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October '09

Wine Report from the Fort
The best wines tasted at the Fort this year
By Fred McMillin

Of the many, many wines we tasted at the Fort this year, which where the most popular? Well, some were not low cost, with the favorite Chard at $70, the Cab at $55, and the sparkler at $100. But there were bargains, too – seven of the favorites were below $20. So without further adieu, here are all 20.

    Chardonnay: Jarvis Winery Napa Valley Reserve 2007, $70
    Gewurztraminer: Daniel Gehrs Wines Monterey County 2008, $19
    Pinot Gris: King Estate Oregon Acrobat 2008, $12
    Sauvignon Blanc: Clos Pegase Mitsuko’s Vineyard Napa Valley 2007, $20
    Viognier: Rosenblum Cellars California Kathy’s Cuvee 2008, $18

    Bonny Doon Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Vin Gris de Cigare 2008, $15

    Schramsberg Vineyards North Coast J. Schram 2007, $100


   Barbera: Shooting Star Lake County 2006, $14
   Cabernet Sauvignon: Dry Creek Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Endeavour 2004, $55
   Carignane: Frick Winery Mendocino County 2005, $22
   Malbec: Forestville Vineyards California 2005, $6
   Merlot: Canoe Ridge Vineyards Columbia Valley 2001, $25
   Petite Sirah: EOS Estate Winery Paso Robles Cupa Grandis 2004, $55
   Pinot Noir: Sebastiani Vineyards Carneros 2007, $28
   Sangiovese: Valley of the Moon Sonoma County 2008, $6
   Syrah: Silkwood Wines Stanislaus County 2004, $25
   Tempranillo: Deaver Vineyards Sierra Foothills 2006, $25
   Zinfandel: Peachy Canyon Winery Snow Vineyards Paso Robles 2006, $36

   Orange Muscat: Quady Winery California Essensia 2007, $25
   Merlot Port: Deaver Vineyards California NV, $42

What are some good stocking stuffers?
You can bring a smile to the face of any wine enthusiast with an affordable Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon by a prestigious winery. Here are two:
•    Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Chardonnay 2008, $8
•    Robert Mondavi Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, $11

Save gas, take a class

Instead of using gas to drive to the wine country, go to Fort Mason and take a class – Saturdays, 1 p.m., 20 wines.
•    Dec.12: California vs. the World – Compare California Chardonnays with their counterparts from other countries.
•    Feb. 6, 2010: Basics for Beginners – Learn the five basic types of wines and how they are made.
•    Feb. 27, 2010: Taste the Terms – Taste wines that illustrate the 100-plus terms used to describe wine.
Many people take terms over again because the wines and words are different each time. To enroll or wait-list, phone San Francisco City College at 415-561-1840, or visit

From my smile file

An 18-year-old young man inherited a position on the board of directors of a large winery.
At his first meeting, the board was deciding whether to plant an additional 1,000 acres of Chardonnay.

The board secretary announced the result of the voting. “We have two ‘nays’, nine ‘yeas’ and ‘one no problem.’ ”

Credits: Edgar Vogt (tastings); Opie Mercado & Ruby Dequis (statistics)

Fred McMillin was voted one of the best wine writers in the United States by the Academy of Wine Communications. Phone him with questions at 415-563-5712 or fax him at 415-567-4468.

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