Attended the Institute of Civil Engineers on Monday for what I believe is the first ever purely USA tasting. Some excellent wines on show but suffering from the usual problem of being somewhat non-competitive pricewise. 37 wines to get through, but only 7 under a tenner. Admittedly, I was looking for a party wine for a 4th July event and managed to find one: the Peltier Road Sauvignon Blanc at £7.50. Very new world but plenty of fruit while remaining crisp and dry. Also liked the Pedroncelli Chardonnay at £10.50. Seems Jim has upped his game since I last tasted this at the winery 3 or 4 years ago - it’s now worthy of its Dry Creek Valley AVA.
The McManis Petite Syrah was really something different. A lot of black fruit which reminded me of an Australian durif , which is not surprising since it’s probably the same grape. £9.95 and very good value.
Zinfandels were much as expected and varied in quality according to price. I liked the Sorbon Estate (£16) - powerful and in-your-face but with a very good finish. The Society’s old vine zin remains excellent value - I ordered a dozen. The two Ridge zins were for tasting only.
There were a number of Pinot Noirs on taste from several AVAs, but the Lemelson three (£19.50 - £26) showed well. I always think Oregon does this best.
A very interesting tasting with some classy wines which brought back memories of a number of visits to Sonoma. Good to see both Matthew and Ewan here.