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by Barbara Pitcher, Söntés Wine Steward

Last Wednesday, Söntés’ new wine class series launched. It was amazing. Nine people joined Tessa and myself for the first class as we tasted sixteen wines from California, Oregon, and Washington State to launch our New World class block. We tasted and compared varietals in series of twos and threes. Among the wines we tasted were:

Adelsheim Pinot Gris
Bethel Heights Pinot Gris
St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Barnard Griffin Chardonnay
Educated Guess Chardonnay
Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay
Schug Chardonnay

Castle Rock Pinot Noir
Soter Pinot Noir
Steele Pinot Noir
Sturino Trotta Pinot Noir

Castle Rock Cabernet Sauvignon
Schug Cabernet Sauvignon
Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon
Steele Cabernet Sauvignon

Most of us ordered off the menu to munch as we sipped. Tessa offered great hints on how to recognize wines with unexpected flavors, and one of the group tasted artichoke in one of the wines—which we realized was a clue to recognizing Cabernet Sauvignon, similar to tasting pickles! Did you ever imagine?!

I spoke about terroir and the profoundly distinct characteristics that blossom in the same grape when grown in vastly different places, such as the differences between Sturino Trotta’s and Soter’s outstanding Pinot Noirs, grown in Santa Barbara County and Willamette Valley respectively.

Hopefully this piques your interest! We all had a truly great time, and look forward to the next class. If you’d like to join us, there are still places left! Please go to the Söntés website to register for this Wednesday’s class. We’ll be tasting another twelve to sixteen wines including Torrontes, Carmenere, Malbec and more. Make plans to join us Wednesday, August 1, at 6:00pm!