On Saturday August 16th I ventured down to Atlantic City to attend the third annual Cal-Ital Summer Winefest. The event was held at the Golden Nugget casino which is just off the boardwalk on the Marina. The fest was billed as “a celebration of California and Italian wine” or more specifically, Italian wines and California wines with Italian heritages. It was a consumer event with over 200 wines poured. Some light food was served and a very good jazz band serenaded the crowd and instead of the usual sales persons/volunteers manning the pouring stations, the event organizer decided to use a modeling agency to staff the event which made for good optics.
The event space was huge and it never got over crowded. Some of what I like:
2011 Sbragia Family Vineyards Chardonnay “Home Ranch” (Dry Creek Valley). Dark gold with tropical fruit on the nose and earth and tropical fruit on the ripe and juicy finish.
2012 Robert Mondavi Chardonnay (Napa Valley). Medium gold in color with pineapple on the nose with some oak on the juicy fruit with some nice acidity at the end.
2013 Pedroncelli Winery Rosé of Zinfandel (Sonoma County). Cherry red in color with notes of strawberry on the nose and fruit and was off dry.
2012 Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir (Napa Valley). Light red with a cherry-barnyard nose, juicy with red cherry fruit on the balanced finish.
2012 Sebastiani Vineyards Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast). Medium red with red licorice on the nose with some cola on the moderate fruit with good balance.
2012 Parducci Pinot Noir “Small Lot Blend” (California). Light red with spice red fruit on the nose and was juicy but nicely balanced with notes of cherry cough drops on the finish.
2011 Seghesio Vineyards Barbera (Alexander Valley). Dark purple with cigar-box on the nose with chewy and chunky red fruit and nice acidity on the finish.
2012 Ferrari-Carano Vineyards “Siena” (Sonoma County). Medium red in color with a stinky nose, nice acidity with dark cherry chocolate on the finish.
2008 Trinchero Family Estates Cabernet Franc (Napa Valley). Dark red to black in color, pencil shavings on the nose with silky and smoky ripe fruit on the nice balance.
2010 Sbragia Family Vineyards Merlot “Home Ranch” (Dry Creek Valley). Medium red with earth and pencil shavings on the nose with nice acidity and chocolate notes on the long finish.
2010 Gallo Signature Series Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley). Dark red with toasty black cherry on the nose, tight fruit with moderate to long finish.
2012 Pieropan Soave Classico (Veneto). Light yellow with notes of tropical fruit on the nose, moderate fruit with nice acidity.
2012 Pieropan Soave Classico “La Rocca” (Veneto). A single vineyard Soave, light yellow in color with floral and sweet earth on the nose, firm acidity with lime notes on the finish.
2008 Pieropan Soave Classico “Calvarino” (Veneto). From a hillside vineyard in the Classico zone, gold in color with saffron and earth on the nose, tight with lip-smacking acidity on the finish.
2011 Jermann “Dreams” (Friuli). Chardonnay, dark gold with tropical fruit on the nose and was clean and crisp with buttery notes on the finish.
2009 Rocca della Macie “Ser Gioveto” (Tuscany). Mostly Sangiovese with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon thrown in, very dark red in color with smoky, toasty and plum notes on the finish.
2011 Marchese Antinori Villa Antinori Rosso (Tuscany). Mostly Sangiovese, dark red with tobacco and cigar-box on the nose and was silky and chewy with nice balance.
2009 Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium red with red licorice on the nose, delicate fruit with a floral finish.
2008 Castel Giacondo Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany). Medium red with an amber robe, cigar-box and tobacco on the nose, firm with more of that tobacco on the finish.