Another winter wine festival….Wine Festivals are one of the few events that make my East Coast winter weekends bearable! Which is why I went 3,000 miles, for back to back, coast to coast wine festivals this winter. This East Coast girl will travel for wine!!
Thankfully, this years wine festival featured the Nationally and Internationally award wining Pinot Noir from Pacific Coast Vineyards, so far, we are off to a great start!
Tackling this festival, table by table, we encountered some enthusiastic winemakers, but regretfully mediocre wines. Intermingled with wine tables were Sports Memorabilia for sale, spirits, Prairie Vodka, Brazilian something or other liquor, Tequila (!!), and some amazing Beer! So, there was something for everyone!
I was there solely for the wine… So begins my quest for the top three wines presenting that day. Did I mention we were in Beverly Hills? While the wine should have been top billing, the side shows were quite amazing!!! But, that’s for another blog…
I am always on the quest to discover a winery new to me, a winery with great wines, dedicated winemakers who want only to share their art with us. Last year, that vineyard was Pacific Coast Vineyard, a little talked about (at least on the East Coast), but greatly respected winery. I have had the pleasure of drinking their wines on several occasions, and was very excited to see how their wine presented next to other California wineries at this event. I am happy to say that their 2007 Pinot Noir, hands down, was the standout of the day. Having just a taste of this wine is a tease; you need to enjoy this glory with a full glass. I know I’m not presenting traditional ‘wine tasting notes’ (which I sometimes find boring), what I’m presenting to you is a feeling, wine, like art, is kind of like falling in love. With this wine, I am in love.
At these “Mega-Events” it is easy to figure out which wineries send in ‘temporary marketers’ and which ones attend the events themselves. When we approached Chatom Vineyards, it was clear these folks behind the table knew their wine, and were excited to share their story with us. Pouring that day was the wine maker Gay Callen, and her son Chatom. They were pouring their 2009 Chardonnay (un-oaked!), 2006 Syrah and 2006 Zinfandel. Encountering a winery with a suite of wines, all spectacular, is a rarity. Located in Northern California, near Murphy’s California, Gay Callen has been making wine since the early 1980’s. Again, tasting notes won’t do justice here, their Syrah is heavenly, their Chardonnay is smooth and delightful, and their Zinfandel perfectly balanced.
I did say earlier I would discuss my top three picks of the day. Well, with respect to the others present there that day, Pacific Coast Vineyards and Chatom Vineyards are in a league amongst themselves, and there is no third. Will I go back for the 3rd Annual Beverly Hills Wine Festival? Well, depends on who’s pouring….
Cheers, my dears!