Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Zupan's Wine Tasting Event

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

STAG'S LEAP WINE CELLARS - Zupan's Burnside Market Wine Cellar, Portland, OR (7/21/2009)

Held in the basement wine cellar of Zupan's Burnside Market grocery store in Portland, and presented by a representative of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Too many people were invited, which made it extremely uncomfortable temperature-wise (they had to turn off the wine cellar cooler so we could hear the speaker), and the fact that most of the appetizer/food pairing course was snarfed up by attendees eating their dinner at this tasting. Show some class people! The wines:
  • 2007 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Sauvignon Blanc - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Melon, pineapple and a touch of citrus. Very crisp with nice acidity. Refreshingly dry. A blend of 69% Sauvignon Blanc, 26% Sauvignon Musque, and 5% Semillon, aged 5.5 months in 4-5x used French oak. (85 pts.)

  • 2007 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Chardonnay Karia - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Flavors of pears and apples, with a bit of oak. Not buttery at all. Quite crisp and acidic, with only 35% malolactic fermentation allowed. I prefer my Chardonnay a bit more buttery and smooth. 100% Chardonnay aged 8.5 months in 23% new French oak. (84 pts.)

  • 2006 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Merlot - USA, California, Napa Valley
    While the nose shows red licorice and raspberry notes, the palate is all bitter cranberries, with just a touch of raspberry. A total let-down from the beautiful nose. 92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 14 months in 52% new French oak. (83 pts.)

  • 2006 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Artemis - USA, California, Napa Valley
    Nice nose of blackberry with some vanilla/oak as well. In the mouth, lots of blackberry fruit, but with a somewhat bitter, short finish, and lots of harsh, drying tannins. 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, aged 18 months in 33% new French oak. (87 pts.)

  • 2005 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Fay - USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
    Spicy nose of oak and cassis, with a touch of eucalyptus. Flavors of cassis, berry and green pepper. Light tannins, and a somewhat-bitter green finish. Much softer than the 06 Artemis (89 pts.)

  • 2005 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon S.L.V. - USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
    My Wine of the Night (since we were denied the Cask 23). Lots of creamy oak and vanilla, a leather play with some black pepper (or other spiciness) also. Very structured and powerful, but with the tannins starting to resolve nicely. This had been open much longer than the other wines (it was poured last), which may explain the lack of drying tannins. QPR is in the negative, as there are so many wines out there that surpass this, at half the price. Yes, it is good, but it is not $120 good. (91 pts.)

Even though the invite email and website stated we would get to taste the Cask 23 Cabernet, we were denied that privilege tonight. A major Disappointment, as Cask 23 was the only reason I bought a ticket in the first place. As usual, the tasting notes posted from Cellartracker.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Walk The Vine

One of my good friends abandoned her good-paying corporate radio station job to jump into an entrepreneurial endeavor dealing with wine and wineries, called I Walk The Vine. She provides great wine-related t-shirts and such to wine shops and wineries everywhere. This weekend marks her first year "walking the vine", and she threw a party to celebrate that accomplishment. In an economy that is literally tanking more each day, she has been able to remain positive and march forward into the unknown. Yes, the economy is in the toilet. I know this first-hand, being laid off from my own Internet Marketing job back in March. Things SUCK right now. But she's still out there, making sales, getting people excited about Walking The Vine, and wearing the t-shirts. I have one myself, and my girlfriend has several. Great shirts. Last forever, great graphics, and, yes, they are wine related, which I love. So, yeah, I'm biased a bit. But you need one. Oh, yes, I think you do. At least check them out!

Anyway, back to my original thought process...there was an I Walk The Vine 1 Year Anniversary party tonight. Wine pairings with various cheeses, meats and nuts, along with many attendee-supplied wines as well. I personally brought a 2000 Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta "Sugarille" Brunello di Montalcino and a 2004 Cana's Feast Winery Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Nebbiolo. There were so many other great wines, including a 2006 Archery Summit Premier Cuvee Pinot Noir and a 2007 Patricia Green Pinot Noir. Just an amazing selection of great wines, and great friends to share them with. I couldn't ask for a better group to hang out with and drink wine with. And congratulations to Liz for her first year of business with I Walk The Vine!