Barry Herbst is in the studio on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger, with 2023 Harvest Fair winners at Bottle Barn. Dan Berger was also on this episode back on October 2, with a first report on this year’s Harvest Fair winners.
Barry Herbst says that the public tasting at Bottle Barn last Saturday was well-attended. Almost all the winning wines from the 2023 Harvest Fair are there, in the middle of the store. It will stay up on display through the end of the year, although some of the wines may sell out before then.
Instead of his usual cellar wine, Dan Berger has brought a bottle of wine that he has just purchased that comes from Victoria, Australia. The Australians are doing a big promotion to change Americans’ perception of Australian wine. Victoria is a cool region that grows a lot of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This Little Yering Chardonnay is crisp and bright and sells for $18.
The problem for the Australian wines is that the low-cost Barefoot brand from Australia has miseducated the American public that Aussie wines should only sell for $8.
A Rosé of Aglianico
They begin by tasting the La Certosa Rosé that won Best of Class was made from Aglianico grapes. It is an Italian red variety that makes red wine but that has almost no color. It makes a light colored Rosé too.
Next they taste the Best of Class Chardonnay, a 2022 from the Miro label, made by Miro Tcholokov, who appeared on California Wine Country on this episode recorded on September 2, 2020.
It’s a single vineyard Chardonnay that has a lot of fruit taste. Dan thinks it might take only about a year in the cellar. Miro is the winemaker at Trentadue Winery and he also produces some of his own labels. Dan says that Miro’s Chardonnay has a little bit of Burgundian character, in that they have the aftertaste of a European Chard, with its notable acidity.
The next wine is a Grenache Blanc. Dan calls it “all-purpose” because the flavors are all about the fruit but it also has a nice minerality in its aftertaste. Grenache Blanc is only lightly planted in the US. Then finally they taste a Grenache Rouge. Barry discovered this producer because it won Best of Class Grenache in its price range. Alexander Valley, 2019. The tannins that it has are fruit tannins so they are softer. Barry compares it to a Spanish Grenache.