VIWF, Part 3: The host region: CALIFORNIA!!!! – Part 1

It was a good festival. Oh, so much wine.

Festival wine
That’s what 70 bottles of wine looks like. Time to get drinking!

This just in: California makes good wine.

Duh.

Interesting host region for us this year: We already know a ton about California wine. We have belonged to four California wine clubs (three in Napa, one in Sonoma) and we frequently buy wine from California and have it shipped to our package place in Sumas and drive it across the border. So, we figure this week would be about finding some new wineries we weren’t familiar with, and maybe finding some gems that we have previously overlooked. It seems unlikely that we are going to suddenly discover something completely new and different, but you never know.

As in previous years, I will give just my scores for a bunch of the wines (let’s face it, if I did an in-depth review of every wine I tasted I wouldn’t be finished in time for NEXT YEAR’S festival), and full reviews of everything we bought, or wanted to buy but was sold out, and a few other interesting wines as well. Here we go!

I will post the table name and number, which are in alphabetical order. Some booths have labels that may seem out of place but I assure you they are not. A lot of times they have subsidiary labels (ie Silver Oak and Twomey). There were 53 California tables. If a table number is missing, we just didn’t get there.

Table 1:  B. R. Cohn Winery

B.R. Cohn 2016 Silver Label Pinot Noir – 86
B.R. Cohn 2016 Silver Label Chardonnay – 86
B.R. Cohn 2016 Silver Label Cabernet Sauvignon – 89

BR Cohn 2016 Olive Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Table 2: Beaulieu Vineyard

Beaulieu Vineyard 2016 Napa Valley Carneros Chardonnay – 89
Beaulieu Vineyard 2015 Napa Valley Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon – 89
Beaulieu Vineyard 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 90
Beaulieu Vineyard 2015 Napa Valley Merlot – 89
Beaulieu Vineyard 2014 Reserve Tapestry – 89

Table 3: Benzinger Family Winery

Benzinger Family 2015 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir – 89
Benzinger Family 2016 Chardonnay – 89
Benzinger Family 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon – 88
Benzinger Family 2014 Tribute – 91

Benzinger Family Winery 2015 Merlot

Table 4: Beringer Vineyards 

Beringer Vineyards 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay – 90
Beringer Vineyards 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 90
Beringer Vineyards 2015 Quantum Red Blend – 90

Beringer Brothers 2016 Bourbon Barrel Aged Red Wine Blend

Table 5: Black Stallion Estate Winery/Delicato Family Vineyards

Black Stallion Estate Winery 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon

Screenshot 2019-03-16 06.56.58

Delicato Family Vineyards 2016 Noble Vines 337 Cabernet Sauvignon.png

Delicate Family Vineyards 2017 Noble Vines 242 Sauvignon Blanc – 87

Table 7: Don Sebastiani & Sons

Don Sebastiani & Sons 2016 Gunsight Rock – 88
Don Sebastiani & Sons 2016 B Side Chardonnay – 88
Don Sebastiani & Sons 2016 B Side Pinot Noir – 88
Don Sebastiani & Sons 2016 Crusher Petit Sirah – 87

Table 8: Duckhorn Wine Company

Duckhorn Vineyards 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay – 88
Duckhorn Vineyards 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 89
Paraduxx 2015 Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine – 89

Calera 2016 Pinot Noir

Table 9: Gallo Signature Series

We had the most lovely chat with winemaker Gina Gallo. Yes, Gallo. THAT Gallo.

Don’t let the name “Gallo” scare you off; they make a lot of great wine in addition to the entry-level Ernest and Julio Gallo stuff that comes in boxes and tastes closer to turpentine than fine wine. There is a market for that stuff (OBVIOUSLY), but they also make a million other wines, many of which are of excellent quality. And Gina was a delight….knowledgeable and giving and so pleasant. I think she would have chatted with us for an hour if we didn’t have other wines to taste!

Gallo Signature Series 2016 Dry Creek Zinfandel

Gallo Signature Series 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon

Gallo Signature Series 2016 Russian River Valley Chardonnay – 88
Gallo Signature Series 2016 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir – 90

Table 10: Geyser Peak Winery

Geyser Peak Winery 2017 Pinot Grigio – 87
Geyser Peak Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – 89

Screenshot 2019-03-16 08.48.45

Screenshot 2019-03-16 08.44.52

Table 11: Girard Winery

Wow, this is the epitome of what we were hoping to find: a winery we were not familiar with, pouring across-the-board quality wines.

Screenshot 2019-03-16 09.38.58

Screenshot 2019-03-16 09.42.37.png

Screenshot 2019-03-16 09.49.03

Screenshot 2019-03-16 09.50.34

 

Table 12: Grgich Hills Estate

Grgich Hills 2015 Napa Valley Chardonnay – 86
Grgich Hills 2016 Napa Valley Fumé Blanc – 86
Grgich Hills 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 90

Screenshot 2019-03-16 10.04.37

Table 13: Hahn Family Winery

Hahn Family Wines 2017 GSM – 87
Hahn Family Wines 2017 Monterey County Chardonnay – 86
Hahn Family Wines 2017 Monterey County Pinot Noir – 88

Screenshot 2019-03-16 10.10.57

Table 14: Hall/Walt

Screenshot 2019-03-16 09.58.13

Hall 2015 Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon – 94+
Walt 2016 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay – 87
Walt 2016 La Brisa Sonoma County Pinot Noir – 88

Table 15: The Hess Collection

Hess Select 2014 Trio Red Blend – 89
Hess Select 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – 89

Screenshot 2019-03-16 10.22.39

Screenshot 2019-03-16 10.17.04

Table 16: Hope Family Winery

Liberty School 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – 86
Liberty School 2016 Chardonnay – 85
Treana 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – 89

Screenshot 2019-03-16 10.28.01

Table 17: Imagery Estate

Imagery Estate 2016 Chardonnay – 86
Imagery Estate 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – 86
Imagery Estate 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – 91
Imagery Estate 2016 Pinot Noir – 85

Table 18: J. Lohr Vineyards

Screenshot 2019-03-16 10.52.35

Screenshot 2019-03-16 10.56.10.png

J Lohr 2015 Hilltop Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – 92
J Lorh 2016 Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon – 88

Table 19: Jackson Family Wines

Freemark Abbey 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon – 89
Cambria 2015 Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir – 88
Copain 2017 Tous Ensemble Rosé – 86
Stonestreet Estate 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon – 88

Table 21: Josh Cellars/Joseph Carr

Josh Cellars 2017 Chardonnay – 87
Josh Cellars 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles Reserve – 90
Josh Cellars 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – 88
Joseph Carr 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – 87

Table 22: Justin Vineyards and Winery

Justin Vineyards and Winery 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – 85
Justin Vineyards and Winery 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – 88
Justin Vineyards and Winery 2015 Isosleles – 89
Justin Vineyards and Winery 2015 Justification – 88

 

Enough for today! We will finish up California in the next post, and then move onto the rest of the world!

 

 

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Published by

deanengemoen

Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

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