Saturday, March 12, 2011

Roll Out the Barrel

Last weekend and this weekend the Annual Sonoma Wine Road Barrel Tasting Event is on. It's tons of fun, but I usually don’t go for two reasons: 1: It’s crowded. 2: It’s crowded. But this year we decided to do a very local barrel tasting tour and visit wineries less than 6 miles from our house.

First Stop: Joseph Swan Winery
Great offering of barrel samples including
2009 Zinfandel Mancini Ranch 2009 Zinfandel Zeigler Vineyard 2009 Syrah Trenton Estate 2009 Syrah Great Oak Vineyard 2008 Cabernet Trenton Estate.

Stop 2: Martin Ray
The folks at Martin Ray were in an 80’s mode wearing neon green, orange, and pink and offering free (temporary) tattoos. I liked the Sauvignon Blanc they poured in the tasting room and the Pinot barrel sample.

Stop 3: Graton Ridge Cellars—The 60s were alive and well at Graton Ridge and in addition to their medal wining wines the main reason to visit Graton Ridge is for the rainbow peace sign each visitor gets on entering the tasting room. Groovy man. The giveaways don’t get any better than this! The barrel samples I liked were the 2010 Russian River Chardonnay and the 2010 Bacigalupi Zinfandel

I am a fan of Dutton Goldfield wines, so it’s hard to believe this was my first visit to their new tasting room since they opened almost a year ago. I guess it’s like the Empire state building or Statue of Liberty, you take it for granted if you live there and drive by it all the time. The new tasting room is open and airy with a great patio set up out front perfect for relaxing in the afternoon sun.

Of the five barrel samples there, I liked the 2010 Fox Den Vineyard Pinot Noir from the Green Valley of Russian River appellation and the 2010 Morelli Lane Zinfandel Russian River Valley. The Morelli smelled like a Pinot and tasted like a Zin! It’s two wines in one.

In the tasting room Sarah Kelley poured us the lovely 2008 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay as well as the 2008 Devils Gulch Vineyard Pinot from Marin County and the 2008 Cherry Ridge Syrah (also Green Valley Russian River). We also tried the 2008 Sanchietti Pinot that I loved so much in the past. This wine is close to being sold out and I snagged a few bottles from the quickly dwindling inventory. I noticed almost everyone who tasted the Sanchietti bought some on the spot.

Hanging out by the Fork Food Truck

After the tasting it was time for some food and lucky for us Sarah Piccolo of Fork Catering Food truck and Jeff Tyler of Chicago Style Hot Dogs were both on hand in the parking lot serving up their specialties.
We got a Chicago dog with EVERYTHING and a Crab roll sandwich and a Mongolian Beef sandwich from Fork. Look for Tyler and Sarah next time you are out and about.
Sarah Piccolo of Fork

We made one last stop at Shane Wines and Kosta Browne which was not part of the Barrel Tasting Trail and I’ll tell you all about it on the next post!

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