Speed dating California wine….

A couple of months ago I went to a tasting, here in London, of what was being marketed as California ‘benchmark’ wines which left me mightly unimpressed. I just knew California vintners could do better having sampled many on my trips home so I was excited when the Sonoma county Vintners invited me to Goodman Steakhouse in Mayfair for a Winemakers Speed-dating event.  First of all Goodman Steakhouse is a quality place and I knew their wine list so I thought if they’re having it at Goodman, the wines gotta be good. And so they were. We weren’t speed dating the winemakers, we were speed dating their wines. 8 hectic minutes to sip, taste, swirl and spit as well as get as much info from the winemakers as possible. 8 minutes might seem like a long time of one to one contact but the first two wines makers I sat down with, we had barely finished introductions let alone getting around to the wine before the bell rang *DING* and it was time to move on! There were 4 winemakers and their wines scattered around the smaller dining room of Goodman. Jim Pedroncelli, Proprietor and Director of Sales and Marketing at Pedroncelli showing off his 2007 Mother Clone Zinfandel, Rod Berglund President and Wine Maker at Joseph Swan Vineyards with his 2005 Zinfandel and 2007 Pinot Noir, followed by Jeff Stewart Vice President Winemaker at Buena Vista with a 2007 Chardonnay and 2007 Pinot Noir and finally Tom Hinde, President and CEO of Flowers Winery with their 2008 Chardonnay and 2007 Pinot Noir. Sonoma Valley specializes in the cool climate varietals chardonnay and pinot noir but also grows the more traditional sauvignon blanc and zinfandel further inland. The range of microclimates and zones varies from the cool Sonoma coast to the rolling hillsides of the Russian River Valley to hilltop estates overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I found the wines to be brilliant examples of the best that California can do. Now THIS is what...

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The Winesleuth and Wine90 checking out the chards…

The Winesleuth (me, Denise) has joined forces with the always entertaining UK wineblogger,  Wine90 (Sarah Newton), for occasional forays into the world of video blogging or vlogs as they’re commonly known. So I called up Sarah and invited her over with a wine of her choice, something to compare and contrast with my white Burgundy. Sarah usually blogs about Italian wines but for our maiden voyage into vlogs, she chose something to go along with the chardonnay theme, an ’05 Californian chard, the ’05 Cambria Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnnay from Santa Maria Valley (£18), which she picked up from one of my favourite wineshops, Wines of the World in Earlsfield. Oddbins has been slowly releasing a trickle of wines to the shops and this little gem arrived the other day.   An ’05 white Burgundy from Domaine Martin, the Senaillet, a Macon-Villages, 1oo% chard, a fantabulous mouthful that has found it’s way onto our shores and currently at the reduced price of £6.99 Now this should be an interesting comparison…it’s a tad long but we were delighted and amused….(I can’t believe she’s never heard of creamsicles!) [viddler id=243d96ad&w=437&h=370] Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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