In November, after our sky diving trip to commemorate our 3rd wedding anniversary, Bert and I decided to go wine tasting in Gilroy. Gilroy is located south of San Jose and is mostly known as the home of the Garlic Festival held in July every year, but the entire corridor from Gilroy through Morgan Hill is making another great name for itself as a wine growing region.
Right across the street from Garlic World (a touristy shop known for all kinds of garlic goodies) is the Rapazzini Winery. I am sure this winery is tres busy during Garlic Festival season, but on this fine Sunday in November, we were the only visitors to its quaint tasting room. We loved it, as we got lots of individual attention from the tasting room staff and the greeter - a very friendly little dog with lots of energy and love to give.
The star of the tasting set was the 2007 Bordeax Select made from Santa Cruz Mountain grapes. At $38/bottle it was a bargain given the level of quality, complexity, and downright drinkability it demonstrated. If I did a blind taste test between this wine and a Grand Cru from Bordeaux, France, I highly doubt that all but the most sophisticated of tasters could tell the difference. Immediately, I snatched a bottle and gave it to my trumpeter friend John Worley as a birthday present, knowing that a good Bordeaux is "nectar of the gods" to most Bay Area jazz musicians.
My tasting notes? This wine had all the earthiness of a great French Bordeaux with a hint of California Cab character. The color was inky deep, with crystal-ball clarity. The nose was identical to a French bordeaux , with earth and spice in the foreground. I tasted structured tannins without any roughness, this wine was butter smooth. Soft leather, rich plum tastes with a hint of both peaches and cloves blended beautifully to create a masterpiece of taste sensation. I loved this wine!
Food Pairing: This lovely wine is definitely a special occasion treat, I would pair it with a rich French dinner like a Steak au Poivre, French Hanger Steak, or Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce, where the earthy flavor of this wine would bring out the subtle flavors in the rich mustard sauce.
Music Pairings: Rich and complex, I would drink this wine to the sounds of saxophone music - like the Bari Bari ensemble , Kristen Strom in Crossing Borders, or some good old fashioned John Coltrane. If your tastes go more to classical, I suggest anything by Philip Glass.
Activity Pairings: John served this wine at his birthday concert at the Art Boutiki in San Jose - with Bari Bari! It went well with birthday festivities including a sparkler cake, and the anime and comic book decor of the venue.