Tuesday, May 6, 2014

7% Solution -- 100% Later

One of the best tasting events, in my opinion, is coming up again this week-- The 7% Solution.

The 7% Solution tasting is dedicated to lesser know wines made in California from just 7% of the acreage planted, as opposed to the other 93% of vineyards that are planted with mainstream varieties.

This is my kind of tasting: small, obscure, and focused. Sort of how I might describe myself.

Anyway, last year I attended the tasting at Bergamot Alley, but never got to write up my post as other obligations (read: paying gigs) got in the way of blog time. So here are my impressions of 7% Solution, 100% after the fact.

17 Winemakers poured last year. I can barely decipher my notes as my handwriting has gone on a bender of late, but my sense memory is still intact and I have not forgotten the following wines.

Faves ( in alpha order):
Arnot-Roberts --Yowza! The 2102 Rosé, Clear Lake, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Cao -- Dry and light as parchment with an honest and unpretentious flavor of strawberry and spice.

Forlon Hope -- Loved Everything! These wines are major characters-- vibrant and fresh much like winemaker Matthew Rorick.  The 2012 “Trou Grit” Trousseau Gris, Susina Valley practically bounced in the glass. 2011 “Que Saudade” Verdelho-- alive with minerality and crisp citrus notes that make you wanna cry.

Massican -- 2012 Annia-- 46% Ribolla Gialla, 36% Tocai Friulano, 18% Chardonnay, Napa Valley-- I arrived at the table to get the last taste of the last bottle and it was good to the last drop indeed.

Stark -- Buy. Drink. Repeat. I’m already a huge fan of Christian Stark and his 2011 Grenache Blanc, Sarloos Vineyard, Santa Ynez and 2011 Viognier, Daiano Vineyard Sierra Foothills. These two lovely wines are approachable but never predictable.

Two Shepherds -- 2011 Grenache Blanc, Sarloos Vineyard, Santa Ynez  has achieved a cult following and for a good reason. Crisp, light, and balanced with a lingering thought provoking finish. The primary thought being --“I need more of this, now!"

Wind Gap -- 2006 Nebbiolo, Paso Robles -- I love Nebbiolo and this California grown classic is reminiscent of it’s Italian roots with dark intense fruit and a touch of briny sea air.

Head Scratchers:
Dirty & Rowdy - I was excited to try Hardy’s wine and I must admit I was expecting a lot from this label based on the buzz alone. But unfortunately by the time I was able to get to their table the wine temperatures were not ideal. The Semillon was flat and hot and chalky. The Mourvedre was very restrained and subtle, too subtle for my palate. Dang!

But that was all last year-- back to the future now-- if you can nab a ticket to the 2014 7% Solution Tasting, do it. I wholeheartedly encourage you to go to either the SF or Healdsburg tasting-- see details below.

Side note: Loved the little tasting guide notebook they provided last year with room for notes and nifty pocket to hold business cards.


SAN FRANCISCO / THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2014 / 5pm-8pm
FOLSOM ST. FOUNDRY, 1425 Folsom Street, San Francisco
folsomstreetfoundry.com / 415-795-3644

HEALDSBURG / SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014 / 1pm-4pm
BERGAMOT ALLEY, 328A Healdsburg Avenue
bergamotalley.com / 707-433-8720

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