July 2019 Trip to Sonoma

Sonoma

Tasted July 22, 2019 - July 23, 2019 by EFrohmader with 109 views

Introduction

Trying to visit wineries all around Sonoma on this trip. A few we had been to once before, but it was our first visit to many of them.

Flight 1 - St. Francis Wine and Food Pairing (6 notes)

Started off with the Wine and Food pairing to double as our lunch for the day. It was our second visit to St Francis. Impressed that they were able to serve gluten free pasta with the one course.

White
2017 St. Francis Chardonnay USA, California, Sonoma County
89 points
Lemon curd, almond, creamy. Medium body & acidity. Medium-plus finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 St. Francis Chardonnay Artisan Collection Martinelli Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Apple, pear, guava, saline. Medium body & acidity. Medium-long finish. Paired with a sautéed tiger shrimp salad with crushed avocado, shaved radish, pickled carrots, marinated jicama, spiced pepitas, and prickly pear lemongrass vinaigrette.
Red
2016 St. Francis Pinot Noir USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
91 points
2% Syrah blended in. Black cherry, black raspberry, tea, spice. Medium body. Medium-plus acidity. Medium-long finish. Paired with roasted baby beats, duck prosciutto, fennel kimchi, pickled strawberries, toasted hazelnuts, blue cheese, tarragon, and crispy shallots.
Red
2014 St. Francis Merlot Reserve USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
92 points
Cassis, plum, black cherry, black pepper. Medium-full body. Medium acidity & tannin. Medium-long finish. Ready now. Paired with fresh Bucatini pasta, greens, porcini cream, aged Parmesan Reggiano, shaved bottarga, lavender infused olive oil, and chives.
Red
2015 St. Francis Zinfandel Montecillo Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
90 points
1% Petite Sirah. Black cherry, plum, spice. Medium-plus body. Medium acidity & tannins. Medium-plus finish. Could probably use a little time. Still good, but I cared less for this than any other Zin I’ve had from St Francis to this point. Paired with glazed pork tenderloin, aged Gouda polenta cake, dino kale, baby shiitake, bing cherries, black garlic shoyu, olive oil.
White - Fortified
N.V. St. Francis Port USA, California, Sonoma County
Honey, tangerine, vanilla. This was my first experience with a white port and I wasn’t really a fan. Paired with Tahitian vanilla cassata cake, turbinado custard, white nectarines, meringue, raspberry coulis, shaved white chocolate.

Flight 2 - DH Gustafson Tasting at their Estate Vineyard (9 notes)

First visit to Gustafson. We like all of the wines - a bit more rustic and elegant than some of the others we tasted. I wish we would have brought some food or a snack and spent a bit more time here to enjoy the view.

Rosé
2018 Gustafson Family Vineyards Syrah Rosé of Syrah Dry Creek Mountain Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
90 points
Strawberry, watermelon, cranberry. Medium-plus body, acidity, & finish.
White
2018 Gustafson Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
90 points
Lemon, honeydew, grassiness, saline. Medium body. Medium-plus acidity & finish.
White
2017 Gustafson Family Vineyards Riesling USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
90 points
Lychee, pear, slate. Medium body & acidity. Off dry. Medium-plus finish.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Gustafson Family Vineyards Zinfandel Estate Heritage Tree Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
92 points
Black cherry, plum skin, tobacco, white pepper, spice. Medium-plus body. Medium acidity. Medium-light tannins. Medium-plus finish. Ready now.
Red
2014 Gustafson Family Vineyards Syrah USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
91 points
Blackberry, cassis, black pepper. Medium-plus body. Medium acidity. Medium-minus tannin. Medium-plus finish.
Red
2016 Gustafson Family Vineyards Cabernet Franc USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
92 points
Blackberry, violet, black pepper. Medium-plus body. Medium acidity. Medium-long finish. Ready now, but can wait as well.
Red
2013 Gustafson Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Creek Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
91 points
Cassis, blackberry, plum, coffee, toasted oak. Medium-plus body. Medium acidity. Medium-minus tannin. Medium-plus finish.
Red
2014 Gustafson Family Vineyards Petite Sirah USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
91 points
Blackberry, black cherry, black pepper, tar. Medium-full body. Medium acidity & tannin. Medium-long finish.
Red - Sweet/Dessert
2014 Gustafson Family Vineyards Late Harvest USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
91 points
Blackberry jam, blueberry, chocolate, vanilla. And, both of us liked it!

Flight 3 - Unti Vineyard Tasting (9 notes)

First visit to Unti. Wines were good here, but considering we had an appointment (it is required) and there aren't any "elevated" tasting experiences here, it was pretty ordinary otherwise.

White
2018 Unti Vineyards Vermentino USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
91 points
Grapefruit, white flowers, minerality. Medium-plus acidity. Medium-long finish.
Rosé
2018 Unti Vineyards Rosé USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
91 points
Watermelon, tart raspberry, slate. Medium-plus acidity. Medium-long finish.
Rosé
2017 Unti Vineyards Rosé USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Slightly funky nose. I preferred the 2018 vintage.
White
2018 Unti Vineyards Grenache Blanc USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Grapefruit. Medium-high acidity.
Red
2015 Unti Vineyards Grenache USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
92 points
Raspberry, pepper, spice, tar. Medium-minus body. Medium acidity. Medium-long finish.
Red
2016 Unti Vineyards Montepulciano USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
93 points
Black cherry, leather, tobacco, chocolate. Medium-full body. Medium acidity & tannin. Medium-long finish.
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Red
2016 Unti Vineyards Zinfandel USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
92 points
Black raspberry, cherry, dark chocolate. Medium body & acidity. Medium-plus finish.
Red
2016 Unti Vineyards Syrah Benchland USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
91 points
Blackberry, toasted oak, black pepper. Medium-full body. Medium-plus acidity.
White - Sweet/Dessert
2017 Unti Vineyards Muscat USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Nice, not overly sweet.

Flight 4 - Dry Creek Vineyard Walk-in Tasting (8 notes)

First visit to Dry Creek Vineyard. Walk-in tasting since it was later in the day and we weren't sure we'd still be up for visiting another winery. Didn't take detailed notes since it was the 4th winery of the day.

Red
2016 Dry Creek Vineyard Zinfandel Somers Ranch USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Blackberry, black cherry, spice. Medium-full body.
Red
2016 Dry Creek Vineyard Zinfandel DCV7 Estate Wallace Ranch USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Medium-plus body & acidity.
Red
2016 Dry Creek Vineyard Zinfandel DCV2 Estate Four Clones Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Medium-full body. Medium-plus acidity.
Red
2016 Dry Creek Vineyard Zinfandel Beeson Ranch USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Good but no notes.
Red
2017 Dry Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir DCV10 USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
I think tasting this after some of their Zinfandels didn't help this show as well as it would have otherwise.
Red
2016 Dry Creek Vineyard Merlot Dry Creek Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Black cherry, plum.
Red
2015 Dry Creek Vineyard The Mariner USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Cassis, black cherry, leather, tobacco. Medium-plus body & acidity.
Red
2015 Dry Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Western Slopes USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
No notes, but I thought this was quite good.

Flight 5 - J. Rickards Winery Picnic and Tasting (11 notes)

First visit to J. Rickards. Unable to take detailed notes on all of the wines because some were poured while touring the vineyard (and they poured so many wines). Very nice views and picnic area. Including lunch, we spent 2.5 hours here. Prices and quality of the wine were both good. We liked the reds a bit more than the whites, but both were good. They also poured the whites a little warmer than I typically like (for the aromatics), so that may have had something to do with it. I think our favorites (that we also purchased) were the GSM, Old Vine Zin, and Left Bank Cuvee.

White
2018 J. Rickards Sauvignon Blanc Croft Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
90 points
Mango, grapefruit, nectarine. Medium body & acidity. Medium-plus finish. Would go well with sushi.
White
2018 J. Rickards G-V-M USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Aromatic. Apple, pear, spice. Medium-minus body.
White
2018 J. Rickards Viognier Salem Ranch USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Apple, lemon blossom. Medium body.
Rosé
2018 J. Rickards Grenache Ava Rae Rosé USA, California, Sonoma County
Watermelon, strawberry, slate. Medium body.
Red
2017 J. Rickards Carignane Heritage Selection St Clair Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Cherry, raspberry, black pepper.
Red
2016 J. Rickards Old Vine Zinfandel 1908 Brignole Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
No notes, but it was one of my favorite Zins that they poured for our visit.
Red
2016 J. Rickards Zinfandel Ancestor Selections USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Blackberry, black raspberry, black pepper. Medium-plus body.
Red
2016 J. Rickards Left Bank Cuvee USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
No detailed notes, but it was one of my favorite wines from the tasting.
Red
2016 J. Rickards Petite Sirah Brown Barn Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Blackberry, blueberry, tar, dark chocolate. Medium-full body.
Red
2016 J. Rickards Petite Sirah Rickards Wild Reserve USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Tasted, but no detailed notes.
Red
2016 J. Rickards G-S-M USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Blackberry, black cherry, black pepper, dried herbs. Medium-plus body.

Flight 6 - Balletto Walk-in Tasting (8 notes)

First visit to Balletto. Did walk-in tasting since we weren't sure on timing for the day. Wines were all good and reasonably priced. Most tasted like they could use a little more bottle age. Only tasted one of their single vineyard pinots, but it showed significantly more complexity than the RRV bottling.

White
2017 Balletto Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
90 points
Lemon blossom, white flowers, pineapple, slate. Medium body. Medium-plus acidity.
Rosé
2017 Balletto Vineyards Pinot Noir Rosé USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
89 points
Watermelon, tart strawberry, slate. Medium body. Medium-plus acidity.
White
2017 Balletto Vineyards Chardonnay Teresa's Unoaked USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Lemon, apple, slate, saline. Medium body. Medium-plus acidity.
White
2016 Balletto Vineyards Chardonnay Cider Ridge Vineyard Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Lemon blossom, white flowers, almond, pineapple, vanilla. Medium-plus body & acidity. Medium-long finish.
Red
2017 Balletto Vineyards Pinot Noir USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
90 points
Black cherry, raspberry. Medium-plus body. Medium acidity & finish.
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Red
2016 Balletto Vineyards Pinot Noir Burnside Road Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
92 points
Forest floor, black cherry, blueberry, smoke, herbs. Medium-plus body & acidity.
Red
2015 Balletto Vineyards Syrah USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
91 points
Blackberry, violets, black cherry, black pepper. Medium-plus body. Medium acidity. Medium-plus finish.
Rosé - Sparkling
2013 Balletto Vineyards Brut Rosé USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
92 points
Apple, yeast. Very smooth.

Flight 7 - Anaba Tasting (10 notes)

Second visit to Anaba. Nice tasting on the porch. I'm interested in checking out their new tasting room when it opens. It was nice to taste some of their wines that we hadn't yet. I liked their full-bodied reds more than I remembered from our first visit. No score for some of the wines because we were rushing to leave.

Rosé
2018 Anaba Grenache Rosé Sonoma Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
90 points
Tart strawberry, watermelon, slate. Medium body. Medium-plus acidity.
White
2016 Anaba Turbine White USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
91 points
Aromatic. White flowers, apple, white peach, key lime. Medium body & acidity. Medium-long finish.
White
2015 Anaba Chardonnay USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
91 points
Orange oil, green apple, caramel, lemon custard. Medium body & acidity. Medium-long finish.
White
2016 Anaba Chardonnay J McK Estate Vineyard USA, California, Napa / Sonoma, Carneros
92 points
Apple, lemon peel, crème brûlée, vanilla, light spice. Medium body & acidity. Medium-long finish.
Red
2015 Anaba Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
91 points
Black cherry, raspberry, forest floor, spice. Medium body & acidity. Medium-long finish.
Red
2015 Anaba Pinot Noir Westlands Sonoma Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
92 points
Raspberry, cherry, pomegranate, spice, tea, slate. Medium body & acidity. Medium-long finish.
Red
2016 Anaba Pinot Noir Soberanes Vineyard USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Lucia Highlands
93 points
Cherry, raspberry, cranberry, cherry pie. Medium body & acidity. Medium-long finish. Well balanced.
Red
2016 Anaba Syrah Bismark Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Moon Mountain District
Blackberry, plum, violet, black pepper, spice. Medium-full body. Medium-plus acidity. Medium tannin. Needs more time.
Red
2016 Anaba Petite Sirah Teldeschi Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Blackberry, tar, blueberry. Full-minus body. Medium-plus acidity & tannin. Needs time.
White - Fortified
2015 Anaba Aero Port - White Port Wine USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Valley
91 points
Asian pear, peach, honey.
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