Sunday, January 31, 2010

Loyola Marymount Wine Classic 2010

Loyola Wine Classic

The field house at Loyola Marymount University was the setting for the 2010 Loyola Wine Classic.  The crowd that pushed its way into the cavernous gymnasium couldn't have been more excited if it were the Final Four being held there.  A gigantic crowd surged around the perimeter of the structure, tasting some of the finest wines available in California and exchanging notes with friends about what should be tried next.

So great was the throng that it was difficult for me to push toward the tables and have a taste myself.  Once there, it was difficult to maintain position for more than a couple of hurried samples.  I did manage to let myself be carried along with the crowd often enough to sample quite a few wines, most of which were exemplary.  It was impossible to use the crowd as a barometer of what was most popular - every table seemed to have a waiting line snaking away from it.

For what it's worth, William Cole Vineyards appeared to be the first winery to run out of their supply.  The pourer chirped, "I usually am."  Is it because so many people lined up to sample, because he poured large tastes or because he simply didn't bring as much as everyone else?  I don't know.  Neither did the student who was working the floor.  We had a bit of a laugh over it, though.

Here are the notable wines I tried, which is to say, every wine I tried.  Everything was good.  My favorites are noted as such and are in italics.

Loyola Wine Classic

Arns Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - big, bold nose - slightly medicinal notes

Cafaro Cellars Merlot 2006 - nice, toasty nose - great fruit

Falcone Family Vineyards Annate NV - Syrah/Cab Sauvignon/Petite Sirah blend  46/34/20% - big Paso Robles nose and flavor

Foxen Vineyards Range 30 West 2006 -  Merlot/Cab Sauvignon - tons of earth, very smooth - a fave

Foxen Chardonnay Bien Nacido 2008 - big nose, sort of grassy - rish taste

Miner Family Winery The Oracle 2005 - Bordeaux blend of 5 grapes - v intense, smooth as silk - a fave

Ortman Family Vineyards Paso Robles Sangiovese 2007 - bright cherry nose, cherry coke palate - a fave

Ortman Edna Valley Chardonnay - big, rich nose - outdoorsy taste

Paradigm Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - great nose - lushly earthy - a fave

Red Cap Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 and 2007 - both with tons of graphite and both delicious

Saddleback Cellars Viognier 2008 - huge floral nose, tropical palate - a fave

Lane Tanner Haka by Labrynth Tempranillo 2008 - very smooth and fruity

Lane Tanner Haka by Labrynth Petite Sirah 2008 - dark and spicy nose and taste - a fave

Lane Tanner Haka by Labrynth Free Bird 2008 - Merlot/Tempranillo blend with traces of Petit Verdot and Cab S - great fruit

Vinoce Vineyard - Cabernet Franc/Cab Suvignon and Merlot 2006 - fab nose, wonderfully dense - a fave

WesMar Winery Pinot Noir Balletto Vineyard 2007 - mellow, tea-like flavor

White Rock Vineyards Claret 2005 - wonderful graphite and penetrating dryness - a fave

ZD Wines Chardonnay 2008 - grapes from 4 regions - nose like a campfire