Yesterday was the first day of the first ever American Wine Blogger’s Conference, held in Santa Rosa at the historic Flamingo Hotel. You can catch up on the action by using Twitter Search and the hashtag #wbc.
It started out so well, with a welcome lunch at Kick Ranch, a lovely piece of property just east of Santa Rosa, overlooking the valley.
While there, we were given the opportunity to taste several wines grown on the property. Yummy!
After lunch, we headed back to the hotel for the Live Blogging Session. Let me just say, madness ensued! One we got past the technical glitches, 14 wineries played round robin running from table to table. They had 5 minutes to talk, and we had a minute or so to respond via Twitter, our Blogs or some other method.Here is my rundown of the tasting:
- Bonterra Organic The McNab Menocino blend 60% Merlot, 26% cab, 14% petite. Dark fruit. Loganberry with chocolate on top! Dusy spice easy drinking.
- 2007 Lionheart Roussanne has a very carmellly characteristic. Creamy custard, lemon, tropical fruit…guava and peach
- Yellow + Blue = Green Malbec in a Tetrapak 1 liter container. Thin but a lot of spice. Leather dark blue frut.
- 2007 James David Dry Muscat honey floral melon with tangerine quite refreshing actually
- 2005 Clos LaChance Estate Cab quite a sweet note to the Clos La Chance Cab. This wine could use decanting. Cassis and spice. Only 1200 cases made! Classic cab. Rich velvety. A little dry, needs some time chocolate, coffee
- Four Bears Cabernetsmoke, tobacco, earth. A little merlot and Petite Verdot blended in. It has a lot of cedar, and menthol to it. but the price point is RIDICULOUS as in CHEAP for this level of quality.
- Small Vines Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is concentrated deliciousness. Very rich biodynamically farmed, with very limited production. It is concentrated smoky earth, with a healthy Dr. Pepper zing followed by pomegranate…leather…baking spices. Stands on it’s own. Lingering finish that i adore. So named Small Vines because most vineyards are planted 1000 vines per acre but Small Vines only has 250 vines per acre.
- Kanzler Estate Pinot Noiras the classic richness of RRV pure cherry cola – fizzes like a wild cherry pepsi! Kanzler Estate Pinot rich style, Russian River / Sebastapol Hills micro AVA.
- Cupcake Central Coast Chardonnay is so nice and not overly oaked. 50% new american oak gives it such a light crispness and well balanced acidity on the finish, very French in style.
- Dark Horse Zinfandel treborce Vineyardspicy rich raisens
- 2006 Twisted Oak The Spainard Smokey deliciousness! I cannot say enough great things about Twisted Oak. Not only am I twisted by nature, I am now addicted. Egads!
- Boho Central Coast Chardonnay Bag in Box funk on the nose creamy lemon not very oaky. LEMON.
- Bink Pinot Noir Weir Vineyard is not a shy wine. This is a BOLD wine not for the faint hearted. Spicy cinnamon, candied apple, strawberry. Yorkville highlands rich cheery and red fruit.
After the marathon live tasting, some of us went to the New Zealand tasting (not me) and some of us went ot a Dry Creek Zin tasting (me!). While I pretty much knew all of the zins being poured, it is always fun to get ot know the people of Dry Creek.
After the tasting sessions, dinner finally arrived. The Winegrowers of Dry Creek generously provided the wine being poured, and we slurped our way through a very nice Dry Creek Vineyards Sav Fume blanc, Quivera Grenance (mmmmmm), Truett-Hurst Red Rooster Zinfandel, and Michel-Schlumberger Cabernet. There was also a Pedroncelli port. Yowzer!
My only complaint of the entire day was that dinner was…less than satisfying. Dear Flamingo folks, when someone asks for a V-e-g-i-t-a-r-i-a-n option, that odes NOT mean bring them dry overcooked fish swimming in cream sauce! Grumble.
Special thanks to Gary Vay-ner-chuck for taking time out of his crazy schedule for coming to talk to us, FOR FREE. More to come from Day 2 ahead!
After such a full day, I neglected to get up in time for the Vineyard Walks so i am drinking gallons of coffee in preparation for this afternoons lively discussions and tonights tastings.