I would say that I have been enjoying the organized wine tastings at D.vine Fine Wines and I find them to be an attractive offer at twenty dollars for the six tastings and some cheese and crackers; and yes, I pay for the tastings, just to make it clear that I am not a shill for anyone. I have been there twice now, when the room is extra busy because of a Social Media group that has also attended. I am sure that I must look rather strange, as I create a little photo-booth to take the pictures, so that I can also show the color of the wine. Even though the tasting is conducted by a moderator, I have had some ask me for my opinions, as if I am a maven, but I answer as honestly as I can.
The third wine of the evening was an old friend of mine, at least I like to think that, as we purchased a mixed case from the winery, after doing a tasting there, we also walked the grounds of the estate, the spa-resort and then we had dinner there as well, with some extra special memories. The Bernardus Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2013 was a wonderful wine and well worth the price of the admission for the evening. The estate wines are labeled Marinus, the middle name of the owner, and also the name of his restaurant on the grounds and his other wines are under the Bernardus label. The winery is located in the Carmel Valley, but this wine’s fruit comes from the Santa Lucia Highlands and comes from Rosella’s Vineyards, Pisoni Vineyards, Gary’s Vineyards, Sierra-Mar Vineyards and the Tondre Vineyards; all of which I have had the pleasure of enjoying wines from these growing fields. The wine is entirely Pinot Noir and it has been aged for twelve months in neutral oak barrels. The wine featured long legs, deep color, a good nose and was very reasonably priced for a Pinot Noir of such heritage.
The fourth wine of the evening is a varietal that I am gaining more respect for, as I tended to eschew it for years, and that is Zinfandel. Klinker Brick Winery of Lodi, California is in its sixth generation of wine growers and makers. Their wine TranZind Red Blend 2013 was another Zinfandel wine that I found to be most agreeable and it has the Lodi-Mokelumne River AVA. From the name, one can tell that Zinfandel is the main grape and it is eighty percent old vine Zinfandel and the balance is Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine has been aged for sixteen months in American Oak and it had a mellow flavor and not the Zin-bomb that I am always wary of. Though Lodi seems to be the initial home for Zinfandel and there are some wineries that take real pride in making the best that they can.