Dan Berger and Barry Herbst are in the studio today on California Wine Country, with guest host Pete Foppiano. Steve Jaxon has the day off.
The first wine they taste is a 2016 D&L Carinalli Vineyards Pinot Noir, from Russian River Valley. Dan points out that it is quite young, so it is a good idea to decant it, or even swirl it in the glass. Dan Berger tastes various berry flavors, but he likes the pure Pinot Noir flavors, but it is not heavy. It would go with any food, it has a lot of weight to it, despite that it has delicate flavors. Dan calls it fruity and substantive. A wine this good could fetch $50 a bottle but it is $17 at Bottle Barn. Barry explains that they are a small operation with low overhead so they can put that lower price on it. D&L Carinalli have won a lot of medals in wine competitions, but Dan laments that they don’t do a lot of marketing. Barry notes that this is one of the wines available at the Bottle Barn website.
Next they taste the first wine that they used in the Bottle Barn flash sales online. It’s a super-Tuscan blend from Westerly in Santa Barbara. They call it Fletcher’s Red Blend, from Santa Ynez Valley. If you like bold Napa Cabernet, it’s for you. Pete Foppiano thinks it tastes heavier. Dan Berger says that it is a lovely expression of Sangiovese, with some oak, but not too much. What Dan Berger likes about this is that it’s a California wine, very unpretentious.
Dan Berger says that people should understand the impact of varietals on a blend. It is hard to know what you are going to get. Barry Herbst says that wineries are making more kinds of red blends and it may be confusing to consumers.
The next tasting is a Jed Steele Cabernet Franc. Dan says it’s bold without being too big. It’s aged in French Oak. It’s from Lake County where Jed is located. It has some dried herb character with dramatic fruit up front. Again, it’s a great value, at under $20. The oak was used very carefully and you almost don’t notice it. Dan says it should age for 6 or 7 years. It would go well with salmon, with its tannins, says Dan. He also suggests serving it in a big round glass that you can swirl the wine in.
Pete grew up eating ravioli and asks Dan for a wine idea. Dan says if it has a lot of fat and protein, go for a heavy red. Otherwise, for lighter fare, go for a richer wine.
Finally they taste a Zinfandel from Tanti winery. Pete Foppiano says that he is most impressed with the wide variety and diversity of types of wine grown and the diversity between various wineries as to how they make their wines.