A Sonoma Wine Tasting To Remember

Last Thursday, I attended this fantastic event held here in Toronto and thought I would share some of the highlights for me at this tasting.

Let’s begin with some whites:

The quintessential Sauvignon Blanc:   The 2006 Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc had lots of ripe tropical fruit and minerality backed up with great acidity on the palate.  This wine was fermented 50% in stainless steel and 50% oak.

Favorite White:  I had two favorites here.  First was the 2006 La Crema Chardonnay with its mango and peach flavours touched with a kiss of oak.  The second was the 2005 Chalk Hill ChardonnayChalk Hill is known best for its Chardonnay, as these vines have been around since 1972.  This stunning wine had lots of banana and stone fruit as well as vanilla and a hint of spice followed up with a great finish.  I can see why Wine Spectator awarded this wine 90 points!

Moving on to the Reds:

Best Zinfandel:   This Zin really took me by surprise.  I picked the 2006 “Director’s Cut” Francis Ford Coppola Zinfandel from the Dry Creek Valley which is renowned AVA for growing Zinfandel.   This wine is everything you want in a Zin–big black ripe fruit and spice with low tannins.

A must have Pinot Noir:  I absolutely loved the 2005 Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards Pinot Noir from Carneros.   This delicious Pinot Noir had just stunning cherry and strawberry flavours and could definitely hold up to any steak.

Yummy, plummy Merlot:   This hands down was the 2005 Chalk Hill Merlot.  This wine is 79% Merlot and 21% Malbec.   I ended up chatting with the agent that represents this wine in Ontario and while we were talking it just got better in my glass.  Lots of dark plum, mocha and bitter chocolate here with an extra long finish.   Only 2000 cases were made of this easy drinking Merlot, so you’d better get your hands on some fast.

Best Priced Cabernet:  I love to find hidden gems and this Cabernet truly did it for me.  The winner here was the 2005 Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alexander Valley.  This wine was very complex with black fruit, clove spice and pencil shavings, all the right makings of a fantastic Cabernet.

A lot of these wines are available through the winery so check out their websites for more information.

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