The Time and Date:  Tuesday, March 10, 2009   5 PM to 8:30 PM
The Event: California Wine Fair Media Preview Tasting
The Venue: Far Niente Restaurant, 187 Bay Street, Toronto, tel: (416) 214-9922
The Target Audience: Wine media
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines are, or will be, available.
The Quote/Background: We tasted the wines single blind (we knew California and grape variety).
The Wines: Of the 47 wines tried, out of the expected 400 or more at the April 6 show, I enjoyed the following :

**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
— Landmark Vineyards Overlook Sonoma Chardonnay 2007 – not available (Lorac Wine Agency)
Merryvale Vineyards Starmont Chardonnay Napa 2007, $32.95 – Consignment from Profile Wine Group.
— Kenwood Vineyards Old Vine Zinfandel Lodi 2006, $18.95 – Consignment from Rogers & Co.
Heitz Wine Cellars Martha’s Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2002, $230 – Private order from Lifford Agencies.
— Heitz Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2004, $68.95 – Vintages

***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
— Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2006, $29.95 – Vintages in July
Testarossa Vineyards Castello Chardonnay Central Coast 2007, $29.95 – private order from B&W Wines.
Far Niente Napa Chardonnay, $80 – Classics in September 2009
La Crema Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2007, $31.95 – LCBO in June
— Lucas & Lewellen High Nine Pinot Noir Santa Barbara Coast 2006, not available (Saverio Schiralli)
— Treana Winery Cando Zinfandel California NV, $26.95 – not available (Noble Estates)
— Sebastiani Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2006, $26.95 – not available (Select Wines)
Trinchero Family Vineyards Newman’s Own Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, $18.95 – Vintages in May
— Heitz Trailside Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2002 – Private order from Lifford Agencies.
Cuvaison Winery Brandlin Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder Napa 2005, $89 – Vintages in October 2009
— JanKris Winery Crossfire 2005 (50CabSauv/25Mer/25Syrah) – not available (Majestic Wine Cellars)

The Food: lamb lollipops, braised ribs, seared tuna, salmon, shrimp, panko chicken, diverse breads – all after the tasting.
The Upside: I was going to be away April 6, and would miss the show. This was a great opportunity to try some of the wines – and blind too!
The Downside: some of my white wines were too warm.
The Contact Person:
The Marketing Effectiveness (numerical grade): 92.