Archive for April, 2010

Paso Robles Stakes Claim…

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Paso Robles wine country in the news – check out this article in USA Today…

ZIN is IN Tasting Results

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Tasting Notes courtesy of Mark Johnson, Commander Printing.

Wow, it was quite an evening last night at the ZIN is IN tasting at Casa de Keating. We started with 3 white wines: a white Rhône from Milaflores Winery, a Sauvignon Blanc from Stephen & Walker/Trust Winery Sonoma, and a unoaked Chard from Morgan. Then we started in on the vast array of tasty food: falling off the bone Thai style ribs, BBQ pulled pork and tri-tip sandwiches, black bean and beef taquitos with pepperjack cheese, stuffed mushroom caps, smoky BBQ ribs, and spicy chicken posole, plus breads, cheeses, nuts, and crackers.

We opened 21 wines and overall the quality was quite good, with only a few real dogs (including a pricey Aussie Zin). After separating the Zins into two flights (of lower vs. higher alcohol content) we went to work, and after a slow start found several standouts in the first group of 9. After a food break we went back at it and found several more really good wines in the second batch. Then it was time for elimination and final judging. It grew quite contentious as the west side of the table argued with the east side, almost coming to fisticuffs. Finally, after much verbal sparing we selected a winner: the 2007 Carlisle “Papera”, which interestingly was my wine — in first place — again. Though to be fair, my personal favorite which I actually scored higher, was Ruth’s 2005 Martinelli “Jackass”.

Here are my top 8 Zins:

2007 Martinelli Jackass

2006 Michael-David LUST (controversial)

2007 Mauritson Rockpile

2007 Renwood Crain Sleeper

2007 Carlisle Papera

2006 Valdez

2008 Prisoner (very controversial – see note below)

2007 Carlisle Montazi

Thanks again to Kent and Jill for hosting and helping with all the food. The table was set up perfectly with all the appropriate tasting accoutrements. Job well done!

NOTE: when is a Zin not a Zin? That was a major topic of discussion last night as some thought the Prisoner was not “qualified” for this tasting (even though it tasted great). As luck would have it, in today’s LA Times food section the front page article was all about field blend Zins. It makes for a very interesting, and timely, read.

Mark Johnson

Commander Printed Products

3450 Camino del Sol

Oxnard, CA 93030

800-722-3676 / 805-988-5880

Babcock Wine Tasting 4/8/10

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Babcock Vineyards Wine Tasting this Thursday, 4/8 from 6-9pm. Fine Santa Ynez wines and appetizers $15/pp. Wines we’re tasting are the new releases of Identity Crisis Syrah (white), Naughty Little Hillsides Pinot Gris, Rita’s Earth Pinot Noir, Grand Cuvee Pinot Noir and Classic Rock Cabernet Sauvignon.