WBC NA 2008: Live Wineblogging!

I am about to begin the Live Wine Blogging portion of the the very first North American Wine Bloggers Conference here in 2008 at the Hotel Flamingo!  Keep in mind all of this is live and pretty much not edited!!

(Editorial post note, all of these wines have been tagged with “WBC2008NA-Live” if you would like to list them in your own WineLog!)
Wine Bloggers ConferenceWe will have ~5 minutes with each winemaker as they rotate around the tables in the room. They have that time to interact with us and talk about the single wine that they’ve chosen to share with us today.  In turn we get to write and evaluate and learn about these wines during that time and send that information out to all of you readers.

We’re Table 6:

Twisted Oak Winery1. 2006 Twisted Oak Calaveras County The Spaniard

Kind of their flagship, all Estate fruit with a mix of mainly Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha
C:Darker garnet with blacker edges

N: Closed nose at the start, but then some moke and leather come out in the fore followed by some very black fruit, peaking out from the depths

P: Full bodied and strongly tannic, but not uncomfortably so. Then wonderful blue fruit with great bright acidity and then some cobbler in the smokey finish. Great and needs more time!

Dark Horse Wine2. 2006 Dark Horse Dry Creek Valley Treborce Vineyard Zinfandel

“Wine for Cowboys!” Owner and winemaker for many other wineries until this his own endeavor.

C: Dark garnet, with violet edges

N:  Great cherry, some slight smoke and some nifty bramble underneath

P: Wonderful pepper and spice, wow.  Red fruit pops with soem black underneath.

3. 2006 Small Vines Wines Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Small winery with husband and wife team.  Vineyard up above Occidental. Allocated, unreleased.
C:  Lighter garnet/ruby

N: Nicer dusty cherry with  some raspberry coming to the fore, then cola comes in and adds some great roundness to the bright red fruit and dust

P: Medium-bodied, with some nice silkiness in the tannin structure.  Juicy red cherry comes in quickly and adds some brightness and that fruit then gets a little tarter with the good acidity.  Finishes with more of that slightly dustiness found in the nose, most likely from the great tannins and some orange peel.  Good!

Cupcake Vineyards3. 2007 Cupcake Vineyards Central Coast Chardonnay

Vineyards in Central Coast, made in Soledad at former Golden State Vintners. Underdog Wine Merchants.
C:  Lighter straw, with sginificant legs.

N: Creaminess and some vanilla in the nose, with lemon custard and some yellow apple.

P: Great acidity that makes the mouth absolutely water with it’s wonderful yellow and green apple flavors.  Finishes creamy and with soem great smoothness and yet is crisp.  Also quite good!

4. 2007 Kanzler Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Barrel-sample, never bottled just out from the barrel today! Kosta Browne wine of the year from WS was from this vineyard!
C: Darker ruby

N: Big bright cranberry with some smoky oak underneath.  Cola even spicy root beer, with some tart cherry at the end.

P: Slightly sweet mouth in the beginning, followed by the smokier oak and cherry cobbler.  A little sweeter than I like in my Pinots but its well done for the style.

5. 2005 bink Yorkville Highlands Weir Vineyard Pinot Noir

C: light garnet

N: Ludens cherry with some interesting rhubarb and smoky cherry

P: Great acidity with some bright red cherry then smoky oak comes in and takes over.  Some interesting mocha is also in the mid-palate. Still, more oak than I like, particularly for an ’05.

6.  2007 Lionheart Wines Santa Barbara County McGinley Vineyard Roussane

OK.  Only 26 cases…get some now!!
C: lighter golden straw

N: Great pear and peach, followed by some wonderful pineapple and blossoms of florals. Some creaminess and lemon custard here too.

P: Full-bodied with intense pineapple flavors that seem sweet and yet the wine finishes nicely crisp with a little cream underneath and further tropical fruit from the nose.  Very good!

7. 2006 Sean Minor Wines Napa Valley Four Bears Cabernet Sauvignon

Four Bears refer to the husband wife team’s four children. They’re the only two employees
C: Dark garnet, with black center

N: Dark vanilla but yet melds nicely with the smoky and dusty cherry on the nose and some interesting dried herbs.

P: Great grip with some wonderful bright blue and cherry fruit and some dusty finish with some slight earth at the end. Great QPR, could sit for awhile!

8. 2006 Boho Vineyards Central Coast Chardonnay

Very Earth-friendly boxed packaging. Better Wines Better Worlds
C: Bright yellow, with green edges

N:  Creamy vanilla, this is a “Napa Chard” style with some apples in the nose

P: Very creamy and immediately a little unctuous, but then shifts to very tart lemon peel.

9. 2004 Bonterra Vineyards Mendocino The McNab

Red blend, all organic and biodynamic certified fruit. Winemakers’ fav fruit goes into this blend.

C: Inky garnet

N: Great, great nose of anise, blackberry, some slight almost minerality in the nose a very precise melding of the red fruit at the end of red cherry center.  Great!

P: Mouth has good grip but remains round with good acidity and some undercurrents of integrated oak that provides some spice as well.  More of that great red and black fruit, no blue poking out here! Wonderful cherry in the finish along with some rhubarb.  Great stuff!

Clos LaChance10. 2005 Clos LaChance Central Coast Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

C: Inky monster

N: A little closed right now, but some spice and black fruit no red poking out at this point. Blackberry, wait, now a little cherry poking through.  Seems like a slumbering monster.

P: Mmm, great acidity on this.  Blue in the front actually.  Then some dusty char, with some some great spicy red fruit followed by some more smoke and yet it doesn’t seem to be overpowering the cherry fruit and strong grip. Good!

James David Cellars11. 2007 James David Cellars Paso Robles Muscat Blanc

Cole David!

C: Very light straw

N: HUGE bouquet of green apples with some heavy floral components of lavender and citrus fruit blossoms

P: Very full-bodied, with some nice acidity, not necessarily racy but nicely there.  Floral lavender and heavier floral aromas come out on top of the palate and hang out above the wine in your mouth. Finish takes the white fruit flavors and almost a sense of hoppiness.  Finishes with a slight chalky feel and some great minerality.  Lovely.

Whew!  Done!  Look for a more formatted and informative version in the coming couple weeks.  Now…onto the blind tasting challenge!

Vinopanion: Ward Kadel - @drXeNo

View posts by Vinopanion: Ward Kadel - @drXeNo
Ward Kadel - @drXeNo is the founder of Vinopanion wine blog, former West Coast Ambassador & Staff Blogger for WineLog.net and former Le Wine Buff for Bordeaux.com (CIVB). He will try any and all wines and tends to write about the parts of his life that include wine...like virtually all of it! He and his wife grew up in Napa and Sonoma and they still live in the Napa Valley. Check out the wines he's recommended with his WKBadges. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Like #Vinopanion on Facebook. Contact him: "Ward at WineLog.net". Ward happily accepts samples but does not guarantee a review, positive or negative.


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