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Saturday, October 1, 2011

2011 Sonoma County Harvest Fair, Day 2 of 3

Last year's "World Championship"
Grape Stomp winners
Who'll it be this year?
Image from
October 1st and 2nd are the fair's big days for tasting the top award-winners from this year's Harvest Fair.  Think of a huge Quonset hut type of building, with a thousand people choosing between hundreds of wines. These are all Sonoma County grapes.  With so many wines available you have to go in with some kind of tasting "theme" as trying only double gold winners, trying reds from wineries you've never heard of, Pinot Noirs only, etc.  Not all wineries enter so some big (and small) names are missing.

I fell into Zinfandels quickly as Sonoma County is all about Zin.

Here's what I tasted on Saturday. Tasting notes are sparse as it's not easy trying to write anything down in this environment.

I rated the wines as follows:
EX = excellent, VG = very good, G = good, OK = just okay

Sparkling Wine

Gloria Ferrer NV Carneros Blanc de Noirs, $20. Gold
Clean, refreshing. Good for the price. VG

Gloria Ferrer 2004 Carneros Royal Cuvee, $32. Silver
Nice, fine bubbles. G

Pinot Noir

Clean Coast 2008 Sonoma County $15. Best of class
A second label from Susie Selby. Part of the profits go to Gulf Coast clean up efforts.
Rough finish. Didn't care for it good cause or not.


Trione 2007 Alexander Vly Bock 21, $64. Gold
Rich, soft, elegant. EX


Hawley 2009 Russian River Vly Ponzo Vyd, $28. Gold
Fruit, pepper, needs another year at least, needs ravioli!  VG

Hauck 2009 Dry Creek Vly, $28. Gold
Nice spice. EX

Hauck 2009 Dry Creek Vly Reserve, $38. Gold
Starts soft then spices, full of flavors, balanced. EX

J Keverson 2008 Sonoma Co Buck Hill Vyd, $29. Best of class
Lighter, easy drinking, would be a good food wine. G

J Rickards 2008 Alexander Vly Ancestor Selections, $22. Silver
An old time Sonoma style Zin with tannins, depth and fruit underneath. Needs five years. VG

J Rickards 2008 Alexander Vly Brignole Vyds Old Vines, $28. Gold
Fruit and tannins in balance, will age. EX

Keating 2009 Dry Creek Vly Buchignani Vyd, $28. Gold
Didn't like it.

Moshin 2008 Dry Creek Vly Carreras Vyd, $35
Nice structure but tight. Finished hot. Needs to age but will it with the alcohol showing? OK

Munselle 2008 Alexander Vly Osborn Ranch, $28. Double gold
Black and red fruits, some spices, balanced. VG

Ramazzotti 2007 Dry Creek Vly Ricondo, $30. Gold
Heavier, fuller-bodied. Maybe a good steak wine. G

Veritas Ridge 2009 Dry Creek Vly, $28. Gold
Nothing. No fruit, no spice.  Bad bottle?

Watkins 2008 Sonoma County, $28. Gold
Heavier, bit drying (a Petite Sirah blend). Dark fruit. OK

Wine of the day

Hauck 2009 Dry Creek Reserve Zinfandel

There were many more outstanding Zinfandels: The other Hauck "regular" zin, Hawley, and both J Rickards zins. The Trione Cab was excellent, also.