This is a blog to share my lovely, palate-pampering experience!
After a few weeks of anticipation, three of my lucky co-workers and myself had the privilege of taking part in a rare opportunity. We were included in a Wagner Family private wine tasting at the Joey Wine Bar hosted by none other then Joseph Wagner himself! Son of Charlie Wagner, (Founder of Caymus in 1972), Joseph has been the Vineyardist and Winemaker for sister companies Belle Glos and Meiomi since 2002.
Joseph is a lovely, younger gentleman with an undeniable amount of passion for what he does! After hearing him describe a few of the wines, and before even touching the first glass to my lips, I could feel my taste buds were restless, eager to experience some of their amazing gems.
Here’s a recap of the tasting menu…
Conundrum ‘09 – (Winemaker: John Bolta) A beautiful, lively yet crisp white, with a Riesling feel but a stunning floral nose from the Muscat and Viognier they’ve included. Will definitely treat myself to that one this summer!
Mer Soleil Vineyard Chardonnay ‘08 – (Winemaker: Charlie Wagner) Smokey Oak and sweet almond aromas, with a very rich mouth feel. We’re told these grapes came from the cooler coastal regions of California, which give the wine more concentrated flavours (in this case, juicy ripe apples and tropical fruit...delish!)
Mer Soleil Unoaked Chardonnay ‘09 - This was unique and I loved it! Made in ceramic barrels, and bottled in it as well, the wine is created without any malolactic fermentation in the process, which gives it an incredibly light and clean feel. Soft grapefruit flavours, but still packs enough acidity to give it a lingering finish.
Belle Glos ‘Meiomi’ Pinot Noir ‘08 - I have an improved opinion of P.N. after trying this amazing example! It’s a blend of grapes from three appellations, which gives it a much broader, more complex profile. A hint of spice (a welcome surprise), and bright, with more body than any I’ve tried before. Great cocoa, berry, vanilla, dark spice and smoke notes, with flawless balance front to back. I’ll recommend this to anyone who wishes to change their mind about the typically ‘light and dainty’ red.
Belle Glos ‘Las Alturas’ Pinot Noir ‘09 - Again the region and climate are the main focus when this red is explained. The amount of sun, wind and cooler temperatures give the grapes a thicker skin, and the wine more backbone than your average. Called a ‘Cab-drinkers pinot noir’, this pinot could actually be paired with a steak! Black cherry and cinnamon aromas, with dark fruit flavours and fairly bold tannins.
Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ‘08 - The real treat. This is the only wine to ever win the prestigious “Wine of the Year” award twice (‘87 & ‘91)! An undeniable depth and complexity in this Cab, made from grapes grown in fourteen different regions! Everything a Cab lover could ask for; rich, smooth mouthfeel, bold tannins, a touch of spice at the end, hints of tar and tobacco notes followed by a very generous finish.
Caymus Vineyards ‘Special Selection’ Cabernet Sauvignon ‘08 - A softer Cab than the Napa Valley, with similar notes, but bolder tannins. The toughest part of the event was tasting tastefully. With some of the most beautiful wines I’ve ever tried lined up in front of me, let’s just say it took a lot of restraint to only sip enough to write a good tasting note!!