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It seems that this September Is California wine month. The Wine Institute of California is sponsoring a travelling road show featuring the wines from nine regions of California and they held an event Monday afternoon at the Astor Center which is located at 399 Lafayette Street. It was a small event compared to many mega-trade tastings being held around town and the crowd was light but that was because the gatekeepers at the door were a little too zealous with their job and turned away many people that normally go to the trade events.

I began with some whites, the 2012 Bernardus Vineyards “Griva” Sauvignon Blanc (Monterey County) was light yellow with greenish tint with a nose of dried flowers with grapefruit on the medium body and nice acidity on the finish.

The 2010 Brewer-Clifton Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills (Santa Barbara) was nice. Gold in color with a nose of mango and tropical fruit with good mouth-feel and nice acidity on the finish.

The 2011 Kenneth Volk Chardonnay “Jaybird” Santa Maria Valley (Santa Barbara) was light yellow with a greenish tint with a nose of honey and pineapple with peaches on the fruit with firm acidity.

With the reds I started with some Pinot Noir, the 2009 Ampelos Cellars Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills (Santa Barbara) was medium red with a big nose of smoky cinnamon, vanilla and crushed black berries with moderate fruit and great balance. Tasty.

The 2009 Fiddlehead Cellars Fiddlestix “728” Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara) was medium red with a nose of stinky crushed strawberry and was very tight with firm acidity.

A couple of Italian varietals done very nicely, the 2010 Palumbo Family Vineyards “Bella Vigna” Sangiovese (Temecula) was medium red with a nose of crushed blueberries, spices and cinnamon and was chunky with notes of black licorice and good balance. Nothing like an Italian Sangiovese but not a bad glass.

The 2011 Thornton Winery Nebbiolo (Temecula) was dark red with a nose of juicy pencil shavings and was chewy and plummy and notes of graphite on the balanced finish.

Ended the day with the Cabs. The 2009 Alexander Valley Vineyards “Cyrus” Bordeaux Blend (Sonoma County) was dark red to black with a nose of mint, cigar-box and crushed blueberries and was concentrated, silky and dusty with a balance, long finish.

The 2007 Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards “Test Pilot F-16” Bordeaux Blend (Santa Cruz) was medium red with an amber robe with a nose of stewed fruit, herbs and slate and was tight and silky with notes of mint and dried herbs on the excellent balance.

The 2010 Blackbird Vineyards “Arise” Red Blend (Napa Valley) was dark red to black with oak, bell pepper, mint and black berries on the nose and was velvety with firm tannis and a long finish.

The 2010 Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) was dark red with some barnyard on the nose and was lean and velvety with great balance.

The 2006 Marketta Winery Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) was dark red to black with a big nose of mint and black berries and was concentrated and tight, with black licorice on the balanced and long finish.

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