Blog Wine Tasting: Kind of Like Speed Dating

Blog Wine Tasting: Kind of Like Speed Dating at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Sonoma CA

Well here goes…..Live Blog Tasting……

Speed Tasting at the Wine Bloggers Conference

The live blog tasting started at 3 pm today. It feels alot like speed dating.  A wide range of small and large wineries are represented with wines made from grapes from around the state of California. The format was 16 tables of bloggers and 12 wineries pouring one wine each. They were each given 10 minutes at each table and we had this time to taste, talk and blog on the wine.

Kanzler Vineyards 2007 Pinot Noir – $42

One of the first plots planted in 1996. Mixture of three clones. Stephen is an ex-IT guy and bought 20 acres of land in western Sonoma county in 1994. He was looking for a good use of the land. He could grow apples anywhere but had a chance to plant grapes in one of the most unique locations in the wine world.

The wine was young but bold and concentrated made from grapes that were dry farmed. Great youthful fruit flavors with a hint of smoke.

Minor Napa Valley 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon – $17

Minor is a small family run operation. This wine is their biggest seller. Not like other Cabs below $20. Rich and velety feel and a good aromatic nose.

Lionheart Wines 2007 Roussane – Santa Barbara Country – $30

Grapes were from a warmer site which gave tropical fruit notes in aroma and flavor. It was an experiment to make this wine. It was fermented in neutral oak and stirred on the lees. They like Rhone varietal wines and blends because they are generally very food friendly. This white wine is for people that are looking for something interesting and other than Chardonnay.

 McNab 2004 Bonterra – $45

A Meritage blend of 60 percent Merlot with 26 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Syrah from Medicino. Made with the winemakers favorite lot of grapes. He used only certified biodynamics and organic wine. Earthy aroma, a hint of smoke and dark berry flavors.

Close LaChance 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon -$30

The winery is a family operation located in San Martin, CA, near San Jose. The winery has a production of 60-80,000 cases annually. The wine has a very large presence with lots of fruit and a strong tannic structure from 26 months of aging. 

 Boho Vineyards Central Coast Chardonnay

Three liter box wine lasts a minimum of six weeks after opening since the wine does not get exposed to air. It is the equivalent of four 750 ml bottles….and its recyled paper box is environmentally friendly (carbon footprint is 55% less than if the wine would be provided in four glass bottles).

Oops. We just got two wineries at the same time. My right ear is dedicated to Blink Pinot Noir ($40) and my left ear is for James David….Help me sweet Jesus! Please save me, I am in wine blog overload!

Twisted Oak, The Spaniard – 2006 Tempranillo Blend – $49

Huge back cherry aromas and flavors with a long finish of vanilla smoke.

Small Vines Wines  2006 Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast – $65

This wine is the presence of concentrated red berries in the glass.

Cupcake Vineyards 2007 Chardonnay

…………..I am running behind….But, alas, times up and we are finished.

My fave wines for the blog wine tasting, in order are:

1. Twisted Oak, The Spaniard – 2006 Tempranillo Blend

2. McNab 2004 Bonterra (Meritage Blend)

3. Boho Vineyards Central Coast Chardonnay (for eco-friendly, convenient packaging).


I will be back on the blog with more from the Wine Bloggers Conference and some really fine experiences, lessons learned on blogging, and a few really good wines, later this week.

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  1. Russ,

    Sorry I didn’t chat with you at the bloggers conference, though I think I stood next to you several times.

    I’m writing now to inquire whether you’d like to explore creating a network of wine clubs which would receive samples and live blog on respective members impressions. Rather than use twitter or one’s own blog, I like Cover it Live . This is different than sending wine to individual bloggers as Rodney Strong did; the blogging is purely an instrument to communicate back and forth, though it would have a life in cyberspace. I would send CA wines; you could arrange for TX vino to be sent. What thinketh thee?

    More to follow.


  2. You would know if you stood next to me, as in the words of Joel Vincent, you might have smelled the “Tobasco”. Otherwise, it was probably my reoccuring discussion topic – Blogger find your niche!”.

    On the topic of wine clubs, I have run a large one previously here in Texas ( At its peak had abour 500 members statewide. I do not have the time to organize much in this regarding at the moment as I am trying to balance my blogging, a book proposal and some consulting. I would be interested in participting at least once to have the experience of the process.


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