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Saturday, November 30, 2019

The November 7 Event: Taste Napa Valley: a celebration of excellence trade tasting

The Date and Time: Thursday November 7, 2019  2:30 PM to 5 PM
The Event: Taste Napa Valley: a celebration of excellence trade tasting
The Venue: ROM
The Target Audience: wine trade in afternoon, consumers at night
The Availability/Catalogue: wines are available in the LCBO distribution system. The spiral catalogue was sturdy and easy to use with the basics of names and agencies.
The Quote/Background: this is probably the most professional and sophisticated of all the Toronto trade tastings, with serious FBMs and sommeliers.
The Wines: I did not try every wine. I tasted most of the Cabernets and the Chardonnays. I was impressed by the chardonnays; many exceeded the Sonoma profile of greatness.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Black Stallion Poseidon Chardonnay 2017 Los Carneros $79.95  Select
-Cain Concept The Benchland Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Napa  Rogers
-Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2016 Napa   Rogers
-Clos Pegase Hommage Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa   Azureau
-Frank Family Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Rutherford   AbV Group
-Freemark Abbey Sycamore Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Rutherford  $200 Breakthru Beverage Canada
-Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2014 Napa $68 Vintages [my personal fave of the day]
-Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa  Rogers
-Groth Vineyards and Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2000 Oakville $224.95  The Vine Agency
-Groth Vineyards and Winery Hill Family Chardonnay 2018 Napa $64.95  The Vine Agency
-Hoopes Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville 2014    Wilson Wine and Spirits
-Keenan Winery Chardonnay 2017 Spring Mountain District $50  Profile
-Keenan Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Napa  Profile
-Louis M. Martini Lot 1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Napa   EJ Gallo
-Palmaz Vineyards Amalia Chardonnay 2017 Napa  Profile
-Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Napa   Rogers
-Revana Family Vineyard Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 St Helena   Le Sommelier
-Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Noirs Sparkling 2015 Napa  The Vine Agency
-Schramsberg Vineyards J. Schram Sparkling 2010 Napa  $169  The Vine Agency
-Shafer Vineyards Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay 2016 Los Carneros  Rogers
-Silenus Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2015 Napa   Carpe Vinum
-Silenus Winery Chardonnay 2018 Oak Knoll District Napa  $60   Carpe Vinum
-St.Supery Estate Vineyards Elu Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Napa   Von Terra
-William Hill Estate Chardonnay 2016 Napa   EJ Gallo
-Chateau Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Calistoga   Rogers
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Artesa Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2016 Los Carneros   A Peller
-Black Stallion Bucephalus Red Blend 2015 Napa $199   Select
-Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Napa  A Peller
-Frank Family Chardonnay 2017 Los Carneros  AbV Group
-Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Napa  Breakthru Beverage Canada
-Freemark Abbey Bosche Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Rutherford  Breakthru Beverage Canada
-Frog's Leap Chardonnay 2017 Napa  Rogers
-Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Oakville  The Vine Agency
-Pine Ridge Collines Vineyard Chardonnay 2017 Carernos  A Peller
-Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Stags Leap District  A Peller
-William Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Napa   EJ Gallo
-World's End If Six Was Nine Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Napa $100  Profile
-World's End Rocksteady Red Blend 2014 Napa $80   Profile
The Food: Daniel et Daniel with their superb smoked duck breast and meat platters, cheese platters, veggies, breads and dips. But no pate, unfortunately.
The Downside: I wished the catalogue had had a listing of overall prices, but each agency had to be asked.
The Upside: I felt comfortable talking about the wines and using the spittoons.
The Contact Person:
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 90


Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Treasurer, Wine Writers' Circle of Canada
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.

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