The CCIV Crew Visits
2005 Wine Marketing Seminar
February 10, 2005
On a Summer-like day in February we hosted
another marketing seminar for the Post Graduate School class that's touring
This little bit of espionage features visits to numerous wineries to learn about
production, sales, etc. They group devotes a morning to a marketing
seminar here at the shop.
Alexia Moore, head honcho of Alexia Moore Wine Marketing teamed up with French
wine importer Charles Neal of Charles Neal Selections.
Alexia explains the "Three Tier System" to the class and recounts the
history of her little dynamic wine brokering firm.
Charles Neal explains how he got into the wine business and how his little
enterprise started from humble beginnings to being a major source of great wines
(for us, anyway).
Alexia spoke about packaging and marketing and how some vintners go about
getting their wares into distribution.
When their questions we answered, we then opened a few bottles of wine.
"Mon dieu! California wine that is drinkable!"
We had commenced with a bottle of Iron Horse "LD" 1996 vintage
Brut...a delicious California which surprised the group. One person, who
had worked in France's Champagne region even remarked the wine was easily
comparable to a good bubbly from Champagne.
Then we opened an Alban 2003 Central Coast Viognier...a high "octane"
white wine with a lot of fruit. This was followed by Honig's excellent
Napa Valley "Rutherford" Sauvignon Blanc. The Honig wine caught
their attention as it has lots of "pamplemousse" (grapefruit)
and citrus notes with a hint of wood.
Next we opened a 2002 Russian River Valley Chardonnay from Mueller in Sonoma...a
deliciously toasty dry white. I heard some remarks about oak, but most
seemed to think it was good quality and reasonably priced.
We then had Orin Swift's 2003 Napa Valley red blend called "The
Prisoner." More than one person wondered "How can they attract a
market for a wine with such a name?"
But many people enjoyed the berryish fruit of this Zinfandel-based blend.
It also has some Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Charbono.
Flavien said "Va-bbene!"
The famous Andre Liochon.
Stephane was not sure if tasting a 1992 Forman Napa Valley Cabernet was
"legal" but since he's got a good background in law, he said
The Forman wine was superb. It is beautifully balanced and on a plateau.
Andre seemed to enjoy the Forman wine.
"It's a tough job, but somebody has got to do it!"
Seo-Eun Yang was pleased to be tasting a few interesting bottles from
We tasted a 1986 Dunn "Howell Mountain" Cabernet Sauvignon, a tannic
and tough red wine with a resiny, sort of menthol-like quality.
I then dragged out a bottle of Summers outstanding 2002 Napa Charbono and
challenged the group to guess the "Cpage."
At least nobody guessed it to be Chardonnay!
From there we adjourned to
our neighbor's restaurant, Aji Yoshi Ya!