4 to 6 pm
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This Saturday we will kick off with two Sauvignon Blancs that show the differance by which that varietal can be vinified. Then, after addressing the Conundrum, we will proceed to some interesting reds that one rarely, if ever, encounters. After all, exploration and discovery give value to wine tasting events and the party atmosphere adds to the joy factor.
2007 Mason “Pomelo” Sauvignon Blanc
The Pomelo bottling from Mason Cellars was so named due to its resemblance to the fruit of the same name: a large citrus fruit from Malaysia that is thought to be the progenitor of the grapefruit. The grapes come from Lake County, and are 95% cold fermented and 5% barrel fermented. This process produces a crisp, fruity style showing subtle hints of grapefruit and floral nuances in the nose and mouth along with honeysuckle and a hint of vanilla.
2006 Chimney Rock Fume Blanc, Napa
The Sauvignon Blanc from Chimney Rock represents the opposite end of the spectrum from the Pomelo, above. Here, the must undergoes malolactic fermentation, lees stirring and whole-cluster pressing. To retain some crispness of character, a small portion is fermented in stainless steel, the opposite of Pomelo. The wine’s bouquet is lime, lychee, melon and honeysuckle. The palate is fruit filled and medium bodied, with excellent acidity leading to a long, crisp finish.
2005 Conundrum White Table Wine
Conundrum is owned by the Wagner family of Caymus Vineyards, but stands on its own as a separate brand. After experimenting with 11 different white wine grapes, the Wagners chose 3 varietals to form the foundation of the wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and, for its intriguing floral/tropical character, Muscat Canelli. Small amounts of Sémillon and Viognier were added to enhance aromas of peach/apricot and honeysuckle. Flavors of apricot, green melon and pear backed by notes of tropical fruit and spicy vanilla lead to a lush, creamy texture; and a crisp, balancing finish with lingering notes of citrus.
2005 Luna Vineyards Sangiovese, Napa
The vines for this wine are of a Brunello clone grown in the heart of the Napa Valley. Some Merlot was added to contribute rich, berry flavors and Petite Sirah, as well, for tannins, color stability and longer aging capability. The aromas of raspberries, black cherries, milk chocolate and rose petals come forward on the nose. The Merlot supports a plump blueberry core on the mid-palate, accented by chocolate and hints of orange. An interesting mineral note appears on the back of the palate, and firm, silky tannins hold the wine together. The finish is a lush long trail of perfectly ripe, but not overripe, cherries.
2005 Edge Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
This is a blend of Cabernet and a small amount of Merlot to round out the edges. After destemming and crushing the Cabernet is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, a blend of cultured and native yeast are allowed to do the fermentation. The cap, (skins and pulp that rise to the surface during fermentation) is hand punched down or pumped over three times each day. The red wines go through extended maceration periods, usually 25 to 35 days, to allow for a more natural balance of fruit and tannins. Edge spent 16 months in French and American oak barrels, of which 30% were new. Black cherries, sweet spice and chocolate finish with a fine integration of oak and tannin. It drinks wonderfully now, and will age well for five to eight years.
2005 Four Vines Tempranillo “Loco”, Paso Robles
This Tempranillo from the “Tres Cajones Vineyard” in Templeton is blended with Syrah and Grenache. It is a wine of big structure and big fruit. On the palate, juicy black fruit seems to resonate with rich tannins; proceeding to a long, rich oak finish.