There were actually eight wines tasted here this weekend, the six scheduled and presented by Curtis Gauthier of Empire Distributing, and two additional chardonnays that proved noteworthy. Six wines deserve commentary here.
The 2009 Rodney Strong Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc ($12.99/btl) was complex and rich with body for that grape type. It was quintessential California wine and did not rely on the transient popularity of the citrus overdose so many have.
The 2009 Marquis de Caceres Rioja Rose ($9.99/btl) was just about right for what it was in our time and place, ie., its summer wine and this is summer.
2009 Ernie Els "Big Easy" Red Blend ($19.99/btl) is a South African Syrah/Cabernet blend with a few other grapes filling it out. It was clearly superior wine with its mouth-filling new world grapy Rhone-ish opulence. "Centerpiece" would seem to be the operative word here.
Henri Savard NV French Blanc de Blancs ($9.99/btl) was timely in the same way the rose was. It helped that Curtis, a trained chef, served it with a dollop of raspberry sorbet in it.
The 2008 NO Chardonnay ($13.99/btl) was not served Friday night since it was from a different distributor but I did show it with the others on Saturday and it was obviously superior to many others on the table. NO is unoaked California wine that still seems more substantial and complex than others in that category.
The 2003 Carpe Diem Mount Eden Chardonnay ($24.99/btl) was one I had taken off the shelf fearing it was no longer good. It was actually great on Friday but less so on Saturday and when I finished it on Sunday, it was spotty. Eight years is the maximum you should expect for new world chardonnay from a superior vintage and this one was just right, but they do decline quickly after uncorking.
The best sellers this weekend were the sauvignon blanc, rose, and sparkler. Hey, it's summer! Stop in this week and try them with a 10% discount.