Northside SF  

October '09

Wine Report from the Fort
Dancing with the wine stars

By Fred McMillin

Our wine stars include such big names as Grgich Hills Chardonnay and Corison Cabernet Sauvignon. Those dancing with the stars, though not as good but still scoring very well, are shown with each star.

The Star: Grgich Hills Napa Valley Chardonnay 2007, $42
The Partner: Motos Liberty California Chardonnay 2008, $9

The Star: King Estate “Signature” Pinot Gris 2008, $16
The Partner: King Estate “Acrobat” Pinot Gris 2008, $12

The Star: J. Phelps Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2008, $32
The Partner: vendi, vidi, vici, VINI Wines (Bulgaria) Sauvignon Blanc 2008, $8

The Star: Firestone Central Coast Riesling 2007, $15
The Partner: Royal Rheingau (Germany) Riesling 2004, $13

The Star: Kenwood Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Rosé 2008, $13
The Partner: Pedroncelli Dry Creek Valley Rose of Zinfandel 2008, $10

The Star: Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, $70
The Partner: Bogle California Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, $11

The Star: Jarvis Napa Valley Cabernet Franc 2004, $70
The Partner: Hahn Estates Central Coast Cabernet Franc 2005, $20

The Star: Deaver Vineyards Amador County Barbera 2005, $25
The Partner: Story Winery Shenandoah Valley Barbera 2004, $19

The Star: Williamson Wines Dry Creek Valley “Amour” Merlot 2002, $42
The Partner: Cupcake Vineyards Central Coast Merlot 2006, $13

The Star: EOS Winery Paso Robles Petite Sirah 2004, $55
The Partner: Concannon Vineyards Central Coast Petite Sirah 2006, $15

The Star: Sebastiani Vineyards Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2007, $28
The Partner: Kenwood Vineyards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2007, $18

The Star: Silkwood Wines Stanislaus County Syrah 2004, $25
The Partner: Cycles Gladiator Central Coast Syrah 2008, $10

The Star: Sobon Estate Shenandoah Valley “ReZerve” Zinfandel 2002, $24
The Partner: Ravenswood California Zinfandel 2007, $10

What were the best?
Northside San Francisco reader Charlotte M. asks what white and pink wines have scored best in our recent City College classes at Fort Mason?

Here they are:
Best white wine: King Estate “Acrobat” Pinot Gris 2008, $12
Best pink wine: Kenwood Russian River Pinot Noir Rosé 2008, $13
Text Box:  
Wine facts
• Among the first Rhone Rangers were Fred and Matt Cline, whose grandfather was Valeriano Jacuzzi. He was a winegrower, who invented the whirlpool bath that bares his name. Reports are good about the 2009 Cline Viognier.
• Jekel Vineyards was founded by identical twins Bill and August Jekel, owners of a film studio in Southern California. My classes have enjoyed Jekel’s Chardonnay for years.

Text Box:  

Ladies and gentlemen start your engines and ...
Go to Fort Mason to take a wine class. Saturdays, 1 p.m., 20 wines.
• Aug. 28: Basics for Beginners – learn the five basic types of wines and how they are made.
• Sept. 25: More Basics – includes a careful comparison of important varietals.
To enroll or wait-list, phone San Francisco City College at 415-561-1840, or visit Continuing_Education.

A wine smile … almost
Many vintages ago, I managed to get behind the Communist iron curtain. I flew to Budapest to see the vineyards in Tokai that for centuries have produced one of the world’s greatest dessert wines, Tokaji Aszú. Alas, I found the only way to get there was by taxi, and the fare would be $100. I gulped, paid it and had a fine trip.

Back in my hotel room, there was a knock on the door. Who was there but my taxi driver and behind him two very large soldiers with even larger guns. My driver announced that the fare was $100 each way!

I looked at the three grim faces, determined I didn’t have much choice, and paid it.

Credits: Edgar Vogt (tastings); Ophelia Mercado (statistics)

Fred McMillin was voted one of the best wine writers in the United States by the Academy of Wine Communications. Phone him with questions at 415-563-5712.

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