The Savor Dallas Reserve Tasting is where the Big Dog wines are served. The wines offered normally retail for at least $50 per bottle. Some are are priced significantly higher. The vendors tend to compete with each other for a virtual “Best In Tasting” award making for an all around better experience for the consumer.
This year’s event featured some stellar wines and none of the problems with lines that affected the Wine Stroll on Friday. My personal favorite red wine of the evening was the 2007 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, Napa Valley. It is Napa Cabernet Sauvignon personified with lush, soft tannins and intense dark fruit and vanillin in measurable amounts from careful use of new, French oak. You can drink it now with steak, lamb, of red game meat, or r keep it for a decade.
Jump for my tasting notes.
It was not a one-sided game for the Beringer however. Cabernet Blends were the strongest category. The 2006 Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages, 2005 Mount Veeder Reserve, 2006 Ramey ‘Larkmead’ (which somehow got dropped from the official program) and the 2008 Raymond were all close contenders (wine names have been shortened for clarity. See the web site for the full names).
The Pinot Noir category had the second largest number of wines entered. In a strong domestic field, 2007 Archery Summit Premier Cuvee, Willamette Valley, Oregon, 2006 Wild Horse “Cheval Sauvage”, Santa Maria Valley, CA and 2008 Wrath “San Saba Vineyard”, Monterey, CA were all notable. You may not have heard of the name ‘Wrath’ outside of the Steinbeck grape context but Wrath Wines is a minuscule boutique producer making a big name for itself and has an ownership connection to Dallas (which explains their presence at Savor Dallas).
In the ‘other reds’ category I give pride of place to the 2007 Numanthia Termes, Toro, Spain.
There were fewer whites than reds but my favorite Chardonnay was the 2007 Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay, Napa Valley-Carneros and my favorite “other white” was the 2007 Robert Mondavi Winery To Kalon Vineyard Fumé Blanc Reserve, Napa Valley.
Overall, the 2011 Savor Dallas Reserve Tasting was a virtually unqualified success and one hopes it continues in the same vein next year.