Archive for September, 2011

Piedmont Class

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

What a great time last night and amazing wines. Thanks again to Instructor Mary Burnham for her energy, wit and expertise – always a pleasure. The wines were amazing and no doubt the winner of the night was  #7 Andrea Oberto Barolo Rocche 1998.

A big thank you as well to SF Wine Center storage member, Greg Pelling, for sharing those amazing Gaja Barbarescos from 1982 and 1986. That was extremely generous and what a great way to finish off the tasting. For those that had to take off right after class, my sincere apologies! The after class tasting was a lot of fun with so many storage members and regular class attendees there to share it.  If you missed it don’t worry, I think we will have to make a little habit out of that.

The wines we tasted were:

1. Fontanafredda Gavi 2009

2. Vietti Arneis 2010

3. Gaja Rossj Bass Chardonnay 2009

4. La Spinetta Ca’di Pian Barbera d’Asti 2007

5. Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco Martinenga 2007

6. Pira Barolo Margheria 1995

7. Andrea Oberto Barolo Rocche 1998

8. Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia 1996

Everyone Should be a Wine Collector!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

This is our mission statement, our credo, and our mantra at San Francisco Wine Center. Whether you’re an established collector that needs more space and customized services or you are somewhat new to wine and just have a couple cases lying around that would be much better off in temperature controlled storage, we have a storage membership that fits your needs. Why wonder if that bottle you just bought and really like will still be there next time. Buy a case and store it in pristine conditions and enjoy that great wine as it matures. Why worry about your wine deliveries arriving when you’re not home. Send them to your private storage cellar at SF Wine Center and forget about them until you come by for your next visit. Enjoy all the special benefits of storage membership including complimentary shipping services and move-in assistance, private use of our beautiful lounges and event spaces, members only tastings of highly rated collectible wines, and special pricing and purchasing assistance from our expert staff of wine industry experts, Master Sommeliers and James Beard award-winning wine authors.

Temperatures in our brand new facility are always set at optimal conditions, keyless entry, cameras and motion sensors provide state-of-the-art security, and the storage units themselves are specially engineered and reinforced. SF Wine Center’s 230 private storage spaces come in a variety of sizes and we have storage membership programs from monthly to multi year. In most cases you can literally pay for your storage with the savings you’ll realize from buying favorite wines by the case instead of the bottle. The rest of the benefits of SF Wine Center membership are gravy!

San Francisco Wine Center invites anyone interested in wine to set up a tour and learn about all the benefits of joining us as a storage member. Come explore this unique gathering place for anyone passionate about wine…to learn about, acquire, store, taste and share great wine in the heart of San Francisco. To learn more about our unique wine community and why everyone should collect a little wine, please email

Exploring Red Burgundy Class

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

09/06/11 – We ended a sunny and warm Tuesday by exploring the delightful reds of Burgundy and the region’s exceedingly intricate features that set it so far apart from others. Our class was led by former Wine Director at Gary Danko and Cyrus and current General Manager for Meteor Vineyards, Jason Alexander.

Our focus for the night was on the Pinot Noir wines of both Côte de Beaune and Côte de Nuits. An incredible facet of these two regions is that although they are both located on the limestone ridge of Côte d’Or, the variances in the styles and characteristics of their wines are extraordinary. Even with such a wide range of experience levels in Tuesday’s class, these variations were easily and widely acknowledged.

During the first half of our tastings we concentrated on some of the communes of Côte de Beaune, such as Volnay and Pommard. With rather diverse opinions on the nose and palate of the wines, it was still generally recognized that these Pinots are distinguished as more elegant and fruit forward with floral and vegetal attributes.

In the second half of our tastings we continued north and focused on the communes of Côte de Nuits, such as Gevrey Chambertin and Nuits Saint Georges. These wines seemed to have perplexed many people in the class, causing much intrigue and discussion. What many of us concluded was that these wines were much more powerful and rustic with stronger meatiness and minerality.

My favorite of the night?
Domaine Jean Chauvenet Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes 2000 – 1er Cru

This juxtapose vintage is fascinating and complex with strong secondary characteristics of black olives, wet leaves, and pronounced minerality. Despite these powerful features, this medium-body wine is still able to carry distinct fruit notes of strawberry jam and red cherry. I consider this wine a best of both worlds for Pinot Noir.

Thank you to Jason and Brian for a wonderful and educational class with an ingenious wine list!  – Julie Albin

Wine List
1. Domaine Jean & Giles Lafouge Auxey-Duresses “La Chappelle” 2005
2. Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay 2003
3. Paul Pernot Pommard “Noizons” 2005
4. Domaine Denis Mortet Gevrey-Chambertin Vielles Vignes 2006
5. Domaine Jean Chauvenet Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Damodes 2000 – 1er Cru
6. Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Grands-Echezeaux 2002 – Grand Cru
7. Chateau de la Tour Clos-Vougeot 2004 – Grand Cru
8. Domaine Drouhin-Laroze Chambertin Clos de Beze 2002 – Grand Cru