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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

April 4/11: California Wine Fair in Toronto

The Time and Date: Monday, April 4, 2011   2:30 PM to 5 PM
The Event: California Wine Fair, 2011 Toronto Tour.
The Venue: Fairmount Royal York
The Target Audience: wine trade
The Availability/Catalogue: your guess is as good as mine is. The
catalogue itself was nicely laid out, with names and numbers, websites,
agencies, and the wines. But, as inevitable, some wines were listed but
not in the show, while others were in the show but not listed. Some
wines are not available, some are private, consignment, arriving soon
(or sold out), etc. Prices were scarce, and we had to ask after
The Quote/Background: The show gets bigger every year.
The Wines: There were about 425 wines, an awesome number. I could not
taste them all. I had tasted at a preview media affair, about 50 wines,
and of course, I did not re-try them today. See last month's report for
the tasting notes.
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Knights Valley
-Landmark Overlook Chardonnay 2008 Sonoma County/Santa Barbara, $32.95
-Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa, $34.95
-Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Napa, $141.95 Halpern
-Stag's Leap Wine Cellars SLV Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Artesa Winery Chardonnay 2009 Carneros, July Vintages, $25
-Bogle Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 California, $18.95 Abcon
-Castle Rock Chardonnay 2009 Central Coast
-Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Dry Creek Valley
-Rancho Galante Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Carmel
-Heitz Chardonnay 2008 Napa
-Heitz Trailside Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Napa
-Ironstone Reserve Estate Grown Meritage 2006 Sierra Foothills, $44.95
-Michael David 7 Heavenly Chard Chardonnay 2009 Lodi, $24.95 Dionysus
-Miner Family Viognier 2009 California
-Nichols Merlot Reserve 2000 Paso Robles Vinas del Sol, $42.88 Le
-Nichols Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 Paso Robles Vinas del Sol, $52.50
-Paul Dolan Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Mendocino, $24  Calibrium
-Peju Merlot 2006 Napa
-Perry Creek Altitude 2401 Viognier 2009 El Dorado
-Ravenswood Barricia Zinfandel 2007 Sonoma, $33.95 Vintages
-Robert Mondavi Merlot 2007 Napa
-Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2006 Napa, $139.95
-Schug Carneros Estate Chardonnay 2009
-Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Alexander Valley, $81.95 Halpern
-Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa
-Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Fay Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa
-Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Karia Chardonnay 2008 Napa
-Vineyard 7 & 8 Chardonnay 2005 Spring Mountain, $40 East West Wine
*** Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Firestone Chardonnay 2009 California
-Foley Family Chardonnay 2008 Santa Rita Hills
-Paul Dolan Chardonnay 2009 Mendocino
-Schug Carneros Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Sonoma
The Food: domestic and imported cheeses (aged Canadian cheddar,
provolone, triple cream brie, oka, cambozola, havarti with dill, Danish
blue, and lecreameaux). Plus fruit, nuts and breads.
The Downside: it got crowded and hot really fast.
The Upside: a good chance to pick and choose through wines.
The Contact Person: or
The Marketing Effectiveness of this Event (numerical grade): 88.

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