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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sonoma Valley Barrel Tasting 2011

Just when I thought it was safe to sober up from last weekend's Russian River Barrel Tasting ...

We made a few stops on Sunday, March 20th, during the annual Savor Sonoma Valley barrel tasting event with about two dozen participating wineries.   No specific recommendations on any wines since I didn't take notes while out tasting and my memory ain't what it used to be.

Benziger
Beautiful grounds and a nice special event area for the barrel tasting.  The wines seemed tannic and tight without any fruit showing through yet.  Will they be better in a few years?  I'm not familiar enough with these wines to know.  This is a nice place to visit for the aforementioned grounds and the guided vineyard tram tours as it's rare to get a chance to check out the vineyards like this.
Benziger vineyards
Chateau St. Jean
Another beautiful spot with decent everyday wines in the $20 range and some excellent reserve wines, but some of these are going for $90 now.  They have a new deli in the tasting room so this is a good lunch stop.   Extra credit for the SF Giants theme for the weekend!

Deerfield Ranch
The tasting was in a central room in their aging caves setup with tasting bars and leather sofas.  Just add a big screen TV and it would be the ultimate Man Cave!  Some very good wines.
From Deerfield Ranch Winery
Kunde
More cave tasting, but this time with so-so wines.  These guys used to be better.
Kunde vineyards above the cave entrance
St. Francis
Many of their wines have to be cut with a knife, but boy are they good in a couple years.  Lots of great Zins.