The classic red wine tasting this week was fabulous. We had some great wines that were donated – and in fact, two of those won top favorites for the night with 47 Millennials present at the tasting and final voting.
Of course, there are only 4 classic red wines: pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and syrah. However, being that we live in California, we had to throw in a Zinfandel. For the mystery wine of the night, I selected a Malbec from Argentina….because Malbec is so popular now. The students did a great job of guessing the varietals correctly in the blind tasting. It may have been because I organized them according to tannin strength, so it wasn’t that difficult to determine – of course, they are also quite brilliant!
The number one favorite of the night was the 2007 Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($55). This wine had a lovely nose of strawberry and raspberry, but on the palate it had depths of earth and mushroom as well as some dried cherry. I thought I was in Burgundy! We all agreed that it would pair beautifully with a mushroom pasta, or Sonoma duck with raspberry sauce. See http://www.flowerswinery.com/ for more information on this unique winery with its amazing vineyards near the ocean (see photo).
The second place favorite of the night was the 2004 Ledson Russian River Zinfandel ($44). When we first poured this wine, everyone noticed the slight garnet edges and brick-red color, which told us it was older. However, one whiff of the nose and you knew you were going to taste zin – it opened with a huge jammy presence and lots of spice. On the palate it was huge, fruity, and hot with a 14.9% finish. Pairing suggestions were anything on the barbeque and chocolates. Only available at the enchanting castle winery pictured in the photo (http://www.ledson.com/.)