Testing Yourself

Stefania had this idea to host a blind tasting of our wines and compare them to others in the area.  She narrowed it down to Cabernet and decided to focus on a single vintage (2007).  It took some time to pull together but we finally did it on Friday March 16th.

All of the following were served blind in flights of three. The wines were bagged by Jaye and as new wines came in they were mixed in the number rotation so that the ‘new’ wines would not all be the end numbers. Each wine was opened about 45 minutes prior to serving but not decanted. Foils were all removed and wines were served in numbered bags.

Original notes are as I took them down. Thoughts after bags were removed are in parenthesis. I used + when I though a wine’s future score would likely be higher and many of these ended up with a +.

#1 2007 Mount Eden Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains
Rich, chocolate and classic cab nose. Tannic, lighter on the palate. Should be rockin in 10 years 94+ My WOTN

#2 2007 Cooper Garrod George’s Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
Dusty, light fruit, clean but just ok 87 pts (much less impressive than a previous bottle I had)

#3 2007 Chaine d’Or, Santa Cruz Mountains
Big green nose, rich, round and tannic, lots of hidden fruit, berry , needs 10+ years 89+

#4 2007 Kathryn Kennedy ‘Small Lot’, Santa Cruz Mountains
Wood influence, spice, red fruit, lighter texture. From a warmer site? Martin Ranch? 89 (Most of the small lot fruit comes from Martin Ranch)

#5 2007 Ridge Monte Bello, Santa Cruz Mountains
American oak on the nose. Very tannic with great balance, light fruit, long finish with berry. 90+

#6 2007 Martin Ranch Thérèse Vineyards Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains
Less wood, I like this one. Cherry pie, little funky on the finish, greenish tannins, guess of a cooler site 89+

# 72007 P•M Staiger, Santa Cruz Mountains
Sour cherry nose, low oak influence, slight volitile, peppery with light fruit 82 (The only wine I really didn’t care for)

#8 2007 La Honda Lonehawk Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
Musty, mushroom, slight volitile on nose but well balanced. Finishes oaky. 88. Might be better in 5 years but VA worries me.

#9 2007 Stefania, Santa Cruz Mountains
Big nose, good balance of wood. Best balanced in this group of three with tannin/acid/fruit. Smooth, round, warm site? 92

# 10 2007 Ahlgren Bates Ranch, Santa Cruz Mountains
Green nose, smooth black fruit and good balance, cool site? 89+

# 11 2007 Stefania Uvas Creek Vineyard, Santa Clara Valley
Round, spicy, mushroom, great balance and plum fruit. Not especially ‘cabby’ but I like this 91

# 12 2007 Woodside Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains
Greenish nose, and pepper flavor, short and tannic 85

# 13 2007 Thomas Fogarty, Santa Cruz Mountains
Slight pepper, roundish, black fruit, bright green tint stays through the wine. 5+ years 90+

# 14 2007 Domaine Eden, Santa Cruz Mountains
Menthol nose, balanced, light oak, black pepper and red fruit 92

# 15 2007 House Family Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains
Dusty and black pepper, grows on you with good balance. A little funk but nice length. Warmer site? 91+

# 16 2007 Ridge Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains
Rich nose with some gren. Sharp red frui, cooler site? Nose of #3 without the ‘balls’. 88

#17 2007 Martin Ranch Thérèse Vineyards Dos Rios Vineyard, Santa Clara Valley
Woody from a great barrel, Pessec Leognan nose. Dusty, balanced and round. A ‘wow now’ wine with tons of fruit. 93

# 18 2007 Creekview Vineyards, Santa Clara Valley
Funky mint nose. CHalky not roundest of the group has mint without pepper, good finish 88

Everyone voted on thier top three with 5 points for 1st, 3 for 2nd and 1 for third. Group winners where:

1st = #17 2007 Martin Ranch Thérèse Vineyards Dos Rios Vineyard, Santa Clara Valley
2nd = #1 2007 Mount Eden Estate, Santa Cruz Mountains
3rd = #5 2007 Ridge Monte Bello, Santa Cruz Mountains
4th (tie) = #9 2007 Stefania, Santa Cruz Mountains
#3 2007 Chaine d’Or, Santa Cruz Mountains

I also posted this at:

http://forums.winespectator.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/3146091161/m/5677060432

You can read comments there and get links to notes from others at the dinner.

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