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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

California Cruisin': Sante wine tasting May 8, 2008

The Time and Date: Thursday, May 8, 2008  7PM to 10PM

The Event: California Cruisin': a Sante tasting of California wines.

The Venue: Crystal & Currelly Galleries at the ROM

The Target Audience: consumers.

The Availability/Catalogue: the normal Sante catalogue was presented, with all the relevant data about the wines and the grapes. It only lacked for levels of availability and prices. Most of the wines being shown were somewhere in the LCBO distribution system.

The Quote: "The range of wines here is impressive, from Martha's Vineyard at $230 a bottle down to plonk."

The Wines: 27 wineries were slated to exhibit some 100 wines. I did not taste them all. I managed to get a few prices.


**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay Napa 2005 $44.95

-Chimney Rock Elevage 2004 $72

-Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon Stages Leap District 2005 $58

-Cuvaison Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 $80

-Heitz Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Martha's Vineyard 2002 $230

-Heitz Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley $160

-Nichols Winery Edna Ranch Pinot Noir Clone 777 2001 $52.50

-Nichols Winery Vinas del Sol Merlot 2000

-Robert Craig Mt.Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 $98

-Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Reserve 2004 $83

-Hess Collection Artezin Zinfandel 2006 $24


***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (8890 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 $39.95

-Cakebread Chardonnay 2005

-Buena Vista Carneros Chardonnay 2005

-Clos du Bois Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

-Cuvaison Chardonnay Carneros 2006 $26

-Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Chardonnay 2006

-Heitz Cellars Chardonnay 2006

-Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

-Ironstone Reserve Cabernet Franc 2005 $32

-Paul Dolan/Parducci Organic Chardonnay 2006

-Robert Craig Affinty 2005 $60.50

-Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 $57

-Tangley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 $23

-Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 $24

-Thomas Fogarty Gewurztraminer Monterey 2006 $22

-Thomas Fogarty Skyline Red 2005 $19

-Hess Collection Monterey Chardonnay 2006


*** Three Stars (8587 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Ironstone Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 $18

-Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay 2006

-Sterling Napa Valley Chardonnay 2005

-Tangley Oaks Chardonnay 2005 $20

-Trinchero Family Menage a Trois White 2006


The Food: Globe Bistro (Chef Ben Heaton) had a lobster seviche in a spoon, Far Niente (Chef Gordon Mackie) had crab cakes, while Reds (Chef Michael Steh) had Berkshire pork belly. The Dairy Farmers of Canada contributed three cheeses. Daniel et Daniel did a table spread of dips and veggies. Starbucks contributed coffees.

The Downside: the evening went by incredibly fast.

The Upside: good crowd control, with no shoving or pushing.

The Contact Person:

The Effectiveness (numerical grade): 92.


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