Tasting Report: San Francisco Vintners Market 2010

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a different sort of wine show — one designed not just for sampling the wines on tap but for buying them, too. The San Francisco Vintners Market showcased hundreds of wines, all of which you could buy on the spot.

I was there not to shop of course but to report back to you guys on what was for sale — largely very small boutique wineries (including Dos Lagos Vineyard, where I actually rented a vacation home for a week this summer) and some rather rare wines that are difficult to find in retail outlets. Overall I was highly impressed with the quality of the wines being offered, and my tasting report (below) shows a much larger number of A-class ratings than the usual wine show does. (It helps that I found the “reserve” area, roped off in the back of the exhibit hall, in short order.)

Notes follow.

Tasting Report: 2010 San Francisco Vintners Market

2007 La Sirena Pirate TreasuRed / $60 / A- / blend of 7 grapes, young with good body

2007 La Sirena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon / $150 / A / huge body, olive notes

2006 La Sirena Barrett Syrah / $80 / B+ / more tannin here

2006 La Sirena Napa Syrah / $55 / A- / peppery nose, nice balance

2006 La Sirena Santa Ynez Syrah / $40 / A- / nice, smooth for syrah

2008 Rubicon Estate Blancaneaux / na / B+ / Roussanne blend, big

2006 Rubicon Estate CASK Cabernet Sauvignon / $75 / A / good, dark chocolate and plum

2006 Rubicon Estate Rubicon / $145 / B+ / still young, some greeneness… try in 2015

2008 Desmond Pinot Noir Russian River Valley / $25 / A- / strong earth, Burgundy style, good finish

2009 Desmond Pinot Noir Russian River Valley / $20 / A- / much fruitier, lively, different style but good

2008 Clos Saron Home Vineyard Pinot Noir / $45 / B+ / peppery, herbal, with harissa notes

2006 Clos Saron Cuvee Mysterieuse / $35 / B+ / stron menthol character, Rhone blend

2005 Clos Saron Heart of Stone Syrah / $35 / B+ / slightly smoother

2004 Clos Saron Black Pearl / $35 / B+ / Syrah/Cab/Pinot, also big on the mint

2007 Poem Cellars Elope Cabernet Sauvignon / $70 / A- / good acidity

2008 Poem Cellars Engaged Cabernet Sauvignon / $70 / A- / jammier

2008 Poem Cellars Tastevin Cabernet Sauvignon / $40 / B+ / very young

2009 Pech Merle Dry Creek Valley Sauvignon Blanc / $17 / B+ / big lemon notes

2008 Pech Merle L’Entrée Dry Creek Zinfandel / $27 / B+ / bold, 8% Petit Sirah

2007 Patland Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard / $80 / A- / tart, lots of greenery, black cherry

2007 Patland Estate Syrah Stagecoach Vineyard / $60 / B+ / black pepper, big tannin, woody finish

2008 Spotted Owl Mountain Cuvee / $85 / B+ / smoke and cocoa

2007 Spotted Owl Alexandria’s Cuvee / $150 / A / massive, grand fruit and huge body

2006 Spotted Owl Lev’s Cuvee / $45 / B / easier drinking, simple

2008 Knights Bridge West Block Chardonnay / $65 / A- / solid, meaty and huge

2007 Knights Bridge Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon / $95 / A- / smoky

2007 Knights Bridge Dr. Crane Cabernet Sauvignon / $110 / A- / smoky

2007 Knights Bridge To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon / $110 / A / cocoa notes, great structure

2009 Alpha Omega Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley / $34 / A / fruity, big pineapple notes

2007 Alpha Omega Proprietary Red Wine Napa Valley / $86 / A+ / Bordeaux style blend, huge and quite ageable

2008 Alpha Omega Chardonnay Napa Valley / $50 / A / bigger style cab, but light on the wood. Nice

2008 Alpha Omega ERA / $175 / A+ / Bordeaux blend, rich and gorgeous – best in show

2007 Dos Lagos Vineyards Cabernet Sauvinon Atlas Peak Napa Valley / $125 / A- / lush, massive chocolate notes

2008 Dos Lagos Vineyards Cabernet Sauvinon Atlas Peak Napa Valley / $125 / A / showing well, lighter in style, ready to go now

2007 Bounty Hunter “Pursuit” Campfire Red Napa Valley / $45 / A- / touch smoky, black cherry body

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