The Wine: Bidoli Sauvignon Blanc, Friuli, Italy, 2016
What we Tasted: "Perfumy," Grapefruit, Lemongrass, Flinty, Floral, "Dove Soap," Apricot, Pine, "Under-ripe Banana," "Caramelized Sugar," Saline
What we Guessed: New Zealand Chardonnay, French Viognier, French Chenin Blanc, French Sauvignon Blanc
What we Thought: This wine caused a lot of sour faces in our tasting panel, but most of us warmed up to it. "Needs food" said one taster, "This would work well with seafood" said another. After several more sips, one taster said "The more I drink it, the more I like it." The crisp acidity and intense minerality made it a wine that would happily keep some shellfish company!
The Wine: Sisters Forever Chardonnay, Central Coast, California, 2015
What we Tasted: "stinky guava," Pineapple, "Circus Peanut Candy," Musky, "Slightly burned marshmallow," Little bit of oak, "Under-ripe bannana," Toast, "Spinach," Malolactic, "male cat-pee"
What we Guessed: Italian Pinot Grigio, South African Chenin Blanc, Italian Sauvignon Blanc, California Chardonnay
What we Thought: This wine divided our tasting panel. While some liked it, it got mixed reviews from some of our tasters. "Not crazy about it, but I like it," said one taster. Another said it "needs the right atmosphere" and said that he could picture drinking it by a roaring fire in the winter. I enjoyed this rich and creamy, but oakless Chardonnay.
The Wine: Sean Minor Pinot Noir, Central Coast, California, 2015
What we Tasted: "Cooked Strawberries," Clove, "raspberry Jam," Cherry, Lemon Peel, Lavender, Cinnamon, "Goji Berry," "Dried figs," "Inside of Cherry Toaster Strudel"
What We Guessed: Bordeaux red, Washington State Pinot Noir, California Pinot Noir
What we Thought: This wine was almost instantly recognized as Pinot Noir by most of our panel. Most of us were big fans of the fruity and floral nose, and enjoyed the soft flavors of this wine. One taster mentioned that it "needs lamb," although most of us were happy to drink it on its own.
The Wine: Bruce Patch Zinfandel, Sonoma County California, 2015
What we Tasted: Cigar, Black cherry, peppermint, Cedar, Clove, Toffee, Eucalyptus, vanilla, pepper, cinnamon, "plywood"
What we Guessed: Chilean Cabernet, Australian Shiraz, California Cabernet
What we Thought: This was the "best in show" of the night. We all enjoyed this well crafted and complex Zinfandel. Comments ranged from "I really like this," to "it's so complex." One taster said it was "beautiful." Pretty high praise indeed!