SSU Winesense Board for Holiday Wine Tasting with Freemark Abbey
Contributed by Erica Schreckenghaust – For our final meeting of the semester we had the pleasure of welcoming Kate Hansen from Freemark Abbey. She was kind enough to share 6 fabulous wines to help us celebrate the holiday season and forget final exam stress for a couple of hours.
Unique History of Freemark Abbey
Freemark Abbey has a history of standing out from the rest, as it was the first winery built by a woman in the United States in 1886, by Josephine Tychson. The unique name was a combination of the three owners names: Charles Freeman, Marquand Foster and Abbey Ahern. In 1976 Freemark Abbey was the first American winery to have two wines, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, entered into Stephen Spurrier’s Judgment of Paris blind tasting which brought worldwide attention to Napa Valley. They are also known for being the first winery in Napa to use stainless steel tanks.
Favorite Wines of the Evening
A group of thirty-five students tried six different wines including, 2013 Riesling, 2013 Chardonnay, 2012 Cabernet Franc, 2012 Merlot, 1998 Cabernet Bosché and 2010 Cabernet Bosché . All of the wines were a hit but the two stood out from the rest as decided by students were the:
- 2012 Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley
- 1998 Cabernet Bosché, a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from the Bosché Estate in Rutherford
Freemark is full of historically fantastic wines and was the perfect way to kick off the holiday celebrations. On behalf of the WineSense Executive Board, we wish you a holiday season filled with great food, friends and family, and some spectacular wines! Cheers!
SommSelect Founders, Brandon, Tyler, and Ian Cauble, MS
Contributed by Erica Schreckenghaust – The WineSense Club had the honor of welcoming back the dynamic duo behind SommSelect; Ian Cauble and Brandon Carneiro. They first met in 1999 at Sonoma State University and were part of the students who created the WineSense Club in 2000. Ian studied Business and Spanish, while Brandon studied Economics. Years late they reconnected in Las Vegas where Brandon was a fine wine salesman and Ian was attempting to become a Master Sommelier, which is depicted in the documentary, SOMM.
Brandon and Ian decided to launch SommSelect in 2014, where they have daily offerings of wines from all over the world with tasting notes, region information and even food pairings. SommSelect offers the knowledge of a Sommelier to everyone at every budget.
Ian Leads Wine Tasting at SSU
Ian led over 45 students through a tasting that featured a 2007 Winniger Rottgen Riesling Spatlese from Mosel, Germany and a 2011 Mendel Malbec from Mendoza Argentina. Ian walked students through the proper way to taste, the different descriptors, and how to tell the different wine varietals apart, based only on taste.
We then put our skills to the test as we participated in a blind tasting of our own. Students had to identify which two varietals were served and from what area. These two wines were a 2013 Ehlers Sauvignon Blanc from St. Helena and Right Bank Bordeaux from France.
Favorites of the Evening
With an overwhelming amount of votes the Riesling and Malbec that Ian picked out were the favorites of the night. It was an amazing and inspiring tasting that students will not forget any time soon and we can’t thank Ian and Brandon enough for coming!