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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tasting Hitching Post wines (Santa Barbara) at the Albany Club, June 27

 The Date and Time:  Thursday, June 27, 2013   11AM to 3PM
The Event: tasting Hitching Post wines (Santa Barbara)
The Venue: Albany Club
The Target Audience: wine writers and sommeliers
The Availability/Catalogue: LCBO distribution channels
The Quote/Background: Gray Hartley, one of the founder-winemakers, was
Alaskan salmon fisherman for decades. His partner Frank Ostini is chef-
owner of Hitching Post Restaurant in Buellton, CA. Their focus has been
pinot noir since 1981 (they make 10 of them annually, along with two
syrahs, a merlot, and blend with some cab franc and merlot [Generation
Red]. Their philosophy is balance between fresh fruit, spices, and
earth complexity. They are repped by Glen Ward Wines.
The Wines:
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Hitching Post Hometown 2010 Pinot Noir: $26.95, +256644 (2009 at
Vintages now, 2010 coming Oct). 14.7% very good consistency, but dark
and brooding fruit and spice. Needs time.
-Hitching Post Cork Dancer 2010 Pinot Noir: $34.75 (2009 at Vintages
Online for $27). Oaky, with dark berries.
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price
Rating terms):
-Hitching Post Pinks 2012 Rose, $22 consignment: named after salmons, a
quality rose with juiciness. Half valdiguie/grenache grapes, with 5%
-Hitching Post Highliner 2009, $49.95 (2007 at Vintages Online) –
Highliner refers to the best fisherman, and this is one of their best
pinot noirs from Santa Barbara. Mouth filling but a hot finish from a
tough year.
Other wines at the LCBO system, but not tasted, include Hitching Coast
Fiddlestix Pinot Noir 2006 ($39, +316018), Perfect Set Pinot Noir 2007
($75, +271437), Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007 ($43, +329565) and St.
Rita's Earth Pinot Noir 2009 ($49, +329532).
The Food: sandwiches (ham, beef, cheese, salmon, etc.)
The Downside: I had a medical appointment, so I was a bit late.
The Upside: a chance to talk with Gray Hartley.
The Contact Person:
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 89

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