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Favorites from the LA Winefest

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Post by Greg Thompson/Special to LAist

Last Saturday's LA Winefest brought a number of vintners to Raleigh Studios. We have already checked out some of our favorite products from the event. Here are some of our favorite wines.

2004 Cobblestone Napa Cabernet was my first taste chosen among 500 wines, spirits, beers and other beverage offerings. It was a bold garnet Cabernet Sauvignon from a family estate vineyards high atop Atlas Peak. A blend of 2 clones and 6% Cabernet Franc for complexity, aged 18 months in French oak before lengthy bottle aging. Why did I start the tasting with a wine with such concentrated fruit and character?

Well, because Nicole Chamberlain, assured me that after a rinse with their SanTasti palate cleansing beverage my palate would be clear of tannins and I would be able to start a new beginning all over again (apologies to Yogi Berra) with the lightest of white wines. After a quick refreshing slug of the almost tasteless, slightly carbonated soda, I felt eady to challenge a white wine to show me some flavor.

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Derby Wine Estates 2007 Pinot Gris did our test proud. Bright grapefruit and honeysuckle overtones were followed by ripe apricot and lemon lime/citrus flavors. Not a hint of tannic jammy flavor from the cab survived the SanTasti baptism! Next, Derby's 2006 '1510' True to the current fashion especially in Paso Robeles wineries, a trendy blend of Marsanne, Rousanne, and Viogner. Crisp citrus and peach flavors open up into apricot jam, gingerbread and even a hint of Creme brulee from the malolactic fermentation of the Marsanne and Rousanne.