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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Russian River Barrel Tasting, Day 2

This day was spent in the Russian River area and Santa Rosa.  We sampled at several micro-wineries that share facilities plus a few others.  I'm going almost exclusively for reds and as we're in the Russian River area there will be lots of Pinot Noir.

Freestone
Way and the heck out in the middle of nowhere near the coast where they make Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the two grapes grown in that area.  We sampled the Fogdog and Freestone Pinots. The Fogdog is fruitier, less complex, and less expensive.  The 2007 Freestone PN was nice, but not $55 nice.

Taft Street
They had Pinot, Zinfandel and Syrah.  All had a similar red fruit flavor and were very similar style.  Decent wines at good prices.  This place was crowded with the Millennial-types so they must appreciate the reasonable pricing.

Red Car
These were interesting wines.   They have multiple tiers (cheap, moderate, expensive) wines.  The reds from the middle and high-end were very good.   The $55 "The Fight" Syrah was excellent as it should be at that price.  The mid-range Box Car Pinot was also nice.  I'm going back to try their wines again on a "normal" day.

Dutton-Goldfield
Had barrel samples of '10 Pinots and a couple bottled Pinots and Syrahs.  The Russian River Pinot was very good, the Devil's Gulch was excellent, but was $59.  The '08 Cherry Ridge Syrah was outstanding. Very well made wines and they seem to keep the alcohol levels in check.

Hook & Ladder
Stopped by because a friend was working there.  What a zoo!  I think the decibel level of the crowd was enough to rupture vital organs, so I left.

Benovia
They make Chard, Pinot and Zin, but are primarily about the Pinots. Tasted an '09 Sonoma Coast, '09 Russian River, '08 Bella Una, and '08 La Pommeraie ranging in price from $38 to $56.  The Russian River and Bella Una were the best with the RRV being more fruit-forward and the Bella being more earthy.
From Benovia, 3/12/11

Carol Shelton
From the bottle they were pouring three Zinfandels:  2006 Wild Thing, 2007 Monga, and 2006 Karma.  The Karma was my favorite. It's from Robert Rue's Wood vineyards (see post on part 1 of the barrel tasting for info on Robert Rue).  Also had a barrel sample of an '09 Petite Sirah that I'm still trying to remove from my teeth.

Inspiration
Sampled Pinots, Zins an Syrah from barrels.  Good wines, good prices.

Bjornstad
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with a couple different vineyards of very good Pinots--van der Kamp and Hellenthal.

Simple Math
This is a micro-winery!  He set up a table in the cellar with his friend from Inspiration.  Very good wines and very reasonably priced.  He's making Pinot, Zin, and Syrah in limited quantities.

Desmond
All about Pinot and it's nicely balanced and decently priced.


Best of the day
2008 Dutton-Goldfield Cherry Ridge Syrah
2008 Red Car The Fight Syrah