About this time, in normal settings, I would pause, grab a bit of food and sit quietly with my notes, assess what I have tasted and catch my breath before diving headfirst back into the deep end. Instead, I was sensing this to be something more of a marathon, and my fellow attendees were competitors, vying for the best time at the finish.
And this was also a perfect opportunity to square myself up with the Guild, get familiar with all the wines with which I had had no previous experience.
Natale Verga Barolo DOCG 2009. Grade=Amazing.
Natale Verga Primitivo del Salento IGT 2011. Grade=Very Good.
Natale Verga Antale Langhe Rosso 2010. Grade=Very Good.
Natale Verga Antale Rosso Toscana 2009. Grade=Outstanding.
Natale Verga Antale Rosso Sicilia IGT 2010. Grade=Outstanding.
Terrisson Chablis Heritage 2011. Grade=Very Good.
Terrisson Chablis Cote de Lechet 2011. Grade=Outstanding.
Terrisson Chablis Cote de Lechet Oak Aged 2011. Grade=Outstanding.
Cave de Lugny Cremant de Bourgogne Blanc NV. Grade=Outstanding.
Cave de Lugny Cremant de Bourgogne Rose NV. Grade=Outstanding.
L’Aurore Macon-Chardonnay Bourgogne 2012. Grade=Very Good.
L’Aurore Macon-Chardonnay Les Beluses Lieu-Dit 2009. Grade=Outstanding.
L’Aurore Macon-Villages AOC 2012. Grade=Very Good.
L’Aurore Pinot Noir Bourgogne 2011. Grade=Very Good.
Chateau Perron Graves Rouge 2010. Grade=Outstanding.
Chateau Perron Graves Blanc 2011. Grade=Outstanding.
Monte Campo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2011. Grade=Very Good.
Monte Campo Pinot Grigio Venezie 2011. Grade=Okay.
Antico Contado Renesio Barbera d’Alba 2007. Grade=Very Good.
Antico Contado Renesio Langhe Nebbiolo 2009. Grade=Outstanding.
Antico Contado Renesio Arneis 2011. Grade=Outstanding.
Jacob Heims Riesling Kabinett Old Vines 2011. Grade=Very Good.
Jacob Heims Harvest Riesling Steep Slope 2011. Grade=Very Good.
Jacob Heims Riesling Spatlese Urziger Wurtzgarten 2011. Grade=Outstanding.
Curran Creek Cabernet Sauvignon California 2011. Grade=Good.
Curran Creek Luscious Red California 2010. Grade=Okay.
Curioso Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza 2011. Grade=Very Good.
Curioso Malbec Mendoza 2011. Grade=Very Good.
Curioso Sparkling Rose of Malbec Mendoza NV. Grade=Outstanding.
Voluptuoso Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza 2011. Grade=Very Good.
Voluptuoso Torrontes Salta 2012. Grade=Very Good.
Baus Family Vineyards Chardonnay Sonoma Valley 2010. Grade=Very Good.
Baus Family Vineyards Pinot Noir Sonoma Valley 2010. Grade=Outstanding.
Baus Family Vineyards Zinfandel Sonoma Valley 2011. Grade=Outstanding.
Perseverance Zinfandel Sonoma County 2011. Grade=Outstanding.
Chateau Bel-Air Haut Medoc 2010. Grade=Outstanding.
Chateau Cheval-Brun St. Emilion Grand Cru 2009. Grade=Amazing.
Chateau du Gazin Fronsac 2010. Grade=Outstanding.
Chateau Mazail Medoc 2010. Grade=Very Good.
At this point, I had to raise the white flag, go back to my hotel room and inevitably head down the block to P.J.’s Coffee to get a shot of revitalization before the business seminar I attended. All in all, I was pretty impressed with the spread of wines. Getting through them was laborious, but it felt like white water rafting – to survive it meant to enjoy the memory of it and to take comfort in being able to slow back down and find the simple groove of normality, back to base.
Soon I’d be headed back to Cincy, exhausted and complete palate-blown, my tongue more flaccid than a stag after rutting season.