The First Wine Bloggers Tasting of 2011: The Wrap-Up!

2010 was a great debut year for our quarterly Wine Bloggers Tasting series, and I am now happy to say I think we’re off to an equally fine start in 2011; the first edition took place on 3.25.11. It was a great mix of participants–some returning veterans, some newbies–and I think it was an exceptional crop of wines on offer as well. Plus, it started hailing mid-tasting! Can’t ask for much more mountain mojo than that …

Prepping the line-up ...

In terms of what we tasted, I as always had a bit of a theme in mind, but in advance of its deployment, we first tasting a pair of rather historically significant offerings; the 2009 Ridge Vineyards Estate Chardonnay, and the 2008 Ridge Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon! Why significant? These are the first bottlings to forego both “California” and “Santa Cruz Mountains” on the label, making them the debut of our “Estate” designation!

Handle with care ...

As to the theme itself, it was a VerticalModelMembershipManifesto! Meaning, I poured verticals of offerings from each of our three membership programs: ATP, ZList, and Monte Bello Collector.

In this corner,weighing in at 2004 and 2006 respectively, sporting deep purple and garnet colors, and representing their hometown of ATP, please put your hands together and give a hearty Syrah Hurrah for two vintages of the Lytton Estate!

And in this corner, weighing in at 2009 and 1999 respectively, all the way from a town called ZList, in ruby red colors, and representing two generations of competitive complexity, please ring your Tin Can Bell for the Zin Fan Del! Geyserville, that is!

And in this corner, three heavyweight champions of the world, weighing in at 1985, 1995, and 2005 respectively, sporting brilliant berry, cherry, crimson, and cranberry, all the way from Collector Town, would you please give a Jaunty Hello to the Monte Bello!

1985 Monte Bello Corks ...

In addition to tasting all the above, the very wonderful Allan Bree (who has just launched a new blog! it can be found at, he of the mind-bendingly impressive Ridge Vineyards library, gifted our affair with two delightfully rare rarities, a pair of Sangioveses!

Special additions ...

So, the planning was done, the inviting was done, and with just a wee bit more decanting …

… we were off to the viticultural races!

And with that said, may I introduce The Bloggers!

The Bloggers ...

In attendance for the first Wine Bloggers Tasting of 2011 (please click on a name to view their blogs):

Amy Cleary

Allan Bree

Jason Mancebo

Chiara Shannon

David Tong

Enoch Choi (Enoch left the blogosphere after having one of the most read wine blogs back in the early 2000s, you can now follow him on Twitter)

Erin Grant (Erin wines the prize for this edition, for being the first to send me a link for a new post. Well done Erin!)

Fred Swan

Liren Baker

Melanie Friedman

Thea Dwelle

Wes Barton

These are all great writers, folks; impassioned, knowledgeable, prolific, obsessed, devoted, informed, semi-insane, and phenomenal. I encourage you to visit them all!

The Bloggers, Again!

Deep appreciations to all our guest bloggers!

And for all, please stay tuned for announcements about the next edition, and if you’re a wine blogger, and wish to participate, let me know!

Categories: Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Events, Monte Bello, Press Reviews, Rhone varietals, Social Media, Syrah, Tasting Flights, Tasting Rooms, Varietals & Blends, Video, Wine Blogs, Wine Tales, Zinfandel

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1 reply


  1. Cloistered | Ridge Wine Bloggers Tasting 2011 | Kitchen Confidante

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