TN's: Wally’s Celebration for Michael Bonaccorsi

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TN's: Wally’s Celebration for Michael Bonaccorsi

Postby Phil_Carpenter » Tue Aug 09, 2011 8:21 pm

I had the great pleasure of attending the Wally’s 8th Annual Central Coast Celebration for the Michael Bonaccorsi Scholarship Fund on July 31. I’ve wanted to attend this event for years now. Good friend Larry Schaffer allowed me to attend, tip some bottles, and let me feel like I was in the bizz a little bit. I snuck around and was able to taste a good amount of wine.

Pros to the event: The labels pouring, the food being served, the knowledgeable and good-looking crowd. Cons: It was HOT! Which meant I really wanted to drink whites. But I was able to, “choke” down some reds. Another con, just like at other big tastings, hard to truly analyze the wines. I have quick notes…and I got a lot of weird looks for putting pen to paper. Always willing to do what I have to do. I’ll break down my notes by going white, then red.


10 Bodegas M Albarino
Layered nose, ripe pear, with some good acid on finish. Nice wine!

09 Brander au Naturel Sauv Blanc
Grassy with ripe tropical fruits…anise? Pretty tasty.

06 Core b.core Roussane/Marsanne
Dave Corey, Santa Barbara O.G., brought a white with a little age! Ripe pear and apple…great acid and life. This is in a great place right now. DRINK!!

09 Deovlet Solomon Hills Chard
Label I haven’t tried before…glad I did. Great complex chard with tropical citrus notes with a structure and length.

09 Dragonette Happy Canyon Sauv Blanc
Brandon Sparks-Gillis recently received major coverage (deservedly so!) from Wine Spectator regarding his S.B.’s. It’s obvious why with this offering. Acid runs evenly through this wine…with ripe lemon and lime. Some nice wild flowers as well.

09 Jaffurs Grenache Blanc
A Rhone from Santa Barbara legend Craig Jaffurs. Layered…complex…with great acid on the finish. Tropical and citrus notes dance here. A must try!

09 Liquid Farm Chards
Jeff Nelson and Niki Pallesen are working with Brandon Sparks-Gillis on this new label. Jeff and Nikki wanted chards in a white Burgundy form…but from Santa Rita Hills. Great vineyard source at Kessler-Haak, Rita’s Crown, and Zotovich (I LOVE this site). These wines deliver an ultra clean, precise, citrus, mineral. An absolute acid beauty. These were wines I NEED to spend an extended amount of time with.

10 Tercero White Hawk Viognier
Larry’s first vio…great stuff. Full of acid…great apple and flowers on nose. Clean…and pretty much the anti-SB vio. You gotta try this one!

09 Tyler Clos Pepe Chard
Justin Willett is making some great wine (check out Bratcher Winery!). This is a classy chard from killer site in Santa Rita Hills. Great acid with crisp citrus notes.

09 Star Lane Sauv Blanc
Always stop at their tasting room to get a swig of this S.B. Made in a New Zealand style…plenty of grass, cat pee, with super bright lemon/lime. Full of acid…great for this hot day.


08 Core Mister Moreved
Ripe red fruit, leather, some pepper. Consistent palate with nice tannin and structure.

07 Dierberg Pinot
Floral, elegant red fruit. Pure red fruit with soft structure and finish. REALLY nice.

09 Gypsy Canyon Pinot
Classic Santa Rita Hills…and a great expression of the varietal. Earth, and great pure fruit on nose. Strawberry/cherry on palate to go with nose. Great structure. Man…

08 Jaffurs Verna’s Syrah
One of my favorite labels…and favorite sites. Ripe strawberry, raspberry puree. Pure red fruit with strong structure. The 08’s I’ve had have been concentrated goodness!

09 La Fenetre Santa Maria Pinot
Grilled meat, nutty nose, with strawberry. Consistent palate with great structure.

09 Lato Solomon Hills Pinot
Peppery, ripe blue fruit, earth, smoke. Coffee on finish. Pretty big.

08 Loring Wine Company “Divergence”
All around great guy, Brian Loring’s spin on El Nido. Smoke, pepper, ripe blueberry, with sweet oak elements. Just a friccon yummy wine with a big lush chocolate/blue fruit finish. Almost port like. This was my last wine of the day. Changed every ten to twenty minutes. Gooood.

09 Tyler La Encantada Pinot
Bright red fruit mixed with mushroom and that chalky diatomaceous earth smell you get from Santa Rita Hills. Total consistent palate with a great acid streak.

Great, GREAT day. Hope to be here again next year!
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Re: TN's: Wally’s Celebration for Michael Bonaccorsi

Postby Steve Anderson » Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:47 pm


Thanks for the feedback and notes. We had a great time at the 2010 event. Couldn't make the date this year, and probably would have thought twice due to the cost ($95pp or $145pp for VIP entry). Can't complain too much, as I know it is a worthwhile charity event, the food was outrageously good, and the wines weren't too shabby either. Heat was a con last year as well. Not much air circulation under the big tops in Wally's asphalt parking lot on a 90deg day - and bottled water ran out about 2PM. Still, it was a good opportunity to taste some great wines from Lato, Jonata, Dragonette, Tercero, Herman Story, etc. Didn't see a winery participant list this year so glad to see your notes.

Did Paul Lato pour his Chard? Love the '08/'09, but missed the SB Futures event so have not tasted the '10 yet. Looking forward to trying the Liquid Farm chards one of these days, although I'm still having trouble getting past the visual on that name! Also looking forward to trying Larry's Vio.


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Re: TN's: Wally’s Celebration for Michael Bonaccorsi

Postby Phil_Carpenter » Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:13 pm

Yeah, it was definitely a fun event.

The list was rather nice...all those you listed were there. They had the water on lock this year. Thankfully drank enough of that and ate a lot. Which was easy!

Yes, Paul did pour his chard. 08 Sierra Madre. Pretty classic chard.

The Liquid Farm is real deal bud. Really good...trying to get my hands on a bottle of each so I can analyze a bit more.
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