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boutiques' best Print
Written by Nikitas Magel   
  • Dutcher Crossing Winery: 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Taylor Reserve (Dry Creek Valley) [Seductive with its herbaceousness and generous spice brought about by its blend with Syrah]
  • Elements of Sonoma: 2005 Malbec, Weeping Willow Vineyards (Sonoma Valley) [Sensuous with its strong violet aromas and plum flavors, chewy tannins, and long finish, $42]
  • Forth Vineyards: 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon All Boys (Dry Creek Valley) [Beautiful with its generous black current fruit expression and herbaceousness]
  • Garden Creek Vineyards: 2003 Tesserae Blend (Alexander Valley) [Elegant in its restraint and expression of dark berry fruit]
  • Inspiration Vineyards: 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Gallaway Vineyards (Dry Creek Valley) [Delicious in its generous expression of dark, brambly fruit]
  • Paradise Ridge Winery: 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Elevation, Rockpile [Luscious and powerful with a rich mouthfeel and polished tannins]
  • Pezzi King Vineyards: 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (Dry Creek Valley) [Intriguing and unexpected with its hard-cheese aromas, generous fruit and great acidity, $25]

In all, the tasting was meticulously organized and executed.  I imagine that's something counterintuitively difficult to achieve with a smaller and more intimate event like this, since logistical details can't easily be overlooked in the din and diversion that's typical of larger ones.  Granted, I tend to favor events of this size, because they lend themselves to an intimate sort of ambiance that's conducive to conversations of depth with vintners and winery reps.  The only thing that came in the way of that, I have to say, was what I felt to be the frustratingly short span of time allotted for the entire event: an hour and a half doesn't provide quite enough opportunity for tasting wine and interacting with any degree of depth with industry folk.  As a result, the event had drawn to a close before I had the chance to try wines from any of the last handful of producers.  Nevertheless, I felt that overall the event managed to beautifully showcase the wineries and their wares, helping to increase local industry awareness of these small-production gems.

For further details on the general collective of Sonoma County producers, visit the websites of the Sonoma County Vintners or the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission. end

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