This past Saturday I took a road trip to Philadelphia to attend the 11th annual Philly Wine Fest. The event was held at the Lincoln Financial Field located at the AT&T sports complex which is about a fifteen minute subway ride south of the city center. This past week in New York some of the big wine magazines such as the Wine Spectator, The Wine Enthusiast, and Wine & Spirits Magazine had tastings. I missed those events so I thought I would make up for that with this event in Philly since many of the vendors who participated at the magazine events participated at the Philly event as well.
Since this was a huge event I decided to focus on red wines and since the last few tastings I attended I drank mostly European wines, I made sure the first part of the tasting would be spent sampling California wines.
I started the day off to a good start by trying the wines from Pahlmeyer Winery. Their 2008 Merlot Napa Valley was big with chocolate and velvety fruit and good structure while their 2008 Proprietary Red Napa Valley had a nose of mint with tighter fruit than the Merlot. Ridge Vineyards poured a few of their reds. I enjoyed the 2009 York Creek Zinfandel, not a jammy Zin but tight and silky with a balanced finish. The Ridge Monte Bello Cabernet Sauvignon blend is always outstanding and the 2006 that was poured had a nose of plums and black cherries with a lush mouthfeel, though I thought the finish could have been longer.
Shafer Vineyard poured the 2008 One Point Nine Cabernet Sauvignon which was very concentrated but I though the wine needed some more time for the components to come together, would love to taste it in a few years after it had time to settle down. From Caymus Vineyards the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Special Selection was outstanding, my notes had liquid velvet, chocolate with a long finish. The 2008 Rubicon from Inglenook was black,dense and chewy with good balance.
Beaulieu Vineyards poured a few of their wines. The 2008 Tapestry Reserve was dark and concentrated with tight fruit and a firm finish. The 2008 George de Latour Cabernet Private Reserve was dark and concentrated with silky fruit and a great balance with a good grip on the long finish. Louis Martini’s 2008 Monte Rosso Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon had a closed nose but a mouthful of silky, dusty fruit and a long finish. Joseph Phelps Winery poured their 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet which had tight fruit, good grip and a dusty finish. Their 2008 “Insignia” had a nose of plums, very tightly put together with a mouthful of tannins on the finish.
When they opened the event for the consumers at 5:00 they finally served some food and they poured wines that were not available during the trade portion of the tasting. I know I said I would stick to California wines but they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I liked the 2004 Bodegas Muga Gran Reserva “Prado Enea“, which had a great nose of damp earth, excellent mid palate with nice balance. The 2005 Muga Rioja “Torre Muga” was made in a more new world style with dense, black, sweet fruit and nicely balanced. They brought out some of the heavy hitters for the vip consumer tasting and I had the opportunity to try wines such as the 2009 Chateau Palmer and the 2009 Chateau Mouton Rothschild. The Palmer was silky with great balance while theRothschild had a big nose of green olives with velvety fruit. I was a little disappointed with the 2007 Chateau Petrus. I don’t know if it was from the high expectations I had for the wine or for the fact that I spent the afternoon drinking fruit forward new world Cabernet and Merlot. I thought the Petrus had a big nose and a long finish but the fruit was very tight and light. They also poured the 2007 Penfolds Grange which had a big nose with great balance and a long finish.
Overall it was a very good tasting.