I though it may be interesting to try these wines again in a different setting and a different format. The Silver Oak setup was a sit down tasting with the entire flight of wines in front of you. This time it was a single taste at a time at a tasting bar setting. I've done informal wine judgings with friends plus taken a wine judging class and have seen how difficult it can be to be consistent in your preferences. There's been more times than not I've tasted through a flight then wait about 15 minutes and taste through again and come up with very different rankings. Sometimes it's the wines, sometimes it's the order it which you taste them, sometimes it's just human subjectivity.
Here are the four '09 Twomey Pinots listed in my preference from favorite to least with my ranking from last time in parentheses.
Sonoma Coast (1)
Black fruit, well integrated and structured for what should be a good long life. A dryish herbal, spicy, peppery finish. An excellent young Pinot and I hope it continues to develop well as I bought several.
Bien Nacido, Santa Maria (3)
Smooth and round up from but finishing with good acid. Also has good structure to age well, but not as well integrated as the Sonoma Coast.
After tasting at Twomey we went to Gary Farrell Winery who has an '08 Bien Nacido Pinot. Not nearly as good as Twomey's.
Anderson Valley, Mendocino County (2)
Tight, dry, and herbal (fennel), but it shows the complexity and balance that makes me think it'll open up nicely in time. This one didn't show as well as last time as it was closed-in right now.
Russian River Valley (4)
Bright red fruit and a bit spicy/peppery but doesn't finish as well and is a bit simple compared to the others. This is more of a sipping wine rather than a food wine.
I also tasted the new release 2010 Sauvignon Blanc again. I wasn't quite as thrilled with it this time though it definitely goes better with food. It was soft and round in the start but finished very tart. Fruit flavors were just a bit of grapefruit and a little tart lemon. By "just a bit" I mean not enough fruit to carry it through.
This wine will change over time as it's very young. In fact, I had gotten the end of a bottle for my pour and my wife got the start of a new bottle and there was a difference in the two as hers tasted brighter, cleaner and fruitier. See, every mouthful is different. That's what makes wine fun.
My picks this time were only slightly different. At the Silver Oak tasting another blogger, Ray Johnson, who writes very good wine tasting notes and is the current head of the wine business school at a local university (so I assume he knows what he's doing) had remarkably different choices on his favorites on both the Twomey Pinots and the Silver Oak Cabernets. So what does that mean? I'm thinking he doesn't know what he's talking about! (Just kidding). It really means no one can really pick which wine you're going to like except you.
I've had times out wine tasting where I bought presumably my favorite wine only to get home and open it awhile later and ask myself, "Why the heck did I buy this?" Usually these turn out to be the big, fruit-forward, higher alcohol wines that I chose from a group of wines but then didn't like later. I'm guessing these show well in wine judgings, too. Interesting.