Coming to the Blue Victorian evokes happy memories for me. Close friends were recently married here. It was here that I took my very first photos of grapes. Many summer afternoons were spent in the gardens enjoying summer concerts and events.
The tasting room is located in a gorgeous, old, blue wood, Victorian home. (The Brit Comments: If ever there was a word with a different meaning in American English it is “old”.) Again, the Vezers have done a gorgeous job with the decor and have paid attention to every detail in making the place both beautiful and comfortable for their guests to enjoy.
Our host Alex was both charming and knowledgeable. (The Brit Comments: Granted at one stage he seemed to forget his own name as introducing his colleague to other guests, he said: “This is Alex and I am Alhana”. He did reliably seem to remember the names of the wines that he was pouring.) We had not met him before, but we soon felt like old friends as he poured us our wine and we went through the tasting list.
2013 Sauvignon Blanc: This was an absolute knock your socks off, I can’t believe this is a Sauvignon Blanc type of experience! To be honest, I often see Sauvignon Blanc as the type of wine you would use to wash out wine glasses in between pourings. It’s just blah. I nearly told him to skip it without even trying. But being a good blogger, it’s my responsibility to you to suck it up and just try. Well, the egg was on my face this time. This was absolutely beautiful! WOW! I am going to buy two bottles. One for me (meaning no one else is getting even a sip), and one as a gift. Lightly floral, honey, apples, peaches, pears, not overly sweet.
The Brit Comments: It lacked the smell of mown grass that I associate with Sauvignon Blanc, so that was an initial plus. The flavor was a complex balance of fruit, which gave the wine more dimension than is typical. Not your standard Californian Sauvignon Blanc and better for it.
2012 Estate Verdelho: Now this is the wine I remember! This is the easy drinking BBQ wine; all around favorite of summer concerts at Vezer. Not too dry, not too sweet; it’s just a perfect wine for sipping on a hot summer day or pairing with a nice salmon or chicken dish. This is one of those wines that you absolutely cannot go wrong with at a party with good friends. Just add laughter and you have yourself memories to be made.
2013 Sammy Basci Syrah: I have to be honest and say that this was my least favorite in the line up and I didn’t finish my tasting of this wine. It’s far too young and brash and I couldn’t get past all of what was going on right then with it. It had just been bottled only a few months ago, so I feel as though it needs a bit of time to settle before a true assessment can really be made. But I will pass on this one.
* Update: I came back to the Blue Victorian today with a good friend. We again tasted the Sammy Basci Syrah and it was really a nice sip. I think when I tasted it last time it was dealing with a bit of bottle shock as it had only just been bottled. Now however, its tasting great. Nice medium body, fruits in the mouth and spices on the finish.
The Brit Comments: The prominent tannins explain California Girl’s doubts on this pour. Behind those tannins is a well-balanced wine. Age will soften the dryness and it will be a fine wine in the years to come.
2011 Jake’s Master Cellar Blend: In years past I have enjoyed the Jake’s blend. This year it bottoms my list, but I feel it will improve greatly with age. You can tell there are great things here, it just has to grow into them. It has an interesting smokey nose and a soft, salty acidic flavor on the palate. Give it five years and it will be stellar. It would be interesting to revisit it then.
Update: I also re-tasted the Jake’s Master Cellar Blend. Again, it showed way better during this tasting and it needs to be added to the list of wines I would happily drink. I still think it could do with a bit of age, but this wine is true to my memories of earlier vintages.
The Brit Comments: Previously this wine was released without a vintage. It is a blend of 50% Petite Sirah, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Zin. The nose had clear notes of raspberries and blackberries.
2012 Cassie Estate Petite Sirah: What a lovely little wine. This is a soft, sip-able relax after a hard day at work, or share with your girlfriends kind of bottle of wine. I can absolutely imagine my girlfriends and I having a night in with a couple of bottles of this beautiful girl. Fruit forward, fragrant, and a hint of chocolate really leaves me feeling a little soft spot for this one. This could absolutely be consumed immediately, or kept for a few years waiting for a special night. Like any woman this will only get better with age.
2010 La Salette: Here it is! The La Salette I know and love. This is a wonderful, lush, bold wine; the flagship of the Vezer lineup. Complex and rich; I imagine drinking this bottle with a crown roast of lamb. It is just that kind of bottle of wine. This is a bottle you would drink on a special occasion and not an every day bottle of plonk. I think to get the best from its flavor one requires food. At six years old this wine is ready to drink today, but age will only improve it and this one can be aged another ten years, or more; depends how patient you are.
The Brit Comments: It was good to taste a La Salette that was true to my memory. The difference between this and the 2011 was staggering. I doubt that the year of extra maturation explains the difference; although I shall return to the 2011 in twelve months to see if I am right – one has to suffer to write these blogs.
Note: I also went back to the Vezer tasting room and re-tasted the 2011 La Salette. Again, it was different and far better to my last tasting. It was a softer flavor and body, without as much character to what I would consider normal for this wine. I have to wonder if the wine I had tried had been left out too long in the tasting room.
Wrapping up this tasting I have to say that we really enjoyed ourselves. Everything was just so perfect: tranquil setting, great wine, and a warm host. We had a wonderful time.
|Vineyard||The Blue Victorian|
|Cost of Tasting||$15|
|Overall Tasting Experience||9|