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Friday, March 11, 2011

Russian River Barrel Tasting, Day 1

This is the second weekend of the annual Barrel Tasting in northern Sonoma County. "Barrel tasting" means the wineries offer samples of young wines, usually from the past harvest, for tasting and buying on futures (pay now, pick them up in a few months). They also offer their current wines for tasting and purchasing.  So there's LOTS of wines to try.  As I'm writing this I'm rehydrating with a beer so I can be ready to do this again tomorrow.  (How DO I do it)?  The event runs Friday through Sunday of both weekends. This is my trip Report from March 11, 2011

Dry Creek Valley, 3/11/11
 Robert Rue
Tasted 2006 Wood Ranch Zinfandel and 07 Reserve Zin plus a Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel from the barrels.
Last year I bought the 2006 Zin.  This year I didn't purchase as it's the first stop of the day.  If I need to I can always go back.

This one is new to me and it looks like a fairly new operation situated up a narrow road in the hills on the eastern side of Dry Creek Valley.
Tasted a 2008 Chardonnay, 2005 Zinfandel, a Cab out of the barrel and 2005 Zinfandel Port.  The Chard was so-so at $32, the '05 Zin was a real throwback to a style you don't see much anymore.  14.2% alcohol and still had tannins even though it's five years old.  Cab was so-so.  The star was the 2005 Zinfandel Port.  Wow.  Great spices, not syrupy, one of the best Zin Ports I've seen.

Papapietro Perry
They make several Pinot Noirs and a Zinfandel.  All were from Russian River/Sonoma Coast except one Pinot from Anderson Vly in Mendocino.  All were fairly expensive, but very good.  They even had some older vintages for sale.
Tasted these 2008 Pinots: Russian River, Sonoma Coast, Elsbree Vyd (RRV), Charles Vyd (Anderson Vly), Leras Vyd (RRV), and Peters Vyd (RRV).  The Leras Family Vineyards Pinot was a knockout.  Also tasted a Russian River Zin that was OK if you are looking for lots of cherry flavor in your wine.

Collier Falls
Tasted the 2006 Dry Creek Zinfandel that recently got the proverbial 92 points from Wine Spectator.
It's a high-alcohol fruit-bomb that has some complexity and spices, but it's not for me.

Tasted a couple young 2009 Zinfandels--a Dry Creek Vly and a Todds Vyd out of Alexander Valley.  I believe the Dry Creek one will be good eventually, but the Todds shows great complexity and structure already.

David Coffaro
David likes Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and a loud audio-visual setup in the cellar.
Barrel sampled about ten 2010 wines including six Zinfandels--mostly Zin blends and a couple Cab blends.  Unfortunately, I didn't bring the list of barrel samples home so I don't remember the two that stood out. I believe both were Zinfandel and Petite Sirah blends with maybe something else thrown in. 
Dave makes very drinkable, food-friendly wines.

Best of the Day
2005 Kachina Zinfandel Port
2008 Papapietro Perry Leras Family Pinot Noir

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