We're on to the second leg of my weekend tastings. This time I found myself at the Mainstreet Wine Fall Gala in LaGrange. This is always a great event. From their VIP tasting beforehand, which has a limited attendance, to the main tasting, the entire event can be a handful. Slimmed down from past years, the tasting still averages around 250 wines to be tasted. Combine that with an assortment of food purveyors in attendance, and you can't but enjoy yourself.
As with my previous Wine Tasting Tell All, rather than go into all of the wines I was pouring, I have chosen two that were particularly enjoyable. Interestingly, they come from the same winery. One happened to be what they call my VIP wine, that's the wine poured to those who signed up and paid for the "Cream of the Crop" wines at the event.
They come from a winery that hasn't been around too long, but whose roots run deep into the wine business. From the third generation of Samuele Sebastiani, August Sebastiani created the 3 Badge Beverage Corporation in 2014, with the intent on "Continuing the Sebastiani legacy, this family-owned company is committed to sourcing the finest wines from winegrowing regions."
Specifically, the wines come from the Gehricke winery. Where, as the company says "Gehricke explores rural, premium wine sub-regions throughout Sonoma County, selecting fruit from the finest vineyards. In the case of the 2 wines I'm highlighting, I couldn't agree more.
For the VIP tasting, I had their 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon (click here for tech sheet). One of the earlier release wines from that extraordinary vintage. It also hails from Knights Valley in Sonoma. While not specifically mentioning from what part of Knights Valley, a good bit of it is near and in the mountain range that falls between Napa and Sonoma. I mention this as the wine, composed of 87% Cabernet with 11% Malbec and 2% Petit Sirah, gives you that full flavor of a well balanced and most enjoyable Napa Cab. Given the 18 months it spends in French Oak I'm sure contributes to the worthiness of the wine. At a suggested retail of $35, you're getting a great wine at half, or more, of what a great Napa Cab would cost.
The other wine? Their 2014 Russian River Zinfandel (click here for tech sheet). Like the Cab, it too sees 18 months in French Oak. Like the Cab, you get a seriously good Zin from the excellent Russian River Valley that sees a blend of 81% Zin and 19% Petit Sirah. That combination makes for a lush dark red flavorful wine with some serious spice notes that finishes with more elegance than Zins with that jammy mouthfeel. Nice wine for the suggested retail of $30.
As with past years pouring at this event, I see a number of folks that I know from the past. There are some serious wine buyers here, and never a dull moment. I generally don't get as much time to talk about wines (that might be a good thing for customers), but I always like to have some details that I can share about each wine.
I lucked out again this year as I was stationed right next to 1416, and American Craft Restaurant that opened in September of 2016 in LaGrange. They were serving Pork Belly. Need I say more? Yum....
I know if I keep telling myself that I need to start taking pictures and coming up with stories revolving around participants, I will eventually get that done. I'm going to try hard for my next tasting. REALLY! Until then.