Lazy Hazy Pinot Days of Summer

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Ok so Summer isn’t accurate around these parts.  It’s foggy, it’s wet, it’s miserable.  BUT, this is pinot weather!  Truth be told, EVERYthing is pinot weather to me, but well… Lucky for me, next week marks the 7th Annual San Francisco Pinot Days celebration, where over 200 winemakers will represent every American pinot noir producing region.  This year, an added treat is the Oregon showcase, which includes the largest gathering of Oregon Pinot Noir producers outside of Oregon.  This event is a must for any oenophile, and pretty much everyone who likes wine at all.  For $50 you get acess to the Grand Tasting on Saturday, June 18th, from 1pm – 5pm. Additionally, focal tastings and dinners are held all week.   The Best of Oregon Pinot Noir will include some personal favorites like Raptor Ridge and Domaine Serene, in a two hour intensive guided tasting on Friday evening.  This seminar is $85 per person, and will have 16 premium Oregon producers on hand to discuss what makes Oregon different, and also sharing typical wines from that area. If you are more interested in the diversity that Pinot Noir affords, than you could opt for Twelve Noble Stars, on Saturday evening after the Grand Tasting.   This focal tasting is about celebrating pinot’s stylistic diversity.  Twelve producers will pour what they consider best domestic pinots on the market representing a broad range of styles and regions.  This seminar is $80. Is Williams Selyem more your speed?  Well spend an afternoon tasting rare and amazing wines from this boutique and cult producer!  On Friday from 3-5, you can taste 12 unique wines from this cult classic.  $100 Perhaps you want some food to wash all this juice down with?  Join the American Institue of Wine & Food for a spectacular winemaker dinner, with 14 wines, 14 winemakers, and French Italian fusion at Scala.  This one of a kind pinot pariing dinner will start with 6 wines paired with starters, and a four course meal to follow, with each course paired with two delicious pinots.  I wish I were going to this but Navarra duty calls.  $180 Want something more casual?  Visit Melissa at Enoteca Ottimista for her annual pinot tasting.  5 wineries will be showcasing wines in an intimate setting fro $40.  I havfe been to this event several times and it is a great one on one approach to tasting and talking about the wines. Wnat something more upscale?  join my friends from Inman Family Wines (great job Kathleen!) at Bridges in Danville for a kick off tasting with 4 other pinot producers.  $20 For city dwellers, a kickoff tasting at Bar Adago will have my friends from Stomping Girl Wines in Berkeley (hi Uzi & Kathryn!) for this $30 tasting of 5 producers. There are several other tasting at retail locations in San Francisco for the week, so be sure to check the Pinot Days events page for dteails. Here is just a small list of some personal faves that […]

A Grape Stomp!

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I first met Uzi Cohen, and his wife Kathryn, at at event at Crushpad about a year ago.  After spending some time talking about the wines we were drinking, I came to learn that he actually made wine himself.  Lo and behold after much planning and anticipation, I finally got to do some barrel tasting of his amazing pinot noirs! After meandering my way through Berkeley, I finally found their tasting room, or rather their beautifully furnished basement.  We were warmly welcomed by our hosts, and we proceeded to taste through some of the best Pinot Noir I’ve had.  Sadly, two of the tasty delights were Uzi & Kathryn’s personal homemade wine, so they are not for sale, but if these are any indication of their talents, I see a brilliant future in wine! The two commercially  produced wines under the Stomping Girl label are from two vastly different regions in California:  Santa Lucia Highlands, and Sonoma Coast.  This gives the taster an excellent opportunity to taste two different terroirs side by side.  Both of these pinots are single vineyard selections.  Both of these wines will be released early next year, so I have to be patient! The 2008 Lone Oak Vineyard, Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir comes from the Lone Oak Vineyard, which is in the northern part of the larger SLH appellation.   The location of the vineyard provides a great foundation for Pinot Noir, where the soil is rocky and the fog is cool.  The Lone Oak fruit was hand sorted, something I myself have done – and the source of great amusement to my friends – and then cold soaked and punched down several times a day.  It was aged in a mixture of new and used French oak, which gives it the depth of character of oak aging without overwhelming the delicate fruit.  This wine showed flavors of bright cherry cider, spices, juicy strawberries and raspberries with nice earthy undertones of mushrooms and bark. The 2008 Split Rock Vineyard, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir comes from the Gaps Crown vineyard, in the southern Sonoma Coast appelation. Again, this area has the cooling influences of ocean fog, but the Sonoma Coast appelation provides a different flavor structure.  The Split Rock section of the vineyard is planted between 300-800 feet, in rocky soils.  Another personal favorite from , and i plan on doing a side by side when the Stomping Girl gets released!  I found this pinot earthly, with tons of sour cherry and Dr. Pepper flavors.The 2008 Split Rock Vineyard, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir comes from the Gaps Crown vineyard, in the southern Sonoma Coast appelation. Again, this area has the cooling influences of ocean fog, but the Sonoma Coast appelation provides a different flavor structure.  The Split Rock section of the vineyard is planted between 300-800 feet, in rocky soils.  Another personal favorite from Gaps Crown is the Humanitas Gaps’ Crown Pinot, and i plan on doing a side by side when the Stomping Girl gets released!  […]