12 Feb 2010
Wineries in California had the chance to observe the power of a unified voice on Twitter on February 11. Like a gigantic tasting room frenzy wine lovers, wineries and wine makers converged on Twitter for two hours to focus on California Cabernet. In his effort to promote California wine and show wineries in the region the power of Social Media, Rick Bakas (director of Social Media for St Supery winery) launched the event through word of mouth using Twitter, Facebook and the good old fashion phone call.
When I talked to Rick on the phone you could tell that while the event has some built in exposure for Rick and St. Supery, he was jazzed about the buzz happening at other area wineries. Rick lives and breathes the power of Social Media but he also has a genuine passion for California wine.
Early stats indicate that the event was a success with over 1500 tweets from 250 people during the two hour block. Those numbers don’t take into consideration the countless people NOT tweeting but still participating in California tasting rooms and tweet-ups. All told, in one two hour time frame, over 1000 bottles of California Cabernet could have been consumed! Total marketing cost of the event $0 (that’s ZERO)!
Steam continues to build as Rick announced a Sauvignon Blanc focused twitter tasting on March 4 (hashtag #SauvBlanc). Also, stay tuned for a huge Washington wine event in late March that hopes to have some national tie-ins and collaboration with several Washington wine influencers on Twitter (announcement coming on February 23).
2007 Liberty School Cabernet Sauvignon
- The Stuff: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles AVA
- The Swirl: Very dark plum with hints of ruby jewel tones toward the edges
- The Sniff: Moderate hints of black and blue berries. The strongest scent is green briar or evergreen. Nice notes of spice dance around on the back end.
- The Sip: A pleasing front end with some sweet fruit that is Syrah-like. A subtle vanilla oak pokes through right before the tart tannins grip your tongue on the back end. It’s not a Darth Vader death grip, but still pretty stout.
- The Score: At only $14, this is a heck of a value and a well made every day Cabernet. I score it a 4 (out of 5) for price to value. If you ever find this wine on sale for $10-$12, but several bottles.
Other scores from Cellar Tracker range from 84 – 90 points
2004 Croze Cabernet Sauvignon
- The Stuff:100% Napa Valley Cabernet, 42 months in oak, 13%ABV, 637 cases made
- The Swirl: Nice dark rust colored plum with a little translucence (almost see to the bottom of the glass)
- The Sniff: I never wanted to stop smelling this wine. Floral perfume kissed me first, then gentle bright blueberry and strawberry aromas held hands and skipped through my nose. They were followed up by some mellow vanilla notes. This is the kind of wine scent you wish for in every bottle of Cabernet!
- The Sip: Definitely does not disappoint – The fruit is soft and supple like a long slow French kiss. The passion builds as some spicy pepper jumps in. The finish is super balanced and longs with enough tannin to keep the wine strong with food.
- The Score: At $35 this is a 5 (out of 5) wine for me. I love the complete package and would definitely buy this bottle again.
Other score on Cellar Tracker is a 93 and well deserved!
Did you participate in #CaliCabs? What wine did you enjoy? If you didn’t participate, what is your all time favorite California Cabernet and why?
14 Jan 2010
We’ve all had Chardonnay, but have you ever had 100% Petit Verdot? My recent trip to Spokane’s Latah Creek was a pleasant surprise. In my mind I thought Latah Creek was all about sweet wines (not my favorites) like their Huckleberry Wine or Maywine. I was blown away by the quality of their Merlot, Vinosity (Red Blend), and the Petit Verdot.
- The Stuff: 100% Chardonnay from Connor Lee Vineyards with 100% Malolactic fermentation. Two months in French oak. 760 cases
- The Swirl: Thicker viscosity, more pale yellow than a traditional CA Chardonnay.
- The Sniff: Mild nose with hints of pear and honey
- The Sip: Big and rich butter, vanilla and pear. No oak to speak of. Felt thick and meaty. Finished with a beautiful acidity that washed across the back of my mouth.
- The Score: At a retail price of $12, this is a very well made Chardonnay. I score it a 4+. So far this is one of the best “value” Chardonnay’s that I’ve had. Kudo’s, Mike!
I’m not really a Chardonnay fan but this was an incredible offering for the money. I would venture to guess that it could be found for under $10 in certain locations, depending on sales.
2006 Winemakers Reserve Petit Verdot
- The Stuff: 100% Petit Verdot from Alice Vineyards
- The Swirl: Dark inky plum with beautiful legs after heavy swirl
- The Sniff: Slightly musty and earth smell. Pencil shavings and banana. Not overly fruity at first. Eventually opened up to express some flower (Violets I think).
- The Sip: A very diverse tasting wine. It seemed to have different characteristics each time I sipped it. Started to pick up on the blackberry and it tasted floral and slightly sour cherries. Not tart on the back end and surprisingly smooth drinking.
- The Score: At $30 retail, I score this wine a solid 4. I would buy it again because of the variety of flavor and how different it is compared to the majority of other Washington reds.
This wine is a perfect example of how tastes can vary between individuals. While I felt it was a very well made wine with lots of character and interest, my wife didn’t care for it too much. For me this further solidifies the need for a variety of reviews. Don’t just trust Wine & Spectator’s 100pt scoring. Read tasting notes and reviews. Over time, you’ll know whether you like sour cherries or barnyard. If a wine is described like that, chances are you may not enjoy it, so why drop the cash.
Washington is growing some fantastic fruit. Over the next few years you will start to see more Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Mourvedre, and possibly more Petit Verdot. There is more to WA than your standard Bordeaux fruit.
Continue to explore new tastes, expand your palate and try not to ALWAYS drink the same thing. Life is meant to be enjoyed with friends, so DRINK.HAPPY!