This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20070801.php.
So much wine, so little time. That's the way I felt yesterday afternoon when Vanguard Wines, an excellent, small regional wine distributor based on Columbus, Ohio, came to our town yesterday to show off a good portion of its eclectic portfolio to potential buyers in the wine-retail and restaurant trade.
I was lucky enough to be invited to join the tasting in the old Seelbach Hotel's 1907 Rathskeller room with its baroque Rookwood Pottery tile decor. I was unlucky enough to have the invitation fall on a very busy day, when the tug and pull of conflicting deadlines allowed me only about a half-hour to make my choices from what appeared to be several hundred wines open at about 40 winery and importer booths.
How do you choose? A random walk, more or less. I looked for people I knew - it was a special treat to catch up with Carole Meredith, the retired UC/Davis oenology professor whose team tracked down the ancestry of Zinfandel and many other varieties, and who now, with her husband Stephen Lagier, owns an excellent Napa Valley winery specializing in Syrah - and I looked for wines and regions that I really wanted to taste.
I ended up sampling maybe 20 wines from a half-dozen tables, a random walk that only whetted my appetite for more. Time, alas, did not permit, but I thought you'd enjoy a quick peek at a potpourri of interesting, recently released wines from around the world that this group of importers and winery representatives were showing off.
Retail prices are my estimates based on Kentucky wholesale prices and/or actual street prices.
Terry Theise Estate Selections (Champagne and sparkling wines)
Schloss Gobelsburg Brut Reserve (Austria) ($36)
Champagne H. Billiot Fils Brut Reserve ($50)
Au Bon Climat (Santa Maria, California)
Au Bon Climat 2005 Santa Barbara Chardonnay ($20)
Domaine Serene (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
Domaine Serene 2004 Evenstad Reserve Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($55)
Domaine Serene 2004 Jerusalem Hill Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($100)
Terry Theise Estate Selections (Germany, Austria)
Nigl 2006 Kremser Freiheit Grüner Veltliner ($18)
Nikolaihof 2005 Hefeabzug Wachau Grüner Veltliner ($25)
Schloss Gobelsburg 2005 Gobelsburger Langenlois Grüner Veltliner ($18)
Nigl 2002 Kremser Kremsleiten Riesling ($30)
Elizabeth Spencer Wines (Napa)
Elizabeth Spencer 2006 Mendocino Sauvignon Blanc "Special Cuvee" ($18)
Elizabeth Spencer 2005 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($30)
Elizabeth Spencer 2005 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($30)
Elizabeth Spencer 2005 Sonoma Coast Syrah ($30)
Elizabeth Spencer 2005 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon ($35)
Lagier Meredith (Napa)
Lagier Meredith 2004 Mount Veeder Napa Valley Syrah ($50)
The Marchetti Co. (Italy)
Botter NV "Spago" Veneto Prosecco ($12)
Villa Calcinaia 2003 Chianti Classico ($24)
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