Wine Blogging Wednesday #57: California Inspiration

By Kori ~ May 13th, 2009.

Our host for the May edition of Wine Blogging Wednesday, the blogosphere’s monthly virtual wine tasting event, is Jeff of Good Grape. He selected California Inspiration as this month’s theme as homage to Robert Mondavi who passed away on May 16th of last year. Because Mondavi was an inspiration to many and was the forefather of the modern California wine industry, Jeff asked us to revisit a California wine that we have enjoyed and tell a story.

2006 Sebastiani Secolo Sonoma Red WineWhen I read Jeff’s theme and started thinking about what California wines have had an impact on me and have a good story to go along with them, one stood out above the rest, Sebastiani Secolo.

The game of tennis consumed my time and thoughts when I was growing up in Texas. If I was not on the tennis court myself, then I was probably watching professional tennis on television or reading about it in Tennis Magazine. During that time, my two favorite professional players were Steffi Graf and Stefan Edberg. I followed both of them their entire careers and continue to admire them even in their retirement. Therefore, when I heard that both Steffi and Stefan were being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004, I knew that I just had to go.

At the time, Colby was in graduate school and unable to travel with me to the Hall of Fame Induction. He encouraged me to go anyway, and I talked my parents into joining me. After all, they had followed professional tennis as well and understood how excited I was to be able to witness this piece of tennis history.

It was a perfect weekend! I got to see my childhood tennis heroes inducted into the Hall of Fame, spend quality time with my parents, and sightsee around beautiful Newport, Rhode Island. One evening, we went to a local steak and seafood house on the water in Newport. It was a gorgeous summer evening with the setting sun glistening on the water. We enjoyed a fabulous meal, and oh yes, discovered an outstanding wine. We had tasted a number of California wines prior to this, but honestly, none of them had really stood out to us. We were perusing the wine list for a red wine. Not finding any that we were really familiar with, we asked the sommelier for a recommendation. He suggested that we try the Sebastiani Secolo, a Bordeaux-style red blend from Sonoma County, California. We loved it and it paired extremely well with our surf and turf dinner. We jotted down the name of the wine and made a point to visit Sebastiani on our next trip to Sonoma wine country.

Each time I drink Sebastiani Secolo, I am transported back to Newport, Rhode Island, and once again enjoy the memories of that wonderful weekend. We recently sat down to enjoy a bottle of the current vintage, the 2006 Sebastiani Secolo. It was a good wine that I enjoyed once again but honestly, I do not think that the 2006 is as good as some of their previous vintages.

2006 Sebastiani Secolo Sonoma Red Wine (Sonoma County, California): 69% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 6% Malbec, 1% Petite Sirah. Dark, dense purple; almost black. Vanilla and burnt black cherry aromas. Bitter coffee, chocolate, and black plums come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with drying tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish. Needs some age to smooth itself out.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Spec’s Wines, Spirits, & Finer Foods (Texas), $32; Available elsewhere, $30 to $36

Filed under: American Wine, California Wine, Red Wine, Wine Blogging Wednesday, Wines Over $25

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