Suntacular 2011


Tasted August 6, 2011 by brigcampbell with 724 views


What a perfect day for an event named "suntacular", slight breeze coming up the canyon from the ocean, low 80's, and no humidity which is almost always the case in California. This being the inaugural sister event to the falltacular, I was excited to attend. Falltacular is a superb event, massive in scale and opulence, and raises lots of money for Laura's House. Suntacular is much smaller and intimate and you can actually see Frank and Jill's beautiful home. I guess what I appreciate the most is the simple elegance of the Spanish architecture and design and the warmth of color, perfect pairing for "Sol-tacular". Chris and I strolled around the backyard looking at the plants, it reminds me of a garden/courtyard you'd see in a B&B in Italy. It probably looks just like something you'd see in Spain but I've never been before, it's definitely on the list.

Let the party start; As you'd expect, there were very knowledge wine people there. I like talking with, and better yet, listening to people that really know what they're talking about. I'm a guy with a 1,000 questions about anything so when the party started with the whites and quite a few from France, I was all ears. I like French wine but I really don't know much about it. The science of French wine is massive topic but you have to start somewhere, Chablis it is, so I followed Perry around the white burgs and chatted as we tasted. Probably the best way to learn is just stand next to the table of wines and as people come up you'll find all kinds of interesting nuggets and there's always the staple question "What's good?" brings loads of information.

Flight 1 (18 notes)

2005 Flying Goat Cellars Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley
solid all the way around. Nicely balanced and ripe fruit.
2007 Alban Vineyards Roussanne Estate USA, California, Central Coast, Edna Valley
Very interesting wine. If this was served blind in a dark glass I bet everyone would guess it to be red. Fairly weighty wine and a very pronounced incense taste turning to clove at the finish. You'd could pair this with lamb or seafood buried in a a heavy sauce no problem. I liked it more than Chris.
2003 Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon The Montelena Estate USA, California, Napa Valley
Bummer, tainted. So I grabbed a decanter and placed two sheets of plastic wrap inside and dumped in the wine for the grand experiment. After 5 minutes or so it noticeably reduced the nose and palate of TCA/wet newspaper. Was it enough to enjoy the wine? Probably not, there was still a hints of taint but it was "drinkable" by some. Others, no chance.
2010 François Chidaine Touraine Rosé France, Loire Valley, Touraine
First time with with variety. salmon pink color with cherry flavors and floral nose. Nice summer quaffer.
2010 Storm Wines Sauvignon Blanc USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Ynez Valley
Nice, light and refreshing with pear/peach flavors. somewhat short finish but nice.
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosé France, Alsace, Crémant d'Alsace
Light color, pale salmon pink. Very good, solid bubby. Strawberry tastes and I didn't get any yeast/bread.
1998 Albert Pic Chablis 1er Cru France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis 1er Cru
This wine was quite unique, don't know if it was heading down hill or that's just the way it is but not my cup of tea. Color was really starting to darken to a burnt gold. Fun to try and the bottle is excellent.
2008 Trimbach Gewurztraminer France, Alsace
slightly sweet, lots of stone fruit. Probably could have been served a little colder for my taste.
1995 Calera Pinot Noir Jensen Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Mount Harlan
Quite enjoyable when served straight out the bottle. Color beginning to fade and bricking around the edges. Good complexity and still lots of fruit although an hour later the fruit was more stewed and rhubarb was dominate . Thanks Bruce.
2007 Two Hands Shiraz Bella's Garden Australia, South Australia, Barossa, Barossa Valley
bummer, last bottle! I wish I had bought a case when it was on sale for $29... ugh. Big and powerful, tons of fruit and alcohol showing on the back end, which blew off later. Excellent long finish. This is the kind of wine that grabs your attention.
2008 Copain Syrah James Berry Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
Like the Two Hands Bella's, this is a power, big, and fruit driven wine. lots of dark fruit, medium structure, and flavor, flavor, flavor.
2008 Loring Wine Company Divergence USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
although I didn't take detail notes I want to mention the wine is showing completely different than when I tasted it just 8 months earlier. I didn't get lots of raisin but still the chocolate. I enjoyed it much more this time.
2009 Curtis Viognier Santa Barbara County USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County
Nice middle of the road viognier. Refreshing fruity palate and then a nice clean finish.
2007 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay B. Thieriot Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Medium dark straw color. Bright fruit with a creamy mouthfeel and buttery finish. medium/heavy weight.
2008 Carlisle Syrah Dry Creek Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Definite oak showing but great dark fruit and a long finish. Superb wine.
2004 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Bougros France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
Light in color; tart citrus, lots of minerals/stone and acidity making your mouth water.
2004 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru
citrus and mineral palate but a huge metallic finish lasting 60 seconds.
2008 St. Innocent Pinot Noir Momtazi Vineyard USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, McMinnville
I know this vineyard can be a challenge and some vintages struggle but this is my favorite '08 Oregon PN so far. Nice berry fruit, well balanced, and smooth.
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