I was recently invited to attend Tower23’s summer beverage series. After looking over what they’ve offered the past few months – and the brands still to come – I realized I’ve been missing out all summer.
Every Wednesday from June through September, the Pacific Beach hotel’s second floor patio turns into a tasting area featuring a winery (or brewery). I opted to attend when Cadence Winery was featured, as one of their Bordeaux blends caught my attention at an event at Marina Kitchen last year. I chose well.
The tasting featured five of Cadence’s Bordeaux-inspired blends (plus a Robert Patrick Chardonnay to kick things off). Each was very unique in its characteristics on the nose and palate. and everytime my friend and I thought we’d found our favorite we’d try the next wine and change our mind.
One of the gentleman pouring the wines, Rory McMahon of distribution company Authentic Wine Selections, imparted loads of wisdom on us. He explained that as differing as these wines are in flavor, the vineyards from whence they came are adjacent in Red Mountain, WA. McMahon relayed the some of the reasons for this and we got a little education along with the tasty wines.
We were also pleased to find Venissimo Cheese brought a spread to accompany the tasting. Their cheeses are always a welcome treat and went so well with the wine. A creamy goat cheese and aged cheddar topping our lists.
In the end my friend and I were a split decision on a couple of the wines – she preferred the Camerata, while I was loving the Bel Canto (made with a surprising 84% Cabernet Franc plus equal parts Merlot and Petit Verdot). The latter had a rich herbaceous quality I kept wanting to revisit. It had a lot of complexity and strong tannins. I need to get my hands on a bottle and sock it away for a couple years.
We both enjoyed the Ciel du Cheval, which also had herbal notes, but ripe fruit flavors as well. The tasting notes also mentioned that this one would improve with age.
In the end we enjoyed all the wines to varying degrees, the setting was superb and our hosts were gracious and knowledgable. In addition to McMahon, Chris Delaney the beverage manager and sommelier at Tower23’s JRDN restaurant was on hand giving his own notes of the wines.
There are still a few weeks left to check out Tower23’s beverage series. See below for remaining dates and click here to prepay for tickets. ($25 for five to six wines plus the pourers are generous if you want to revisit your favorites.)
9/9 Ehlers Estate Winery, Napa
9/16 Neyers Winery, Napa
9/23 Palmina Winery, Central Coast
9/30 Bubbles, Domaine Carneros and Taittinger
Cadence 2011 Red Mountain Ciel du Cheval – Bordeaux Blends Red Wine (✨ My personal favorite)