Posts Tagged ‘tasting’

Pinot Days

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

This year SF Wine Center partnered with Pinot Days and hosted a booth at the event on Saturday, June 21. It was a great opportunity to mingle with fellow wine lovers and collectors, sharing the merits of wine storage. American Pinot Noir dominated the event with a couple Kiwi representations, but SFWC was the only table pouring Burgundy:

If you were lucky enough to taste this elegant, silky wine with subtle fruit and good acidity, then we hope to see you again soon at SFWC!

-Melanie Solomon

GLG Wine Labs at SF Wine Center

Friday, June 20th, 2014

What happens when a bunch of scientists get together for some wine education? Last week San Francisco Wine Center found out as we hosted “GLG Wine Labs,” a private wine tasting event for Gerson Lehrman Group, which is a membership network for one-on-one professional learning comprised of thought leaders and practitioners. In attendance were 15 senior life science executives plus SFWC instructor Jordan Mackay. The tasting featured four old and new world wine comparisons, with the goal being to educate the group on the differences between the wines and the factors that cause those differences, including climate, elevation, soil, grape varietal, barrel selection and aging.

The first comparison involved Rose – one from Loire, France and the other from Sonoma, California. The French rose was a lighter, more salmon color, with good minerality and acidity and lower alcohol. The American rose was more fruit forward and oaky, with higher alcohol and a more pronounced pink color. Jordan explained the three main methods used for making rose wine – one being to pick the grapes early when their acidity is high to create a light, crisp pink wine, another being to bleed off some juice from fermenting red wine to further concentrate that wine and create a rose wine as a byproduct, and the third being to mix red and white wine (this is not done often). In the old world producers tend to make rose by the first method, whereas in the new world rose wine is often made by the second.

The second comparison – Riesling – introduced another aspect of wine: bottle variation. On the Oregon Riesling, the first bottle was corked, so we got a lot of sneaker funk and wet cardboard. On the fresh bottle we got more typical new world Riesling aromas of rubber and lime. The German Riesling was markedly different, with a deep golden color and an oxidized/developed nose of caramel, raisin, honey and apricot. The second bottle was fresher, with peach, celery, toasted corn and honey developing on the palate.

The third comparison was a beautiful exercise in well-made Pinot Noir – one from Burgundy and one from the Anderson Valley in Northern California. The Burgundy had a perfumed nose with delicate red fruit, warm spice and nice acidity. The Anderson Pinot had an herbaceous nose with ripe fruit and oak spice.

Finally, the fourth set – Syrah – showed a nice contrast between Rhone and California, with the former being a very typical representation of the grape with black pepper and gamey meat qualities, while the California was more fruit forward.

Overall, the event played well to this scientific crowd who was able to let their inner wine geek shine. Cheers, GLG!

Wine List*:

  1. Domaine Laporte le Bouquet Loire Valley Rose de Pinot Noir 2012 (France)
  2. Reuling Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Rose 2012 (California)
  3. Max Ferdinand Richter Graacher Domprost Mosel Valley Riesling Kabinett 2004 (Germany)
  4. J Christopher Willamette Valley Riesling 2004 (Oregon)
  5. Domaine Mongeard-Mugneret Savigny-les-Beaune Les Narbantons 1er Cru 2011 (Burgundy, France)
  6. Copain “Les Voisins” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2011 (California)
  7. Saint Cosme Saint Joseph 2010 (Northern Rhone Valley, France)
  8. Alban Vineyards “Patrina” Central Coast Estate Syrah 2010 (California)

*These wines are available for purchase through SFWC – contact us if interested!

– Melanie Solomon

The Great White Wines of Burgundy

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Burgundy.  Burgundy.  Burgundy.  And just like Beetlejuice would, the magnificent whites of Burgundy magically appeared in our glasses.   James Beard Award-winning author Jordan Mackay grasped the lead and took us through an epic journey from Chablis all the way down to Mâconnais.  To start the class, Jordan laid out the ground work to help everyone understand and interpret the minerality that is Chablis.  Typically untouched by oak, the Kimmeridgian soils of the area are so perfectly expressed in the wines and give Chablis the timeless minerality and natural acidity that have earned the region the following that it has.

Next we moved on to the notorious Côte-d’Or and then down to Mâconnais, during which we tasted an A-list of wine producers including Leroy, Latour, Leflaive and several more.  As terroir widely differs throughout Burgundy, we examined how well Chardonnay is able to articulate the soils and climate from which it came.  Expressing a broad range of characteristics, the wines tasted blessed our palates with notes of just about everything from lemon zest to green apple to cinnamon and even lightly buttered toast.  Despite the extensive list of characteristics that the class noticed, one thing did seem to appear unanimous…Minerality.

My favorite wine of the night?

Dom. Bernard Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Maltroie 1er Cru 1998

At a rather pleasant point of oxidation, this golden-hued wine conveyed the richness of a baked apple layered with cinnamon while carrying the salty bitterness of peanut skins.  Full bodied and still bracing with acidity, this is a wine that’ll send you straight into White Burg bliss.

-Julie Albin

Wine List

  1. Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis Vieilles Vignes de Sainte Claire 2010
  2. Maison Louis Latour Pouilly Fuisse 2009
  3. Domaine Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc 2008
  4. Thierry & Pascal Matrot Puligny-Montrachet Les Chalumeaux 1er Cru 2010
  5. Domaine de la Vougeraie Le Clos Blanc Vougeot 1er Cru 2007
  6. Dom. Bernard Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Maltroie 1er Cru 1998
  7. Maison Leroy Meursault 1er Cru 1996
  8. Dom. Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 1995