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Old 04-08-2008, 04:25 PM posted to
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Default WTN: Wines in CA (Zin, Riesling, SB, Spanna)

So after the truly fun night at Berry Crawford's with the Sacramento
tasting group, the rest of my vacation was very NOT vinocentric.
Mostly supermarket wines, as we had family time, and I'm the only
person who cares about wine. Plus we weren't near many good stores
(Corti Bros etc is far away from where in-laws live)

Betsy cooked dinner in Sacramento Wednessay. With sauteed red
snapper, brocolli rabe, and a zucchini/asiago dish, the 2006 Silverado
Vineyards "Miller Ranch" Sauvignon Blanc (Napa). This was actually
lighter than I expected for Napa SB, actually a little thin, but clean
citrus and floral aromas, no oak, pleasant if uninspiring. B-/B

Thursday we drove with her parents down the lovely (ack!) Central
Valley through LA to Laguna Beach. Betsy's grandmother had put
together a tuna/waldorf salad for us, I grabbed a drier Riesling at a
supermarket. The 2004 Leasingham Bin 7 Riesling (Clare Valley) was
rather disappointing- I usually quite like Clare Riesling. There was a
funny citrus meets chemical edge I couldn't put a name to- then I got
it- Lemon Pledge™! Better as a furniture wax than a wine, C-

Friday Betsy wanted to cook for her family, with her grandmother's
restricted diet decided on roast chicken. A new wine store had opened
in Laguna, I wandered down there for a look. The prices stunned me -
$55 for a 2002 Mongeard-Mugneret Fixin was just one example! OK, not
much shopping here. So I picked up an $11 wine, the 2001 Torraccia
del Piantavigna "Tre Confini" Spanna (Colline Novaresi). I figured how
much can they overprice an $11 wine, plus I could remind in-laws of
the '55 Vallana Spanna I had for their 50th. This actually was a
decent little Nebbiolo. Browning edges, totally mature, but a little
tar and good ripe cherry fruit with just a hint of prune. Good value.

Saturday Betsy was making a beef pot roast, I picked up the 2006 Ridge
"Three Valleys" (Sonoma County)(I doesn't says Zinfandel on front
label, but at 80% qualifies) at the Whole Foods. I've not always
loved the 3 Valleys bottling, but this was pretty classic Ridge to me.
Nice zinberries, baking spices, balanced acidity, light tannins.
There's some new oak, but fairly integrated already. Medium-weight,
tasty, not especially complex. B+

The family was more important than the wine, good to get away a bit.

Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent
wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't
drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no
promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.

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