On Monday, July 15, I had the opportunity to taste three wines as a virtual taster during the Welcome Wine Reception of the Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS) Showcase that was held at the Napa Valley Marriott. This was my second year participating in this event.
Kudos go to WineTwits for organizing the event again this year and to the three wineries that provided samples: Garnet Vineyards, Renwood Winery, and Wente Vineyards. I was humbled to be asked to participate a second time. During the event, I reconnected with some long-time friends and made some new friends. Below are brief tasting notes about each wine we tasted.
2012 Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay, Livermore Valley, retail $13.00 at the winery
To achieve a balance of fruit and oak, 50% of this wine is barrel fermented in neutral American, French, and Hungarian oak, while the other 50% is fermented in stainless steel tanks. This is such an aromatic, well-balanced Chardonnay, especially for its price point. It has fruity aromas and flavors of green apple, lemon, and tropical fruits combined with toasted oak flavors, a creamy texture, and nice acidity.
2011 Garnet Vineyards Pinot Noir, Monterey County, retail $14.99 at the winery
The vines for this Pinot Noir are planted on benchlands near the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA, where winemaker Alison Crowe and her team control production from vineyard to bottle. This is a ripe, yet elegant, Pinot Noir with a plush mouthfeel and good acidity. It is loaded with aromas and flavors of blackberry, cherry, cranberry, cocoa, earth, and spice.
2010 Renwood Winery Premier Old Vine Zinfandel, Amador County, retail $19.99 at the winery
This Zinfandel was a 2013 Los Angeles International Wine Competition Gold Medal Winner, receiving a score of 94 points and Best of Class designation. This is a big wine, 15.5% alcohol and 0.10% residual sugar, and is a blend of 92.5% Zinfandel, 5.8% Syrah, and 1.7% Souzao. It boasts aromas and flavors of dark berries, dust, espresso, and spice, with an ample mouthfeel and a bit of acidity on the finish.