Today I passed my second wine certification test (Wines of the United States), so to celebrate I decided to attend the Foxen tasting at Wine Steals. Given how much I enjoy California Central Coast wines I was really looking forward to this. Wine Steals at Point Loma has a beautiful location but no parking so I went a little early to find the place already packed. I grabbed a glass of Primitivo and went to the patio to find a place to settle in and wait for the tasting. After about 30 minutes out the wines came and I happily took my place in line. The tasting (4 wines, $5) went as follows:
2006 Chenin Blanc Ernesto Wickenden Vineyard “Old Vines”. Light and crisp, good acid balance and hints of apple and pear (in some ways I was being reminded of a clean Sauvignon Blanc).
2007 Chardonnay, Tinaquaic Vineyard. Again, light colored with a little more yellow tint than the Chenin Blanc. The nose reminded me a bit of buttered popcorn (malolactic/Oak fermentation) with notes of peach and vanilla. Nice acidity and minerality, will want to see what this wine is like in another year.
2006 Pinot Noir, Bien Nacido Vineyard. A fine example of a young-ish Pinot Noir. Clean, translucent cherry red coloring, notes of raspberry and cherry, well balanced acidity, fruit and soft tannins with a nice finish. Nice work!
2005 Sangiovese Volpino, "Little Fox". Technically a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot (78%/22%) producing tight nose of earth and what I could best describe as chocolate-covered cherries. Firm tannins, good acidity and a nice finish make this a good food wine to have on hand.
The Chenin Blanc and Sangiovese are nice examples of what a good winery can do with some of the "non-standard" grapes one usually finds around here. Now on to studying for my next test over wines of Italy... Filippi's anyone?