year and the we’re tasting the 2009 Sami blend from Kondoli Vineyards, Saperavi and Merlot are two of the three. It’s available in the U.S. but the price is unknown. Again old-world style, I’d look for it.

We move onto the 2012 Aridus Syrah from Arizona. Nice smokey nose and true Syrah varietal characteristics. Fruit is grown in the Russian River Valley. Double Gold at San Francisco International Wine Competition. $35. Waiting for their vineyards to bear fruit.

2011 Charles Krug Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. A beautiful Howell Mountain Cab, this wine has a dash of Petit Verdot and Malbec. This is a stunning Cab, well worth the $75 price tag. 19 months in new French oak. Love this.

If my count is correct we are onto the last wine, 2011 Ottimino Russian River Valley Zinfandel. Made by famed winemaker William Knuttel, it’s relatively low-alcohol at 14.2%. Owner Brad Alper is a retired airline pilot. I like this Zin for $35.