Chalk Talk: A Winos Guide To The Reserve Tasting at Savor Dallas 2012

Savor Dallas is one of the, if not the, biggest food and wine festivals of the year in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The 2012 Savor Dallas takes place on March 30 & 31. They offer a slew of tasting events.  If you are a wine lover, then you must attend the best event of the festival: The Reserve Tasting. This year the event will take place on Saturday March 31 is at 5:30pm in the Irving Convention Center. Buy tickets now, a sellout is a certainty. Every single one of the approximately 50 wines in this tasting must retail for over $50 a bottle. However, some actually sell for a lot more.

Here’s my list of suggested highlights of the wines offered at the Reserve Tasting this year. I’ve  listed by normal tasting order. Comments may be totally out of order.


Dom Pérignon Blanc, Épernay, Champagne, France, 2002

Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, France, 1998 – Ruinart is one of Champagne’s underrated producers

Krug Grande Cuvée, Reims, Champagne, France, MV – predicted Best of Tasting

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut Rosé, Épernay, Champagne, France, 2002

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Blanc, Épernay, Champagne, France, 2002

Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, Champagne, France, 1998

White Table Wines

Sauvignon Blanc

Robert Mondavi Reserve Fumé Blanc, To Kalon Vineyard, Oakville District, Napa Valley, 2008 – Fumé Blanc. The wine that saved Sauvignon Blanc in Napa and one of the late Robert Mondavi’s greatest contributions to California.

Quintessa “Illumination” Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, 2010


Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru “Clavoillon”, Cote du Beaune, 2009 – the sole white Burgundy in the tasting should nonetheless impress.

Red Table Wines

Pinot Noir

Wild Horse “Cheval Sauvage” Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, 2007 – we are Cabernet heavy in reds, so I hope this satisfies Pinot Noir lovers.

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

Beaulieu Vineyards Private Reserve Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2008. – a classic Napa Cabernet . See how it is fairing up?

Charles Krug Family Reserve “Generations”, Napa Valley, 2008

Cheval des Andes, Las Compuertas Lujän de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, 2007. Made by Pierre Lurton (Cheval Blanc) and Nicolas Audebert (Cheval des Andes). A French-style Argentine Malbec. This is the wine for those brave enough to buy a Hyundai Equus. No label cachet, but the smart choice of insiders.

Clos Apalta, Apalta Vineyard, Colchagua Valley, Chile, 2008. – Greatest wine in Chile? Possibly. It alternates with Concha Y Toro’s Don Melchor. One thing I know. After a decade of ageing both of these wines are sublime. The Clos Alpalta is  mainly Carmenère grape as well –  but no pronounced green pepper in the bouquet.

Louis M. Martini Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Valley, 2008

Newton Vineyard, “The Puzzle”, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, 2008 – Venerable Newton’s approach to a Bordeaux blend.

Numanthia “Numanthia”, Toro, Spain, 2008 – Numanthia. Just a glass or two of these old Tempranillo vines makes it possible to hold up your end of the conversation when discussing string theory with Paris Hilton. Ferran Adria put Spain on the world culinary map. Numanthia is one of the producers putting her on the viticultural map.

Quintessa, Rutherford, Napa Valley, 2008. — Respected Napa Cabernet producer. Recommend you cf. this with the Robert Mondavi Oakville. The AVAs are next door neighbors.

Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville District, Napa Valley, 2008 – classic Napa Valley floor wine. Treat this as a reference point when comparing with other Cabernets, especially the Quintessa and the Mount Veeder 2006 to be served at this tasting.


Louis M. Martini Monte Rosso Vineyard Gnarly Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, 2009

Rosenblum Cellars Maggie’s Reserve Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley, 2009

Dessert Wines

Fuqua Winery Cavalier Tawny Port Vat #13, Madera, NV – a California wine made in Texas, but the fact is clearly declared on the label. Kudos for full disclosure. This wine won a ‘Best Of Class’ at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

Graham’s 20 Year Tawny Port, Douro Valley, Portugal, NV

Inniskillin Winery Icewine Cabernet Franc, VQA Niagara Peninsula, 2007 – a good example of the refined dessert wines coming out of Canada.