Friday, December 19, 2008

High End California Tasting, Wed. 17th

There were several really nice wines in this tasting. I will note specifically Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc 2007, which I thought was awesome, and the Silver Oak 2004 Alexander Cabernet, which I thought for this vintage underperformed. I think that the Silver Oak will be much better a couple years down the road, which makes it a good buy if you plan to put it away for a while.

That being said, I'm a huge fan of anything Spottswoode. I don't know much about the winery, but I do know that some of the founders like Tony Soter (who does Etude wines) and Daniel Schuster (who was one of the pinot noir pioneers in New Zealand) make some of the best wines in the world. Schuster in particular makes some really good pinot noir from New Zealand that tends to be on the minerally side, and Soter is one of the world's best viticulturalists. I am particularly a fan of his pinot noir under the Etude label, and Paul notes that he's involved in an Oregon property that is doing some really fun stuff with sparkling wines.

I have tasted the 2003 Spottswoode cabernet sauvignon a couple of times. Most memorably, I tasted it with Sarah Cyr at the Wine Cellar and Bistro in late 2006. We judged it to be very complex and dynamic and a wine that would take well to some time in the cellar. It's a phenomenal wine. I'm lucky to have been given enough to try this wine on at least one occasion.

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