I sampled mostly red wines.
PEDRONCELLI since 1927
|Image from pedroncelli.com|
First thing that hit me were the prices with most wines in the $15-$18 range. The Friends Red, a blend of Zinfandel, Sangiovese, and Merlot, is a steal at $10. The Mother Clone Zinfandel is an old vine Zin with typical Dry Creek brambly characteristics, and another steal at $15.
These aren't big, lush wines, but they are excellent food wines and can stand a bit of ageing.
PRESTON since 1975
Exquisite balance. Not too tannic, good fruit, but not jammy or alcoholic. Folks who like the Turley-esque fruit bomb wine should try Preston's Zinfandel. You can have nice fruit without 16% alcohol (they don't go over 14.5% on their wines).
Higher-priced with most in the mid-$30s. Besides the Zinfandel, the LPreston Rhone-style blend and Syrah-Sirah blend were excellent. Some really great wines.
DRY CREEK VINEYARDS since 1972
Semi-nice, but not Preston nice though at Preston prices. I tried their three available Zinfandels (you know you're in Dry Creek when you can taste three Zins at one stop) and preferred the Beeson Ranch at $34. I have been a fan of Dry Creek for a long time, but a bit disappointing this time.
FOPPIANO since 1896
It's all about the Petite Sirah. They have an Estate Petite (I tried) and a Reserve Petite (I didn't). The Estate Petite Sirah had a nice spicy, peppery note to it that you don't often find though it also had some of the tannins you often do. This is what you'd call a manly wine--it ain't for sissies! Don't drink this wine tonight; wait a few years.