Don & Sons, from the famed Sebastiani Family, are négociants that source and blend wines from some of the best vineyards in California. With wine maker Greg Kitchens, their 2009 suite of Smoking Loon reds possess a self-proclaimed independent character and bohemian personality. While maintaining true varietal character these wines share a bit of gripping complexity that make them stand out from their peer group. With seven brands in their portfolio, each with their own distinct personality, it’s safe to say you can find one to match yours!
The Wines ~ how they drank
I approached this tasting with traditional tasting methods and taking notes on color, clarity, aroma, taste and finish. After each taste, I was left with a “Wow, so that’s what Bohemian tastes like.” As sipping wines, these reds may not be crowd pleasers, as they are not for the faint of heart.
Longing to introduce these wines to a meal, I left the tasting table and brought all four bottles to the dining room. On the menu is a traditional meal of grilled filet mignon, potato , green and white asparagus and sage bread.
Each of these wines proved to be food friendly, not overshadowing the meal, yet keeping their racy personality. My dinner and tasting partners were split down the middle as to their favorite with the meal, and with barely a drop left, I can say these wines pleased this crowd! When I disclosed the retail price of $9.00 per bottle the group was that much happier!
Merlot ~ aromas of sage and clove folded into a medium bodied taste with very little fruit and a lot of herb. Medium tannins with a bit of spice on the finish. Alcohol 13.5%
Pinot Noir ~ aromas of berries, peat, bacon, oak, smokehouse, dried strawberries; this wine is presenting as a very masculine Pinot Noir. The taste of strawberries and spice with bright acids and a light finish. Alcohol 13.8%
Cabernet Sauvignon ~ aromas of oak, plum, berries and wood fold into flavors of berries and oak with medium tannins and finish. Alcohol 13.5%
Old Vine Zinfandel ~ blended with 76% Zinfandel, 17% Petite Sirah and 7% Syrah; aromas of strawberry, clove, sweet raspberry with gripping flavors of clove, spice and strawberry. Finish is very pleasant and well-balanced. Alcohol 13.5%
Thank you to Don Sebastiani & Son’s and Balzac Communications & Marketing for providing the samples.