This past Friday September 26th, Barrels and Bites, a wine and food fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows was held at the Peppermill in the Tuscan Ballroom. With 65 booths, 45 of which were devoted to wine, representing over 150 labels, there was a lot to explore. Not surprisingly, the majority of wines represented were from our vinous neighbor to the west, California. But there were some producers from outside the United States, including Italy, New Zealand and Israel.
Not only were there wines from different regions and different countries represented, but there were, also wines from large producers as well as small, boutique wines represented. All of the wines are either currently available in or soon to be available in Reno stores and restaurants.
One of the smaller boutique wineries at the event was the DeWitt Family. Ed and Marie DeWitt live in Dayton Nevada. They source their grapes from Alexander Valley in Sonoma. They borrow the Pendleton winery to produce their wine. The DeWitt’s goal is to stay at just a few hundred cases of wine produced a year. And they make only one kind of wine, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a mouthful, with great texture and body, a lot of dark fruit aromas and layers of smoky oak. The DeWitt’s use American Oak from a forest in Missouri. The wood is seasoned for 36 months. The careful selection and seasoning of wood along with the careful selection of grapes is how they are able to produce such a layered and flavorful wine.
Another small family winery at the event was Darcie Kent Vineyards from Lodi California. While they produce several different wines, the two that they were sampling Friday night were their Cabernet Sauvignon and their Sauvignon Blanc. The Cabernet Sauvignon had an earthy elegance with aromas of dark, sweet Bing cherries, mountain herbs and oak. The Sauvignon Blanc was crisp with aromas of citrus and a faint note of pepper.
The Wagner Family of Wine is a large operation owning several labels. Their Meiomi Pinot Noir from Central Coast is quite popular and available in many stores in town. It is a crisp cherry Pinot with notes of vanilla and anise. Just last week, days before the event, Joseph Wagner’s company launched a new brand, Elouan, an earthy Pinot Noir with aromas of dark fruit. The wine is sourced from Oregon.
Another large umbrella wine company of labels is Boussier, with wines from both France and the United States. The Bouchard Pinot Noir sources its grapes from the South of France, producing a wine with earthy, cherry aromas and velvety tannins. The Louis Bernard ChateauNeuf-du-Pape had aromas of herb de Provence and kalamata olives.
Terlato Wines is another big umbrella company, housing wine labels from both Italy and California. The Il Poggione is a Rosso de Montalcino from the Tuscan region of Italy. It is 100% Sangiovese with earthy wood aromas and great acidity. Their Sanford Flor de Campo is a Pinot Noir sourced from Santa Barbara County. It has floral aromas along with bright cherry and chocolate and a velvety texture.
Vintage Point is a marketing company that represents several wines including two interesting red blends. One is by Coup de Grace. It is a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc. It is perfumed with aromas of violets and dark fruit. The grapes are sourced from Lodi, Sonoma and Napa. From Beckstoffer is The Sum, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah and Syrah. This wine is earthy with subtle red fruit aromas. It is, also a California blend.
Italy was represented by, among other labels, Candoni, a producer out of Northern Italy in The Veneto. The Pinot Grigio is light and fresh with crisp lemon aromas. Their Pinot Noir is aged in oak for 4 months. It has red fruit aromas and good acidity. The Moscato is nicely frizzanté with aromas of honeyed pears and almonds.
Israel was represented by Golan Heights Winery. They make many wines, both red and white. The three they were sampling at the event were Hermon White from Galilee, Hermon Red from Galilee and Yarden 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Hermon White is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. It had a sweet floral aroma with notes of fresh mineral and grapefruit peel. The Hermon Red is a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Verdot. It had red fruit and herb aromas with a good acidity and velvety tannins.
Most of the wines that were poured at Barrels and Bites are available in Reno stores or restaurants. Information on next year’s event has not, yet been posted.