Setting up for a blind tasting of Sagrantino
Wine is to be enjoyed. Everyone gets to decide exactly what they like. Wine labels, the setting, the food, the mood; everything influences how we feel about a particular wine.
A genuinely blind tasting is the closest we can get to objectively measure one wine against another. And even then, the order of favorites can change – if the tasting is done before lunch or at dinner time, on weeknights or weekends, even the mood of the group, or just one small whispered remark, can re-order the evaluation and the results. Still, it is educational to taste wines blind, as we did here with these Sagrantino wines:
From left to right, clockwise:
- Liz Thatch, Master of Wine and Distinguished Professor of Wine – click: Liz Thatch
- Graham Smith, CEO and wine collector – click: Graham Smith
- Anne Mieling, French-born wine expert – click: Anne Mieling
- Ingrid Reyes, CEO, M&A Creative Agency – click: Ingrid Reyes on LinkedIn
- Jennifer Arie, Director of Customer Success, Comm7 eCommerce platform – click: https://commerce7.com/about/
- Ken Wornick, winemaker, Sonocaia Sagrantino and Dysfunctional Family Winery – click: https://www.sonocaia.com
- Don Sebastiani, Sr., our host – click: http://donsebastianiandsons.com
- Steve Bush, former bio-med devices CEO, restauranteur, wine collector – click: Steve Bush
- Jon Curry, owner of Landers Curry, former board chair of Sonoma’s Int’l Film Festival – click: https://www.landerscurry.com/home
- Kelly Nice, CEO/Founder, Nice and Co. Ad Agency – click: https://www.niceandcompany.com
- Keith Casale, local Sonoma CFO – click: Keith Casale
- Cynthia Wornick, Dir. of Marketing, Sonocaia and DysfunctionalFamily Winery – click: Cynthia Wornick
Note: our host for this event was Don Sebastiani, Sr. (#7 above). A true gentleman, host extraordinaire, smoker of fine cigars, lover of fine wine and food, fluent speaker of at least five languages, a true Sonoma native, and so modest you’d never know any of this about Don unless someone else told you.
A total of eight wines were evaluated – seven pure Sagrantinos from Umbria, Italy, and our 2020 Sonocaia (just-bottled estate reserve Sagrantino from Dysfunctional Family Winery at the Hydeout Ranch here in Sonoma).
Wines revealed – here are the 8 wines revealed after the blind tasting:
I was floored that our inaugural, very young, and not-yet-released 2020 Sonocaia Estate Reserve Sagrantino earned a strong third place, especially against these world-renowned Umbrian all-stars.
First through third place were tightly bunched, the next wine was a very distant fourth.
- Arnoldo Caprai 2003 Collepiano Sagrantino di Montefalco (99 pts)
- Arnold Caprai, 2016 Montefalco Sagrantino, 25th anniversary edition (97 pts)
- Sonocaia, 2020, Sonoma Valley, Sagrantino, Estate Reserve (94 pts)
But wait, there’s more, another blind wine tasting event: Hydeout Consulting client “Quail Run 2020 Estate Cabernet”, just bottled, competes with older Cabernet wine country legends and comes out a winner!
We are the consulting winemakers for the Quail Run estate Cabernet. Just a couple of weeks ago, we delivered the 2020 vintage to the client. The wine was bottled after 23 months of oak aging. The client organized an inaugural blind tasting and invited a knowledgeable group of friends and neighbors to participate. I admit I was a bit nervous knowing this newly bottled inaugural vintage (and possibly my career) was about to go head-to-head against some of the finest Cabernet’s in my client’s formidable wine cellar!
Quail Run 2020 was tasted against Stone Edge Farm 2014, Repris 2018, and Stag’s Leap 2019…
A good friend of the client, Austin Texas expert wine educator Jim Bushee, wrote a blog post about the Quail Run blind tasting. To see the results, read here: Click here to read Jim Bushee’s blog post
The client also wrote a blog post about her version of the tasting: Quail Run estate Cabernet blind tasting blog post