And I thought Rhone Rangers was a little rough this year....
I was sorely disappointed by my first visit to the World Wine Market Tasting today at Fort Mason, and would be even more upset had I actually paid the $45 going rate for a ticket. While having a press pass prevented me from feeling ripped off, I certainly couldn't avoid feeling like I had stumbled into a convention for desperate third rate international wineries looking for distributors in the US.
Now that's a little harsh, I know, but there was a lot of awful wine being poured today, and more than a few of them had "Looking for Distribution" signs on their tables. Additionally there was also a lot of wine NOT being poured. For an event that billed itself as representing the international flavors of wine, where were Spain, Italy, that little country called France, and uh, how about some US producers, too ? In retrospect I see that the conspicuous absence of almost all the decent small producers of wine from Sonoma and Napa (with the notable exceptions of Von Strasser and Rosenblum who both seemed a little lost and despondent amidst the sea of mediocrity) was a sign of something.
So was there anything good there ? A few, though even some of the award winners I found lacking. However, as most of the wines were on the low end of the price scale, the decent ones represent some great values.
Notable Red Wines:
2002 Rosenblum Feather Footman Jingu Shiraz. $22. Score: 9
2002 Rosenblum Holbrook Mitchell Trio Blend. $34. Score: 9
2002 Don Crostobal "1492" Sangiovese, Cosecha, Argentina. $10. Score: 8.5
1999 Leonetti Amarone Della Valpolicella, Italy. $??. Score: 8.5
2000 Von Strasser "Sori Bricco" Meritage, Napa. $55. Score: 8.5/9
Notable White Wines
2002 Le Vaglie Verdiccio, Santa Barbara, Italy. $12. Score: 8.5/9
2003 Groote Post Sauvignon Blanc, South Africa. $12. Score: 8.5/9
2001 Hunters Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand. $16. Score: 8.5
2002 Huber "Ven der Terassen" Reisling, Germany. $23. Score: 8/8.5
And that was about it. I tasted probably 40 to 50 other wines, most of which were not really worth mentioning. Oh well, the worst day wine tasting is still better than a lot of other things.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.
Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 2/1/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of January 24, 2016 I'll Drink to That: Paul Roberts of Colgin Cellars Vinography Images: Forward and Back Martha Stewart's Wine Cellar is a Disaster I'll Drink to That: Vicente Dalmau Cebrián-Sagarriga of Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta 2016 International Alsace Varietals Festival: February 20, Boonville Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 1/24 I'll Drink to That: Paul Grieco of Terroir 12 Years of Wine Writing and (Who's) Counting?
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune