02 Mar 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Grand wine tasting – 2/28/9

The San Francisco Chronicle Grand Wine tasting was held at the Herbst Pavillion in Fort Mason on the 28th from 2 to 5 PM.  The Pavillion was packed with a large number of wineries and attendees.  The event sold out of the 5500 tickets well in advance.  The crowd was big but I do not think all 5500 people were there at one time — maybe a peak of 4500 or so.  I was sharing a table with Eric Kent Wine Cellars.  Kent was pouring his 2007 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley; 2007 Kalen’s Big Boy Blend (syrah) and 2007 Bennett Valley Syrah.  All of Kent’s wine were fantastic as usual.  It should be noted that the Kalen’s Big Boy Blend won a gold medal at the SF Chronicle and a score of 94 from the Wine Spectator.  So, you can imagine that the wine easily lived up to its name. :)  

I was pouring the 2007 The Angel’s Share, white Rhone Blend, Russian River Valley; 2007 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast and 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.  The Angel’s Share was showing particularly well on Saturday while the Pinot Noir was a bit tight but opened up with some decanting.  I had just brought along one bottle of the Cabernet Sauvignon just to let interested people try it.  As it turns out, the Cabernet Sauvignon was very well received.  I was very happy that all of the wines were showing quite well especially The Angel’s Share.  We were fairly busy pouring samples the entire time.  So, I was not able to really go do any tasting of the other wines at the event.  It is a bit of bummer to not be able to go taste other wines as that is a key part of the wine industry — competative analysis, finding new blends and training your palate. 

Several bottles of my 2007 Pinot Noir were donated for the media tasting area.  I am curious to see if any press / wine reviews come out of the event.  It would be nice to get some media coverage out of the event.

The event was a very good event and a great way to try some outstanding wines from all over the country.  The competition had entries for 26 states and over 4700 total wines spread over 50 category.  I would suggest that you look to attend this event next year.  You will not be disappointed.

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4 Responses

  1. Sounds like a lot of fun was had by all! Sorry I missed it, busy bottling a friend’s 2006 Cab. ;-) Uzi

  2. Whose Cabernet were you bottling? How much did have to bottle? I hope that you got to enjoy some of the fruit of your labor? :)

    I found out the event actually had 5500 people as was sold out well in advance of the actual event. The event has sold out 5 years in a row! So, I guess the secret is out.

    I wonder if the event will happen again with the Chronicle about to close its doors. It would be a shame if the wine competition did not keep going. It is a great way for young brands to get some publicity as well as new vineyard to get some recognition.

    How are your wines doing?
    -Leon

  3. Hey Leon, I was bottling Paul’s cab, a local “garagist”. we bottled one barrel of Livermore Cab. Pretty good stuff, I got a few bottles for my ‘labor’ and ‘mobile bottling equipment’.

    I wonder what the Chron is goin go do with their wine collection. I was on a tour last year, a friend is the Book Review editor in chief, and they have about 10,000 bottles in their cellar at any given time! I’d like to get my hand on some of that.

    Our PNs are coming along great, I saw you running around at the mashup, did not have a chance to talk.

  4. I have heard that Livermore has some very good Cabernet growing there…who knew. :)

    Chron: It would be very nice to get access to that collection. I am sure there are some stunning wines for the trying. I would promise to share anything I could get my hands on.

    PN: Which vineyards did you get your fruit from?

    Mashup: I saw you as well. I am sorry about not stopping by to say hello. I was just trying to try all my wines and some comparible wines (aka from the same vineyards).

    2009: How much wine are you going to make this year? I am not sure what I am going to do based on how the economy is at the moment. If I could get some good lower cost fruit, it would make a big difference in my plans.

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