A few weeks ago, the Wine Industry Technology Symposium met at the Napa Valley Marriott and had two days filled with speakers, presentations, and events. The Symposium was founded back in 2005 by a mix of professionals of both the wine and technology industries. It was created to address the unique technology needs of the wine industry.
During the Symposium, there were many tastings and events as one might expect. During the first day of the Symposium, WineTwits held a huge virtual tasting that featured wines from six different producers: Wente Vineyards, Garnet Vineyards, Redwood Winery, Kendall-Jackson, Jamieson Ranch Vineyards, and Franciscan Estate Vineyards. Participants of this virtual tasting, tasted through all the wines and joined fellow wine bloggers and wine lovers from all over on Twitter to tweet about the event using hashtag, #WITS2014. They were also joined by the winemakers who tweeted along with them, providing a wonderful dialogue for the event. Due to unforeseen circumstances with my work, I was unable to participate in the tasting. I did however have an opportunity to taste each of these fantastic wines, and wanted an opportunity to write about them and share my thoughts with you. I present to you the wines of the #WITS2014 tasting.
Wente Vineyards 2012 Morning Fog Chardonnay: I had an opportunity to taste this wine a while back for International Chardonnay Day and absolutely loved it. This is 100% Chardonnay and pours a pale lemon color in the glass. On the nose, you get vibrant green apple, white stone fruit, honeydew melon, spice, and vanilla. On the palate, flavors of green apple, pear, melon, spice, toasty oak, vanilla, and spice are embraced by nice acidity. This wine spends some time sur lie aging which gives the wine, viscosity, body, and a savory component that adds another level of complexity, which I absolutely love. The wine also has a long, satisfying finish. $12 SRP.
Garnet Vineyards 2012 Monterey County Pinot Noir: This cool climate, California Pinot Noir is aged in 100% French Oak for 11 months. The wine pours a lovely ruby color in the glass with pink hues. Immediately, the glass fills with a bouquet of cherries, cranberries, plums, raspberries, spice, oak, and vanilla. The robust flavors of the dark red fruits continue on the palate giving it a big, juicy mouthfeel. Another layer of vanilla, spice, and cola emerges. The wine has a decent amount of acidity and a long finish. I typically drink Pinot Noirs from Oregon and Burgundy so it was interesting to taste this California Pinot Noir. It is definitely a different style from what I normally drink. $14.99 SRP.
Franciscan Estate 2011 Magnificat: I have had the opportunity to taste this Bordeaux-style red blend before in different vintages and have always enjoyed it. The blend is composed of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec. The wine pours a deep ruby color in the glass with long legs upon swirling the wine. On the nose, the wine offers ample dark fruits such as blackberry and boysenberry as well as dark cherry and plum. As the wine opens up more in the glass, you get aromas of espresso, baker’s chocolate, and tobacco. On the palate, robust dark fruits dominate as well as layers of the baker’s chocolate, espresso, cassis, and vanilla, all embraced by a firm tannic structure. The mouthfeel of this wine is rich and robust and has a lingering finish. Always an excellent wine. $50 SRP
Jamieson Ranch 2011 Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon: This Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is aged for 18 months in 100% French Oak. In the glass, the wine pours a dark ruby color with aromas of blackberry, blackcurrant, dark cherry, cocoa, leather, cedar, toasted oak, and vanilla. Flavors of blackberry, raspberry, dark cherry, cocoa, and vanilla coat the palate. The wine has rich, silky tannins and a very long finish. This wine would pair great with a bacon cheeseburger or a juicy steak. $55 SRP
Kendall-Jackson 2011 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: This Sonoma County wine is 94.8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.4% Petit Verdot, 0.5% Merlot, and 0.2% Cabernet Franc. The wine is aged 17 months in 82% French Oak and 18% American Oak. The wine pours a deep ruby color in the glass with aromas of blackberry, black cherry, blackcurrant, espresso, dark chocolate, leather, and an herbaceous note from the touch of Cabernet Franc that the blend has. On the palate, the wine shows the lush black fruit, espresso, dark chocolate, sweet spices, and hints of herbs, mint, and licorice; all embodied by finely integrated tannins and a long finish. $28 SRP
Renwood 2011 Old Vine Zinfandel Amador County: This Zinfandel pours a deep ruby color in the glass with thick, long legs as the wine is swirled in the glass. The glass fills with aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, blueberry, cherry, and raspberry jam. On the nose you also gets aromas of sweet spice, vanilla, toasted oak, cocoa powder, fresh ground pepper, and dust. The palate is filled with juicy, ripe dark fruits, cocoa, vanilla, coffee, spice, and fresh ground pepper on the finish with a bold tannic structure. This wine is really big and bold and would be BBQ’s best friend. It definitely begs for ribs or burgers. $19.99 SRP
There you have the wines featured at the WineTwits virtual tasting in honor of the 2014 Wine Industry Technology Symposium. All these wines can be purchased at the respective winery’s websites or across various online wine merchants. WineTwits has also partnered with Uber to provide two free rides valued at up to $15 each way to be used anywhere Uber has service until the end of this year. To take advantage of this offer, download the Uber app and enter WITS2014 in the promotions tab. You can also text WITS2014 to 827-222 or click here to sign up to take advantage of this promotion.
Although I regret that I was unable to participate in the live virtual tasting with WineTwits, I enjoyed tasting through the wines from the event and sharing them with you. Be sure to check out each of the above producer’s websites to learn more about their wines as well as check out the WineTwits website to learn more about them and the awesome events they produce.
Until the next time. Cheers!
*These wines were provided as media samples for review purposes.