Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

San Francisco winemakers to watch (er, drink)

By Jessica Yadegaran
Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 at 12:33 pm in Uncategorized.

Hope you made it out to the inaugural San Francisco winemakers tasting on July 27 at Arlequin Wine Merchant. I’m assuming you did because it was a packed house. I applaud Arlequin for taking on this event and cause, and hope they make it an annual thing. Negociants have been the Renaissance men and women of wine forever and in countries around the world. It’s SF’s turn.

I’ll try to stick to wines and winemakers I haven’t mentioned in this blog, though it’s hard…not…to…gush about Bryan Harrington’s wines. I savored every drop of the 2006 Brosseau Vineyard (Chalone) Pinot Noir ($52.50). The limestone in the soil of this Monterey property is a dead ringer for Burgundy, with tea, herbs and chalk.  Check back with me in 2013 on that one. If you want Bryan’s wines, go to his web site.

Onward. Riding the same elegant wave is August West’s 2006 Pinot Noir Graham Family Vineyard ($48). Ed Kurtzman’s Sandler 2006 Dry Creek Zinfandel ($30) is also a nod to balance and subtlety, two words you probably don’t associate with California Zinfandel. It was a cool year, apparently, because the grape behaves way more like a Pilates instructor than a body builder. It’s lithe, not brawny. For Ed’s wines, sign up for his mailing list. No guarantees, but it’s worth a try.

A.P. Vin poured two Pinot Noirs, and the 2006 Keefer Ranch Russian River Valley ($48) was showing beautifully. Freakishly balanced, it showed equal parts fruit, pepper and earth, and paired amazingly well with everything Arlequin was serving — from heirloom tomato gazpacho and grilled cheese to lamb sliders.

My biggest thrill of the day was tasting the wines of Broc Cellars. I bought a bottle of the 2006 Dry Stack Vineyard ($34) from the Bennett Valley and am so stoked to share it with some Rhone rangers. Jeff Cohn,  have you tried this wine? It’s game, it’s velvet, it’s herbs and smoke. Chris Brockway brings it. A delightful wine at a good price point. You can buy it on his web site.

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