• That’s a riot.

    What’s a riot?

    The wine riot.

    Some wine tastings have a snooty air about them. The wine riot didn’t. No there weren’t any creatures being accosted by torch wielding villagers. People weren’t getting squished against a fence to enter a soccer game. This wasn’t that kind of a riot. It was more along the lines of :


    3. Uproarious; boisterous: a riotous party.
    4. Dissolute; wanton: riotous living.
    5. Abundant or luxuriant: a riotous growth. 
    As the Free Dictionary puts it.

    In an attempt to make wine hip a group put together a shindig that was hella fun. With a photo booth set up, wine classes, temporary tattoos, and wine snow cones this event was unlike any I’ve been to.




    The staff was fun friendly and knowledgeable to say the least, and the location was an historic beautiful building in downtown Los Angeles.

    Most of the wine there was available for under $20 at your local purveyor, but my two favorites came in at a slightly pricier level.

    One was the Nicholas Feuillatte rose. At around $40 it is reasonably priced for a rose from Champagne, France. It had delightful strawberries and dried rose petals on the nose with a persistent bubbly nature.

    Aged for a minimum of three years with a careful selection of fruit to keep the wine consistent the typical blend is 10% Chardonnay,60% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Meunier.

    I liked how they broke it down on their website:


    Nicholas Feuillatte Rose NV


    Silver-tinged salmon-pink, with a steady ribbon of fine bubbles.


    Red fruit aromas. Intense, developing notes of blueberry, blackcurrant and raspberry.


    Delicate on the palate, fluid, underpinned by an extremely fine bead. Fruity finish.


    I especially liked the fun way they did the wine pairings:


    Food and wine pairings:

    by Fabrice Sommier, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Sommelier 2007 and Master Sommelier, Union of the French Sommelier Profession:

    The Classic : Raspberry charlotte.

    The Unexpected: Salmon coulibiac.

    The European: Sweet goats’ cheese fritters.

    The Asian: Caramelised pork.

    The American: Strawberry cookies


    There were two stories to the wine tasting, and on the second story my second pick was located.

    A young winemaker by the name of Chuck Mansfield was pouring some of his 100% Estate grown wine from Healdsburg, CA.  I’ve mentioned what Estate being on the label means before, but it’s my favorite of California’s labeling laws so I’ll revisit.

    When Estate is on the label:

    The wine in the bottle must be 100% from the winery and both the winery and the vineyard must be located inside the viticultural area that is stated on the bottle. In addition, the winery must own the entire property, crush the grapes, ferment the wine, age and bottle all on property.

    So in essence it is the strictest labeling law in California and therefore helps you get a better idea of what you’re getting in the wine you purchase.

    Well the wine Chuck Mansfield poured was the HKG (Hop Kiln Winery) Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley. It’s an Estate bottling from 2010 and is available on their website for $34.

    A beautiful bouquet (aromas), and complex palate (taste) with a lengthy finish this wine was the star of the show.

    Here’s what they had to say about their wine:



    HKG Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, Estate 2010


    Gold Medal Winner at the 2012 Sunset Int’l Wine Competition


    Our Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is blended for balance and opulent fruit character. For the 2010 vintage we selected barrels from our vineyards planted in the sandy soils of our North Bridge Block and blended them with complimentary selections of the Twin Corners Block. The rich fruit flavor from the River’s edge planting is a perfect pairing with the texture driven wines from the Twin Corner’s benchland.


    Well with temporary tattoos and somewhat lewd intonations at the photo booth included this was an exceptional show.

    The highlight for a colleague was the mini-eclairs they had available for purchase, but for me it is always fun to geek out with the winemakers and Chuck Mansfield was an exceptionally gifted young man who I can only imagine will be a big name in the wine world in the years to come. Kudos.


    Seems like an appropriate goodbye photo to me.