THE WINE GUY: Top wines from the Grand Tasting tent

By: Rich Mauro
July 13, 2010

My second column on the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen last month presents a few of the highlights from my visits to the Grand Tasting tent.

I love Port and was delighted to try Graham’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port and 20 Year Old Tawny Port, and Symington’s 2007 Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port.

I also enjoyed table wines from Herdade do Esporão. The 2007 Esporão Reserva Red, 2008 Vinha da Defesa Red, 2008 Quatro (4) Castas (red), 2009 Esporão Vedelho and 2009 Monte Velho White reminded what great values Portuguese table wines are.

And I actually found a couple of Bordeaux values in the 2006 Chateau d’Issan and 2006 Chateau La Grange.

Then there were the tasty Oregon pinot noirs.

The 2006 Domaine Drouhin Laurène, 2007 Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvée, 2006 Firesteed Willamette Valley and 2007 Stoller JV Estate Dundee Hills all are worth seeking out.
From California there was discovery and rediscovery. The new: Somerston Wine’s 2007 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, poured by winemaker Craig Becker, was an excellent example of Napa Valley cab. Keep an eye out for this producer.

The well-established: Kalin Cellars. Owner and winemaker Terry Leighton poured a 1998 Semillon Livermore Valley, 1995 Cuvée LD Chardonnay and 1994 Cuvée Billon Pinot Noir. These fantastic wines actually are the current releases!

Rich Mauro has been writing about wine since 1995. He is a policy analyst for the Denver Regional Council of Governments. Reach him at or 30 S. Prospect St., Colorado Springs 80903.

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