Getting people together during the time of COVID-19 isn’t a simple task. Not only do you need to consider social distancing and safety protocols, but there’s also the matter of getting people together who are wary of going out in public. That being said, we met again at Wanda and Scott’s place. Armed with plates full of delicious food, we braved the autumn heat to taste six wines.

WINEormous wine tastingI used to live in Santa Rosa, so I’m quite familiar with the Russian River and love the wines produced there. The 2019 Foppiano Estate Sauvignon Blanc was our first wine and it was a perfect wine for the weather.  The family has been producing wine on their property since the late 1800s. Scott liked the lemongrass notes on the nose and thought the wine was solid. Sandra detected a hint of oak, which she enjoyed, and called it refreshing. Ken found it refreshing, too, calling it delightful! At $19, it scored a solid four out of a possible five stars.

Our next wine came from Chile, the 2019 Los Vascos Chardonnay. The wine is fermented in stainless steel at low temperatures. Scott described it as tart with nice fruit and called it an excellent value at $10. Sandra found it “light for a Chardonnay”, but thought it was refreshing. Wanda called it well-balanced and refreshing. Kat called it “clean, clear and right to the point.” It scored four stars as well.

WINEormous tastingOur first red was an Italian Pinot Noir, the 2017 Bottega Vinaia. Scott said it was a delightful light wine for lunch. Chris enjoyed the dark berry and plum nose with vanilla and earth on the finish. Ken loved the notes of bacon and cherry cola. Kat said it was very nice especially at the $17 price. It scored just under four stars.

We moved back to California with the 2018 Landmark Vineyards Overlook  Pinot Noir. Produced from vineyards in Monterey, Sonoma and Santa Barbara counties, it spent 10 months in French oak. Ken said it was another very good Pinot with a deep big nose. Chris found it refreshing with cardamom and vanilla accents. Scott enjoyed its opulent nose and called it a nice wine with no flaws. It scored better than four stars and received one perfect five-star score.

We then tasted the 2017 3 Rings Barossa Valley Shiraz. Jean loved the beautiful dark color with a good balance of fruit and spice. I enjoyed its deep color, fruit-forward nose, and balance. Ken liked the deep dusky nose and called it very smooth with dark berry on the palate. The winemaker says “This was not a boisterous vintage – rather one with elegance and poise.” It scored better than four stars and sells for $19.

We finished with Rocca della Macie’s 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva. Ken called the nose exquisite and said the wine was delightful. Chris said the wine was bursting with strawberry, red plum, fig, and roasted pepper. I thought it was clearly the best wine of the night. Randy thought it was very flavorful. At $30, it scored nearly four and a half stars.