After our first RH Wine Group in January, I had doubts that we’d be able to keep up the momentum 30 days later. Well, I was definitely wrong, as we had 11 wines to blind taste this month, and everyone seemed a little more comfortable with our voting system. While 11 wines are tough to get through in one night, it worked.
The focus this month was on Meritage, which is a Bordeaux-style wine that contains at least 75% of a specific grape varietal (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot or Carmenère) with no varietal comprising more than 90% of the blend.
So how did it go? Well here are the results:
1st place – 2005 Pahlmeyer – a runaway winner, receiving six 1st place votes. It wasn’t really close, and the only real issue we had with this wine was that the couple who brought it only brought one bottle (bummer for us!!!). Robert Parker rated this wine 96 and Wine Spectator gave it a 94. Bravo winemaker Erin Green with this Cabernet Sauvignon based red.
2nd place – 2005 Jayson – wow, a Pahlmeyer Vineyards wine take both 1st and 2nd. Another Erin Green creation, this one a Merlot based red. We really can’t classify this wine as a Meritage, as it only contains 73% Merlot, so it classified as a Bordeaux style red, but was close enough for us. What was strange about this one was that six people voted it their worst wine of the night, and we believe that the first bottle was actually a bad bottle. People who had the second bottle really liked it, and it carried though in the voting with four 1st place votes along with 3 second place votes.
3rd place – we had a tie here, although not without a little bit of controversy. The wines were the 2008 Del Dotto Caves and the 1997 Chateau St. Jean. Problem is that the CSJ was a Cabernet Sauvignon, and not a Meritage.
The other participants this month included:
- 2007 Grand red wine
- 2007 Sterling Vineyards – brought by 2 different couples
- 2008 Nine Points – this wine is private labeled by Stag’s Leap Cellars for Safeway and other grocery stores
- 2006 Ramey (claret) – RP 88, WS 91
- 2007 Jayson – a third Pahlmeyer Vineyards entrant
And finally, our booby-prize winner this month was a little unfair. The clear last place wine was a true Bordeaux, the 2005 Reignac Bordeaux Superior from France. It’s no surprise that the only French wine in the lot showed so poorly against all the California wines it was tried against.
That’s it for this month. Our March get-together has a lot to live up to after our February tasting.