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Wine Club #16: California Reds

Hi. Wine Club.
We had wine club this past weekend.
During our trip to California this past summer, I was smitten by Bonny Doon's Rhone/Chateauneuf du pape-style blends that they are producing (it's like drinking French, but friendlier) and have wanted to drink more.

So, this month's wine club was California reds - as long as they weren't Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Pinot Noir. Granted, those are fine little grapes, but it seems like there are so many other great grapes out there to try.
The other option was to bring a blend if you couldn't find something that met those requirements - extra points were given for any Rhone-esque blends.

We had a nice little turnout that yielded two Syrahs, one Dolcetto, and three blends. As far as the blends, our pal K-Mac brought a Cotes du Rhone, which gave us a great comparison.

It was a pleasant afternoon that somehow stretched until midnight - much to the chagrin of my body on Monday morning.
What we learned? We liked it all.

This is what we liked...

First Place
Windmill Estates
Lodi, CA
"Not as peppery. It's a smoother Syrah."
"I like this a lot. So much that it's taken away my abilities to say why."
"A heady bouquet. Cheese makes it better."
"So the second Syrah makes me think I like Syrah."

Second Place

Lompoc, CA
"Sharp start. Like me."
"Hello Italy!"
"You can taste it's grape-I-ness"
"Last one for me this evening. At this point all I learned is that I love wine."

MJ (Unti Vineyards)
Dry Creek, Sonoma
"Strong. Cherrys. Would stand up to a good steak."
"Looks like beet juice. Spicy and nice finish."
"Starts out strong but then becomes incredibly sweet."

Third Place
Hayman Hill
Monterey County
(Blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec)
"The Monterey Jazz mix. Good stuff."

Notable mention
The wine I brought I thought was super delicious and plan to go buy another bottle just for me.

Beckmen Vineyards.
Cuvee Le Bec 2003
Rhone Blend (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise)
Los Olivos California.

I wanted to see pictures of handsome young new yorkers sitting on handsome couches- aww.
I have to ask, do you sniff and swish? For real?

»anne ||  10/26/2005 ||  10:46:46 AM
how about middle aged NY'ers standing around my kitchen?

i am a big fan of swirling - especially on these big ol' reds. It does seem to change the taste.
Sniff? oh yea.
»:r ||  10/26/2005 ||  11:13:42 AM
I was not invited.
»jb ||  10/26/2005 ||  12:00:53 PM
If you want to move to whites, I recently had a lovely fruitful Reisling from the Central Coast.

As for reds, how about the Cab Francs.

And yes, Pinot has become such a cliche after THAT movie came out.
»jen ||  10/26/2005 ||  2:24:10 PM
I always like the social aspect. Who attended? What was a convo nugget.

Windmill estates will be drunk. SYRAH!
»kristen ||  10/26/2005 ||  3:28:14 PM
Well, Kristen, I can tell you wasn't there.
»jb ||  10/26/2005 ||  5:25:25 PM
»jb ||  10/26/2005 ||  5:57:39 PM
Are you sure you weren't invited? You are on my list.
Your wife and I discussed you guys not coming.. so, maybe she got the email and you didn't. My bad.
»:r ||  10/26/2005 ||  8:45:26 PM
My Columbia email account is ruining my social life. Use the gmail robots!
»jb ||  10/27/2005 ||  9:29:45 AM
My wine comments weren't invited.
»the real jl ||  10/27/2005 ||  3:11:02 PM

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