Dinner with 5 wines tasted blind: a Sancerre and 4 CA Pinots

Our Monday night dinner group enjoyed another fun evening with some great food and service from Ca Dario Montecito while blind tasting 5 fun and intriguing wines:

2021 PATIENT COTTAT ANCIENES VIGNES SANCERRE- blind; this 100% Sauvignon Blanc comes from vineyards that are 30-45 years of age; it has less than 2 gpl of RS, but enough to include it in the notes as there was a bit of sweetness perceived late on the palate; it had nice acidity in the range of 4-5.3 gpl; thanks to the one who brought this and has brought a few other SBs, it was fairly easy to identify the varietal, but I struggled to determine its origin and after just having blind tasted 5 from Northern Italy, this seemed quite similar enough to call it such, especially from Fruili; the nose had some mineral accented lemon grass, lime, tangerine and grapefruit which continued on to the back end while being delivered in an oily, feel good texture; the sweet/ honey note was mild and embellishing; this was an impressive and tasty wine that was very food friendly.

We now poured and blind tasted 4 Pinot Noir that could be from anywhere in the world:

2011 WILLIAMS SELYEM SONOMA COAST SONOMA COUNTY PINOT NOIR- my bring and therefore not blind; when I went to pull a wine for this dinner, I came across some recently purchased bottles of this that were add ons to many that we have enjoyed at home; at first, I was not sure this was the wine, but after nosing through the flight, it was pretty obvious; the color was a cloudy, dark red raspberry and the nose and taste was replete with more of the same along with some red cherry which was additionally enhanced by a streak of spice and a bit of talc, later on, a nice touch of strawberry came in and it was another splendid bottle.

2013 KESNER KING’S RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY SONOMA COUNTY PINOT NOIR- blind; made with whole berry inclusion and native yeast fermentation from only free-run juice; aged 16 months sur lie in 20% newer French oak barrels; the nose immediately suggested this had a lot of Brettanomyces, the 4-ethylphenol type, that gives off the barnyard, band aid, horse stable type notes that I more often find in Burgundy than new world wines so I wrongly called it Burgundy; for the first 20 minutes or so, it dominated, then a bit of some goodness showed up but not as much that was needed to overcome the brett factor. Bottle variation.

2021 LIQUID FARM S B C SANTA BARBARA COUNTY PINOT NOIR- blind; this comes from some choice vineyards in SBC broken down by 28% Spear Vineyards; 25% Kessler-Haak, 19% Sanford & Benedict, 17% La Riconada and 11% Radian; it is made with stem inclusion and aged using some new French Oak barrels; following its youthful, vibrant, dark red-purple color came aromas of a bowl full of cherries; the taste profile had talc, cedar and sweet and sour cherry as it remained more fruit forward and as I see it, just needs time to balance out; it’s very good now with promises to be total winner down the line.

2018 PATZ & HALL SONOMA COAST SONOMA COUNTY PINOT NOIR- blind; the fruit for this blend was sourced from 18 different family owned vineyards; it had a very dark serious purple color; the nose and taste was very fruit forward with lovely red cherry most prominent along with accents of coffee, cedar and dark chocolate; this was a really big wine that was full bodied with lots of depth and complexity; I never would have guessed this was from Sonoma Coast as my experience has been that most are very much more soft and easy and elegant; another benefit from tasting blind.



Very good report, Blake. Just a question—do you and your group try to guess age as well as varietal and locale when you do blind?

I have, most vintages, loved the straight Radian Pinot that LF has been able to do when they’ve had access to enough of the fruit…in fact, the vineyard is probably my favourite PN vineyard in that region.

Kwa Heri


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not bad at all . . .

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Hi Mke,

We try to cover everything when discussing a wine including age, varietal, terroir and how it is made. Each one puts in their feedback throughout the entire time the wine is blind after we have each formed some initial impressions. It’s quite the learning experience and it doesn’t stop when the wines are revealed because in some cases, one is familiar with the wine and can comment on bottle variation, time in the cellar, et al.



Nice notes! I tend to find Patz & Hall wines to be bigger across the board.


You might also want to try their Chardonnays as that was the first entree into the fine wine world of excellence, assuming stylistic compatibility for you.

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Radian fruit is great

I’m happy you guys know about this.