Special Meeting: March 20 Wine Tasting at the Total Wine of McLean, VA

March 20  Wine Tasting at the Total Wine McLean Store          12:30 PM

Post Contents:

  • I. Total Wine address
  • II. List of Participants
  • III. Wines of the Silver List briefs
  • IV. Notes on the Tasting

I.    Total Wine will present 8 wines from California

1451 Chain Bridge Road         McLean Shopping Center                                                                                   McLean, VA 22101                                 (703) 749-0011

View Map   location

Club del Vino handler:  Kiera Hill, Wine Manager      Wines’ Presenter: TBA                  Cost: $ 20

Any combination of wines purchased in the day of the tasting will get a discount of $ 15 per $ 100 spent. The discount is not a percentage but a fixed amount of $ 15 per $ 100 of purchase.

II.  Participants in the Total Wine  ‘Wines of California’ wine tasting (as of March 8):

Albertina Frenkel (a confirmar)                          Alfonso Caycedo (condicional)
Alfonso Sanchez                                                        Carlos Maraviglia
Carlos Paldao                                                             Cecilio-Augusto Berndsen
Clarita Estrada                                                           Emilio Labrada
German Zincke                                                          Ginger Smart
Invitado de Carlos Paldao                                    Italo MIrkow
Jaime Estupinan                                                        Jairo Sanchez
Juan Luis Colaiacovo                                              Luis Carlos Danin Lobo( condicional)
Marcello Averbug                                                    Mario Aguilar
Miguel Segovia                                                          Pedro Turina
Ricardo Zavaleta                                                       Ruth Connolly

III.   Silver Level California Dreaming Class  Wines   at Total Wine of McLean

1.      Martin Ray Napa Pinot Gris,  Napa Valley,  Wine Enthusiast Rating: 88    $20/750 Alcohol: 13.9%  (3/1/12 at Wine Enthusiast).

From Pinot Gris Wikipedia entry:

Martin Ray Pinot GrisWines made from the Pinot gris vary greatly and are dependent on the region and wine making style they are from. Alsatian Pinot gris are medium to full bodied wines with a rich, somewhat floral bouquet. They tend to be spicy in comparisons with other Pinot gris. While most Pinot gris are meant to be consumed early, Alsatian Pinot gris can age well. German Pinot gris are more full-bodied with a balance of acidity and slight sweetness. In Oregon the wines are medium bodied with a yellow to copper-pink color and aromas of pear, apple, and/or melon. In California, the Pinot gris are more light bodied with a crisp, refreshing taste with some pepper and arugula notes. The Pinot grigio style of Italy is a light-bodied, often lean wine that is light in color with sometimes spritzy flavors that can be crisp and acidic. Although this wine can be very sweet, it will begin to lose its acidity when it is nearly ripe.

Pinot gris is considered an “early to market wine” that can be bottled and out on the market within 4–12 weeks after fermentation.

Varietal character (Appellation America)

Les mets conseillés avec ce vin,     Conseillé pour l’apéritif et avec les mets suivants :
Foie Gras terrine                             Foie Gras poêlé                                 Tarte tatin

Winemaker’s notes:  Our Martin Ray Pinot Gris was partially aged in French oak barrels, resulting in a rich, yet refreshing wine. Rich floral aromatics lead to flavors of luscious peaches and creamy vanilla. This wine has a full mouthfeel and finishes soft and long.

Food and Wine Pairing:  Enjoy our Martin Ray Pinot Gris with a light olive oil pasta dish or a crisp summer salad with crab.

2.  Amici Napa Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley,     $ 19        Alc.: 14.2%                Elegant, Guava, Peach, Light-bodied

AmiciSaugignonBlanckTotal Wine:  This is a crisp, dry white with flavors of peach, guava and spice that will impress even the most discriminating of Sauvignon blanc fans. Serve this wine lightly chilled, paired with virtually any food – you won’t be disappointed.

The Cellar Tracker:  Tasted by AllRed on 10/7/2011 & rated 90 points: TNs: Amici Cellars Visit: 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Musque aged in stainless. Pale color with aromas of grass, tropical fruit and florals. Nice balance, with citrus, florals and grassy tones. Bright acidity. 14.2% abv. 90 pts.

Wine Country, Signal Hill, Ca:   Made by former winemaker for Beaulieu Vineyards (BV) Joel Aiken, this is a classic Napa Valley Sauvignon at a very attractive price. Made in a slightly richer style and filled with the melon and fig notes that make Napa Sauvignon so popular, this is a medium rich, round style of Sauvignon that is less grassy and more savory than most. Rich enough to drink on its own or pair with foods you might otherwise match with a chardonnay, yet with the characteristic crispness and zest that gives Sauvignon blanc its great affinity for fish, seafood and vegetable dishes. Very fine, and a great value!

3. Sonoma Loeb Chardonnay,        $ 19

Sonoma Loeb ChardonnayThe Wine Chateau:      Tasting Notes         AromasThe nose immediately opens up with lush tropical fruit along with orange peel and ripe apricot. A creamy sweetness from malolactic fermentation combines with the natural minerality from the old vines creating a background of complexity and depth. Spicy new French oak and aromas of brioche and fresh-baked bread add the final touch to this powerful yet elegant chardonnay.FlavorsSuper concentrated flavors of creamy, ripe tropical fruit and oak saturate the palate. The texture is mouth coating, rich and fleshy with layers of exotic fruit and spice. An extra dimension of body and flavor make this wine uniquely powerful yet totally balanced and refined. Food PairingThis rich wine will pair well salmon, lobster, sweetbreads and veal as well as poultry dishes, pork or recipes that have a heavy cream or butter. Try also with cheeses such as Emmenthal, Gruyère and Feta

The Cellar Tracker:  Community Notes:  Tasted by Skylarburris on 4/26/2011 & rated 80 points: Unoaked taste, which I prefer. Good for someone who typically does not like chard. No bite to it. Fruity. But overpriced. (744 views).                                                       Tasted by THaas on 1/31/2011 & rated 89 points: Golden in the glass. Shows nose of pear and Golden Delicious apple, a little hint of melted butter. In the mouth, well-balanced with nice fruit notes overlaying enough oak to be tasted but not overpower. Some butter, but this has a little zip too. Balance is quite nice. Finish is long.  Drink 2010-2017. (823 views). Tasted by wmgeorge767 on 1/29/2011 & rated 82 points: Nice pear-focused nose and pleasant buttery apple on the palate, but overall a bit bland and boring. As a result, the price point was too high for me. (749 views).


4.  River Road Boschetti Pinot Noir,  Russian River Valley,  $ 19,   Alc. 13.9% at the bottling time.   Cooperage: French Oak, 15% new.

Winemaker Notes:  Handcrafted from small lots of Pinot Noir grown in vineyards throughout the Russian River Valley. This wine shows cherry and strawberry flavors typical of the appellation.

Pinot File:     2009 River Road Vineyards & Winery Stephanie’s Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir  13.9% alc., $18. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lacks fruit on the nose, offering only aromas of oak, pine sap and savory herbs. Moderately rich core of dark red stone fruits wrapped in soft tannins. Prominent oak presence evidenced by vanillin and assertive herbs carries over on the finish. Decent. Reviewed May 15, 2011       More info at:          ARTICLE »

5.  Beaucanon Napa Merlot, Napa Valley,    Alc. 14.7%  $ 19

Beaucanon Napa Merlot

Total Wine:   Elegant; Black Cherry; Plum; Full-bodied – The Merlot comes from the Estate’s Oakville vineyard and exhibits layers of dark berries, plum and cherry on the palate. The Oakville terroir shines through with tastes of dust and dark loam. Tannins are big and velvety, creating a long and smooth finish.

Wine Access: By Thumper 12141604, November 10, 2010
Lush deep leathery and cedar nose, dark tar and plum fruit on the palate, tart chewy mouthfeel, robust controlled dusty tannins on the heavy-handed finish. Spectacular out of the decanter with blood-red rare grilled meats. An acquired taste as an aperitif. Big time Napa Valley Red wine at a fair price. Recommended as indicated.

Cellar Tracker:   Community Notes:  Tasted by mulligan452 on 9/10/2007 & rated 86 points: Sampled at Papa Joe’s. Cost $0.88 per ounce. The appearance is dark purple. The nose is nicely aromatic and is a pleasure to smell. The taste is rich, flavourful and fruity, with some complexity. The finish is medium to long. Three to four star value. Very good (86.5). (995 views).                 Tasted by GolferChris on 10/18/2006 & rated 90 points: Napa Valley Vintner’s Big Nightlife Napa Valley Magnum Tasting Party (San Francisco, CA): A wonderful wine, much like a fine St. Emillon from France. Aromas of blackberry, black tea, black cherry, spice and vanilla. Rich fruit and a hint of mocha and licorice in the mouth. Fine, grained tannins give this wine an elegant mouthfeel. Good depth and complexity, this wine provides a long, lingering finish. (3442 views)

6. Sobon Paul’s Vineyard Zinfandel, Amador County     Alc.: 15.1%      $  11

Winemaker Notes:     Description: This is a very stylish and likable wine. It has forward aromas of fresh-baked oatmeal cookies, with undertones of licorice and mint chocolate. The flavors are rich, full, and reminiscent of ripe, dusty blackberries and cranberry juice. The finish is crisp and lingering.                                                     Food Pairing: Serve with grilled foods or pasta dishes.

Total Wine:  Intense, Blackberry, Spice, Medium-bodiedAmador, CA- Handcrafted by Paul Sobon, this red boasts an alluring bouquet of dark fruit and cocoa. Bright and ripe fruit explodes on the palate, with flavors of blackberries, black cherry and spice. Great with grilled chicken, or sausage. Organically farmed.

The Cellar Tracker:   Community Notes:  Tasted by ToniTony on 3/6/2012 & rated 88 points: Yummy but not a lot of body (46 views).              Tasted by stormn1 on 11/22/2011 & rated 86 points: Big jammy zin. Very fruit forward, soft tannins. (230 views)

Also of value to read:   Gold Rush Wine   http://thewinecellarsclub.com/2012/01/gold-rush-wine-sobon-zinfandel/

7. Chateau Chevalier Spring Mountain Cabernet,  Spring Mountain District    $ 25    Alc.: 14.5%

Chateau Chevalier CarbernetTotal Wine:    Beverage Dynamics: 91      Elegant, Anise, Berry, Medium-bodiedBeverage Dynamics – Spring Mountain, Napa, CA- “This 2006 Cabernet has nice notes of blueberry, Cassis, coffee and spice flavors. Supple texture and mineral tones fold into the well structured tannins.”

Cellar Tracker: Community Notes:        1/7/2012 Mike Kopanski       90  Points.    What a pleasant surprise. This was a gift from a friend. We popped and poured without paying much attention to the label. At first taste, we said, blockbuster. The nose was explosive black cherry and cassis. The color was super concentrated thick and dark. Full bodied. There was loads of sediment, we did not expect to decant, wish we had. Even though it is already 6 years off the vine, it still has the taste of a young wine, in fact, it may be a little rough. The rich black cherry fruit is as dominant as any wine I have ever tasted. It does not take much imagination to see these vines above the fog soaking up sun on Spring Mountain, probably dry farmed. Plenty of fruit support from lots of red raspberry, some cranberry, and Cassis. Maybe slightly out of balance with not enough tannins and acid for all the fruit, but still a very unique and enjoyable mouth full of wine that I will gladly try again. (667 views).

Snooth:  User Reviews:    Wine Guy9 :  Great Wine ! Bought this for $14.99 at Total Wine in Roseville, CA and was pleasantly surprised. Will be going back for more…

8.  Baldacci Four Sons SLD Cabernet Sauvignon, Stag’s Leap District, Napa   $ 24      Alc. 14.5%

Baldacci Four Sons SLD Cabernet SauvignonWine Maker notes:   The IV Sons Cab is full of the Stags Leap District terroir – rich red fruit flavors and lingering tannins. This wine smells like a summer afternoon – lavender, dried figs, bright cherries! The IV Sons has layered flavors from the 3% Cabernet Franc and the small amount of American Oak that is part of the blend on this wine. We always say that the IV Sons can age for several years and the 2008 is no exception – however, you might not be able to resist drinking all that you have right now!

Total Wine:  Elegant, Black Cherry, Cassis, Mint, Full-bodied               Stags Leap District, Napa, CA- Filled to the brim with mouth-watering watering red fruit flavors and aromas of violets and freshly picked blackberries. Finishes with hints of vanilla and white chocolate on the long, smooth finish. From the Baldacci team.

The Petaluma Post:   Baldacci Winery came into existence in 1997, when Tom Baldacci purchased  20 acres of vineyard in the    Stags Leap District of the Napa Valley.  IV Four Sons  is Baldacci’s 2nd   label – named for Tom and Brenda  Baldacci’s four handsome young sons who, as the family looks at it, can sink or swim together.   The blend  for this wine is 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, aged for 20 months in 95% French  and  5% American oak, followed by 9 months bottle aging before release.

IV.   Notes on the TastingTotal Wine Tasting Room in McLean, VA

  • There will be very limited food offered.
  • Total Wine offers a few crackers and maybe some bread
  • Carlos Paldao will bring a special cheese. Italo Mirkov  prosscciutto, J.L. Colaiacovo salame.
  • Another Member will bring  cheese, butter, bread,some plastic utensils and paper plates in limited amounts
  • Total Wine has a small offer of cheeses and cold cuts available for purchase.
  • View of the Total Wine Tasting and ClassroomOn the other side of the street there is an expansive Giant
  • Around the block there is a Balducci (3 blocks away)
  • Total Wine has no restrictions for participants to bring food for their own consuption- no sales alowed.
  • The “Classroom” is spacious and accomodates more than 30 seated participants.
  • Instant rebate of $ 15 per $100 spent at the tasting.

Total Wine Tasting Room in McLean, VA

About Cecilio Augusto Berndsen

Information Technology, Management, Project Management and Public Administration are areas I am familiar with. I am also interested in photography, wine, sailing, politics, economics, and economic development.
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