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Monday, October 26, 2009

Two Stops: Dry Creek and Matrix

Along Westside Road

Dry Creek Vineyards

Dry Creek has been around for a long time and has always been known for Zinfandel (as anyone in Dry Creek Valley should be). David Stare started the winery about 35 years ago and was well respected for his wines. His daughter is running the place now.

I counted 19 wines open in their tasting room! They are one of the few that still make a Chenin Blanc. The grapes are from Clarksburg (towards Sacramento). For some reason Chenin grows well there. If you haven't tried an American Chenin Blanc try this one.

The reason for stopping by was the night before I'd opened a 2001 Dry Creek reserve Zinfandel that was corked so I took it back to exchange.

I sampled the 2006 version that I got as a replacement plus three vineyard-designated Zinfandels. The Somers and Beeson Ranch Zins were outstanding (and $35). The '06 reserve I picked up to replace my '01 will need some time.


They are part of the Wilson family of wineries--they own about five now and seem to be doing well. Matrix started with Meritage wines (Bordeaux-style blends) I believe, so I was surprised to find five Pinot Noirs on their tasting menu. The tasting room hostess said the Wilson family thought they should be making Pinots as the winery is in the Russian River Valley (just barely) -- an area well-known for Pinot Noir.

I liked all the Pinots and wound up taking the 2006 Nunes Reserve (Russian River Valley). Their wines are in the $30 to $45 range.

A bit of fall color at Matrix Winery

The Bottle Barn

And for what it's worth I made a stop at the local wine shop and picked up a couple $25 Pinots from Siduri and Melville plus a Zinfandel from Armida (Maple Lane, Tina's Block).