Sunday afternoon I attended the SunWineFest grand tasting held at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. The event was held for two days and was open to the consumers. I know that these large-scale consumer events will have a boatload of mid-level wines but I thought it would be an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It was a huge event with a broad range of wines, some of which were drinkable. The event also featured cooking demonstrations but I spent my time with the wine. The event also had a separate beer room which was quite popular with the crowd. Some of what I sampled:
Markham Vineyards 2011 “Cellar 1879 Blend” (Napa Valley). Something I havent’ tried from Markham, a red blend that changes with each vintage, it was dark red with a nose of cinnamon and crushed red fruit and was tight and velvety with some tartness on the finish.
Chimney Rock 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon “Stags Leap District” (Napa Valley). Dark red with a closed nose of black cherry, balanced and velvety. My favorite red of the night.
The Californian Vintager 2007 Red Blend (Napa Valley). A producer I never had before, this on is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Syrah and was dark red to black with notes of roasted coffee and bacon on the nose, deep and chunky and juicy with some mint on the finish with nice tannin mouth feel.
The Californian Vintager 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Valley). Black in color with a nose of sweet red licorice with medium and I thought it lacked some character.
Maray 2011 Pinot Noir Reserva (Chile). Medium red with a nose of roasted meat with black cherry and leather on the fruit which dropped at the end.
Carpineto 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva (Tuscany). Medium red with cherry tar on the nose and was chewy and tarry with nice firm tannin on the finish.
Pine Ridge 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Medium to dark red with a sweet nose of black cherry with sweet fruit and moderate tannin.
Duckhorn 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Medium red to dark red with a nose of roasted vegetable and was deep with black licorice fruit with some lightness on the finish.
Ca’ Momi 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Another producer that I’ve never tried before, dark red with hints of mint and crushed berries on the nose and was concentrated with excellent fruit and balance.
Two Angels Winery 2008 Petite Sirah. (High Valley). Black in color with a nose of sweet dried herbs and cherry and was chunky with notes of dried herbs on the finish.
Serralunga d’Alba 2008 Barolo (Piedmont). Amber in color with notes of tar and red roses on the nose with tar on the fruit and silky tannins on the finish.