The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2013

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Page 26 of 148

SAn FRAn inSidER Time is of the Essence by Deborah parker Wong W PHOTO: DEBORAH PARKER WONG PHOTO: CHARMAINE GRIEGER series to town were readily apparent. Guests sipped refreshing summertime cocktails—we imbibed the Summer Spice, made with Knob Creek Rye, white peach nectar and ginger beer—while Chef Symon walked his audience through a whole-pig butchering demo complete with preparation tips for tasty pig parts like cheeks and trotters. Knob Creek ambassador Adam Harris stepped in to lead an inspired tasting of Knob Creek Small Batch, which see nine years in barrel, Knob Creek Rye, a blend of four to nine year old whiskies that was released last summer and a Knob Creek Single Winemaker Ted Barrel with a surprisingly Seghesio marks subtle attack at 120 proof. 34 years as a Each spirit was expertly maker of worldpaired with a course of class Zinfandel. embellished roast pig created by Rich Table's Evan and Sarah Rich. Seghesio winemaker Ted Seghesio teamed up with two of our favorite Master Sommeliers, Tim Gaiser and Evan Goldstein for an enlightening tasting at Perbacco that marked his 34th year crafting the family's wines. When it comes to Zinfandel, time and history have been on Seghesio's side. "After the estate was replanted to the variety in 1996, we never looked back," said Seghesio whose old-vine Home Ranch vineyard is a California treasure. His gentle techniques, which include harvesting for different levels of ripeness and the use of rotary fermenters, produce a world-class expression from the site, which is rich in alluvial clay. To keep things lively, Gaiser led an eclectic blind tasting of six wines which pitted expressions of Syrah, Sangiovese and Malbec against two Zinfandels and served to isolate the fruit expression and balance of Seghesio's Home Ranch. PHOTO: DEBORAH PARKER WONG hen it comes to proving a point, you can always count on Cain Vineyard & Winery's Chris Howell for a learning moment. As professionals, we don't always have the luxury of revisiting wines over a period of several hours and, admittedly, we're not always assessing wines that merit that kind of attention. But after spending an evening immersed in an extraordinary lineup of wines including several made by Howell over dinner with him and his wife, Katie, at David Lynch's superb St. Vincent, his point was well taken. In our haste, we're missing out on some of the nuance and beauty of wines that don't necessarily reveal their charms within a few moments or even a few hours after hitting the glass. Poured along side wines like Knob Creek's Distillery a 2005 Château Diplomat Adam Harris liter- Grillet, 2008 G.D. ally has time in a bottle. Varja Albe which Howell described as "Burgundylike," '99 Château Rayas and a 2007 Cain Vineyard & Winery's Clusel-Roch Chris Howell was headed among several to Burgundy to speak on others, Howell's blending questions and NV9 Cain Cuveé, why we're so obsessed 2004 Cain Five with vintage dating. and 2008 Cain Five spoke their own volumes of deep, meaty mountain fruit, complex brown spices and dried herbs with elegant weight, lifted fruit and notes of mocha and leather. That evening, they unfurled following a very similar path to the Old World wines. All they required to fully reveal their individual natures was the time that we gave them. The flavors being served up at Rich Table when Knob Creek Bourbon brought Chef Michael Symon and its Big Flavor Dinner 26  /  the tasting panel  /  august 2013 TP0813_001-33.indd 26 7/24/13 9:46 PM

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