Would YOU like to attend a private wine tasting in Don Sebastiani’s estate cellar?
A special table composed of people who had a passion for the Rhine region of Germany and the bottles created there.
Focused on elite offerings of 2001 Auslese & 2005 Spatlese. Hard to resist, right?
An intimate tasting and catered lunch graciously hosted by Don and Nancy Sebastiani’s at their private home in Sonoma County, California.
Thank you to our hosts and Rockstar Sommelier Christopher Sawyer for the invitation to such a fun filled and educational event. What amazing bottles we got to share together! The educational tasting is part of a monthly SAWYER | CASALE Wine Series dedicated to the continuing education and research in Viticulture & Enology.
To add to the fun and the learning, the tasting of these elite Mosel wines was done blind.
With the names of the elite producers and world-class vineyards revealed after we finished discussing the flights and sharing our own individual tasting notes with the group.
What was my main take away from the event?
The flavor in the glass… of the Riesling grape… is influenced more than any other varietal I know… by the soil in which it’s grown and the overall terroir itself.
I also found that the reason that I enjoy Riesling so much may be due to the intense aromas that rise from the glass. I like aromatic wines and ones that have complexities to decipher before you even take a sip.
One of the other things I also learned during the Sawyer | Casale tasting, was that the naturally high acidity and marked fruit flavors give Riesling an exceptional aging potential in the cellar.
Finally, a white that can age well! And show even better with that age of course.
Some flavors that are often found in a glass of Riesling:
citrus and green apple to peach, apricot, mango and guava. From nectarine to apricot to honey-crisp apple and even pear, honeysuckle to…
Most known research points to Rhine River region in Germany | Alsace as the birthplace of Riesling in the vineyard in the 1400’s. Although , the origin is a mystery and pieced together from old documents. Fast forward a bit… The top producers of Riesling today are Germany, Australia and the United States.
If Cabernet is called the king of the red grape varietals… I think Riesling is a strong contender for KING of the whites.
With it’s great diversity of styles and ability to age for long periods of time, decades even, like a good Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling is definitely a strong contender for the cellar crown!
Delicacy | Charm | Style
Riesling has all of these and more…
For the Sawyer | Casale Rieling event, we held a blind tasting with all wines concealed until after notes, tasting and discussion was over. I think that a blind tasting (especially one in a private cellar) makes it that much easier to turn off the outside world and focus on what’s in your glass.
It is a great way to hone your palate, to have unknown wines shoved in front of you.
Each bottle was wrapped in identical paper for the final reveal at the end.
This also made the final results more fun and exciting. People were on the edge of their seats for some bottles wondering what label would be unmasked. Tasters were describing complex flavors, identifying old world vs. new world, and nailing region on the head.
It was a small intimate tasting with a table composed of winemakers, media, sommeliers, restaurant owners, winery proprietors and trade. So many amazing palates right at hand!! Or at glass I mean. With a blind wine tasting, the guests are at a level playing field to start.
I found this to be a great way to establish an unbiased opinion about Riesling! Although, admittedly, I was already a big fan of the grape varietal before I arrived. Bettina Sichel, who I attended the event with, is a total guru of the Riesling grape and I often enjoy a glass (or two) with her.
My tasting skills were honed this tasting helped me to learn more about my own personal preferences when it comes to the Riesling grape.
After the tasting, the group enjoyed a catered lunch on the Sebastiani’s private patio overlooking the estate vineyards. Of course, there was plenty of Riesling going around.
Attendees had all brought their own bottle of Riesling to share with everyone at lunch and might I remind you… these guests all LOVE Riesling so the bottles on the table were of a high caliber indeed. So much fun and again my thanks go to Chris Sawyer for the invitation to such a fun blind tasting luncheon.
Do YOU have a story about blind tasting? Or know a great Riesling bottle? Please share your experiences on our form below and we will post on our site.