Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tapas Grand Tasting, Fort Mason

I attended the TAPAS Grand Tasting event at Ft. Mason on June 14 which showcased 36 North American Vintners sharing their Portuguese and Spanish varietal wines. There was definitely a range of regional tastes. The Albarino seminar featured wines from Umpqua Valley, Lodi, Monterey County, Santa Inez Valley and Edna Valley. The most notible came from Edna Valley. Local Wineries were also in attendence such as Villa Creek which had a wonderful Garnacha from the Denner Vineyard. Vina Robles White Blend was an outstanding array of flavors from a blend based on Verdelho. Randall Grahm, Bonnie Doon, was on hand talking about their Albarino. He stated that "wineries will have to produce wines that are original and out-of-the-box." Out of the ordinary grape varietals will have to be included in blends so wines stand out in the crowd. Randall says also that "wines are going into bottle too soon - more time spent on the lees, develop them slowly, will give greater potential for complexity. Climates are getting warmer and dryer. So grow grapes that are dry-farmed (grenache, monestrel). Grow grapes that are sustainable."
The Tempranillo seminar featured wines from Sonoita, AZ, San Antonio Valley, CA, Rogue Valley, OR, Lower Lake, CA and Vallecito, CA. Most notible was from Sonoita wine, 2007 Callaghan Vineyards Padres - tempranillo blend with a little petite verdot and cab franc to maintain the acidity.

All and all a nice, educational event.

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