As I mentioned below, I was at a rather large wine tasting event the other night....Monday to be exact. Its taken me a while to get some notes up, but I've finally managed to get some time.
The event was fun, met some new people and saw a couple old friends as well. Also scheduled another Cali Red event for two weeks from now, and I'll post my opinions from there as well.
This event was also, mostly California wines. Frankly, I prefer the French style as more elegant and nuanced, but of the few French wines that I had at this tasting, none were really worth mentioning. Most of the wines that I focused on were in the USD 10 - 30 per bottle range.
Daniel Gehrs: For a guy that likes nuance, my continued attraction to Gehrs "high fidelity" wines is a bit inexplicable. I'm enjoy the bold approach, and generous mouth that come with his style, although, based on my taste Monday it seems he may be tempering his style for greater appeal. Most wines had been in the bottle for two years already and struck me as more smooth on the palate, but less structured as well. Specifically:
Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County 2001 - Priced in the $12 range, this was a great value, providing typical Pinot fruit, and some structure.
Merlot 2002: Not a stand out, although I am not typically a Merlot drinker
Syrah, Paso Robles 2001 - Another excellent value, great spice, decent mouth. Around $12.
Spring Mountain: I always want to hate Spring Mountain, and I don't know why. This week was no different, and the didn't let me down.
Syrah 2001 - Nice fruit, great spice very big mouth. I enjoyed this wine, but in the $40 range, not worth it in my opinion.
Estate Red 2001 - Just flat, blah
Elivette 2001 - Better than the Estate Red, but at 60 - 70 American I was disappointed
Keenan Winery - I've always liked Keenan and believe they deliver value for the money.
Merlot 2001 - At 20 to 25 American an outstanding value. Big tast, lasts in the mouth, excellent structure.
Penner-Ash Winery: I am unfamiliar with these folks, but really enjoyed their stuff.
Pinot Noir 2002 Willamette - Very nice, good fruit, hints of vanilla, and spice. Nice buy at $30-35
Pinot Noir 2002 Syrah Rubeo - A little sweet for my taste but as above good fruit. Not a bad buy at $14-18.
Biggest Suprise of the Tasting: Peacock Family Vineyards 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon. I had never had this wine and it was great. Nice tannins, good structure. At $40 -45 still a good buy.
I've got more, but those were the highlights, if there is interest, I'll put more thoughts up later.