Wilfred Wong is the popular and affable Cellar Master at BevMo! His palate is highly regarded; his opinions matter a great deal. Please enjoy.
Winery images have been borrowed from the respective wineries’ Web sites; for emphasis and their promotional use, only. Wilfred’s image comes from his BevMo! wine blog page.
If you’d like to review more wine picks from Wilfred Wong, just search wine-blog for “Wilfred” and all of his recommendations will be listed.
Meanwhile, enjoy his three San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition wine picks…
From my notebook: Notes from an extreme taster
Three Super Wines from the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
By Wilfred Wong
After three days and over 350 wines, I was so ready for the Sweepstakes Round. I entered the room and saw 50 judges (including myself) and 85 wines =4,250 wine glasses on the table. A sea of wine filled glasses on the table and all we had to do was to vote for the best: sparkler, white wine, pink wine, red wine, and dessert wine. This is how sweepstakes award rounds are all about at wine competitions- one grand beauty contest! So along with the 49 other judges, I went to work and did what I had to do – pick my best wines. The choices were difficult since all the wines had already undergone their individual panel judgments and best of class awards. For this weekend’s trio of wine, I have selected the 2009 Domaine Carneros Sparkling Wine, the 2012 Husch Vineyards Chardonnay and 2011 Kenwood Merlot- all available at BevMo! of course.
There is no mystery with the 2009 Domaine Carneros Sparkling Wine (BevMo! Retail: $28.99) showed so well. In my earlier tasting at the BevMo! Service Center, this wine came through with bright apple fruit, a touch of yeastiness and a lively finish. This is real star on the palate. Made from 59% Pinot Noir and 41% Chardonnay, this is of California’s very best bubblies.
Long time followers of California wines know that Husch Vineyards in Mendocino County is a rock solid producer. The 2012 Husch Vineyards Chardonnay dances delicately on the palate; shows lots of core fruit flavors; well textured and rewarding on the palate and crisp in the finish. (BevMo! Retail: $15.99)
Never wanting to be in the corner is the finely constructed 2011 Kenwood Merlot. The wine is firm yet softly tannic on the palate. Exhibiting red currant and savory flavors, this is true stand-up example of the varietal. (BevMo! Retail: $10.99)
There were 82 other really fine wines on the table, this trio seemed to jump out the best of the best. This concluded this four day judging,the first major competition of 2014, and covered wines from all over the United States. Hey this is hard work, but somebody has to do it.