Yep, I'm still alive... Here's the notes for Saturday's tasting, which focused on Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
Wine 1: 2004 Castle Rock Carneros Pinot Noir. Napa Valley, California. Bold and tannic, with a strong strawberry flavor. Somewhat off finish. $10.
Wine 2: 2002 Windy Ridge North Coast Pinot Noir. Victoria, Australia. From the southernmost winery on the Australian mainland. This is a dark wine with a pomegranate flavor, and strong finish. Interesting. $14.
Wine 3: 2003 Mark West Pinot Noir. Central Coast, California. Mellower and rounder than the above selections, but still maybe a little young. $15.
Wine 4: 2004 Edna Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir. A little buttered toast on the top, maybe some strawberry in the flavor. Decent little wine. $17.
Wine 5: 2002 Rodney Strong Estate Bottled Pinot Noir. Russian River, California. An aroma of alcohol and Port, giving way to a mellow flavor with light tannins. Classic, well produced Pinot Noir. $17.
Wine 6: 2002 Clos La Chance Pinot Noir. Santa Cruz Mountains, California. Very soft and rounded, delicate light cherry flavor. $20.
Wine 7: 2004 The Crossings Pinot Noir. Marlborough, New Zealand. Berry flavors abound, almost blueberry on the edge. Slightly tart but still well rounded. Really liked this one. $20.
Wine 8: 2004 Vision Cellars Pinot Noir Chileno Valley Vineyard. Marin County, California. Love the backstory on this guy: "I was born the son of a Texas Moonshine maker... Even though I grew up around distilled spirits and fruit wines, I did not develop a taste for either. It was not until I tasted my first Burgundy, long about 1955, that I fell in love with fine wine." Hints of vanilla and cream, but I found the tannins a little strong. This has a very spicy finish--almost like a chile pepper. $29.
Wine 9: 2001 Montevina Zinfandel. Amador County, California. Every time I try this wine, I get different things from it. This time there was a sort of menthol aroma on top, but the flavor is quite soft and well-aged. It's a good basic Zinfandel and a decent bargain. $13.
Wine 10: 2002 Abundance Old Vine Zinfandel. Lodi, California. Raspberry flavors, thin but fruity. This wine actually tasted a bit watered down to me, and aren't we supposed to get more concentrated flavors from old vines? $15.
Wine 11: 2002 Clos La Chance Zinfandel. El Dorado County, California. This one wasn't remarkable, but not bad either. I guess it would be a good neutral Zinfandel. $16.
Wine 12: 2004 Seghesio Family Vineyard Zinfandel. Sonoma County, California. Good tradtional Zinfandel, with plum and gingerbread flavors. Would be excellent around Christmas. $23.