Sonoma-Napa Trip Day 4 and 5

Napa and Sonoma

Tasted June 29, 2009 - June 30, 2009 by OneLastSyrah with 790 views

Introduction

Day 4 in Napa and Day 5 back in Sonoma

Flight 1 - Morning at Pride (6 notes)

The Pride folks were great hosts as usual. Special thanks to Tim on this visit. I'm looking forward to the '07 lineup based on the Merlot barrel sample.

White
2003 Pride Mountain Vineyards Chardonnay Vintner Select Mountain Top Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County
Light steely. Medium bodied finishes a bit woody. Mona found it a little green. okay.
White
2008 Pride Mountain Vineyards Viognier USA, California, Sonoma County
Medium bodied with apricot flavors. This is a lighter handed Viognier to my palate. Somewhat more crisp rather than lush. Pretty good juice. Drink up young I suspect. I like this better than some of the recent earlier vintages of Pride's Viognier.
Red
2007 Pride Mountain Vineyards Syrah USA, California, Sonoma County
Inky color. Barrel sweet touch of vanilla. Black berry fruit. Touch of smoke. Meaty. Pretty nice. More like a Cab in style in some ways to me. Pride is actually holding back some of their 2007 Syrah to blend into the 2008 since they had such a small crop for the 2008 vintage.
Red
2007 Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot USA, California, North Coast, Napa / Sonoma
Barrel Sample - Dark color with a lighter rim, somewhat translucent. Sweet nose of vanilla and chocolate. Dark berry fruit mocha. Late acidity. Quite tasty. This is going to be a great vintage for this wine I think.
Red
2006 Pride Mountain Vineyards Merlot USA, California, North Coast, Napa / Sonoma
Sweet caramel oak nose. Some vanilla. Touch of powdered sugar creme brulee. Somewhat more austere than the '07 barrel sample. Concentrated black fruit. Deeply colored in the glass with a hint of tawny at the edge. Nice. $56.
Red
2006 Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon USA, California, North Coast, Napa / Sonoma
Rich cedar currant with a touch of caramel. Chewy tannins. Good.

Flight 2 - Sterling (8 notes)

My wife visited Sterling with girlfriends in about 1998 and had fond memories, so she wanted to take her parents back to visit. It was pretty much a mistake. The whites were more successful than the reds.

White
2007 Sterling Vineyards Pinot Gris USA, California, Napa Valley
Light melon nose. Pleasant dry lemon fruit. Ok, maybe even better than I feared.
White
2007 Sterling Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc USA, California, Napa Valley
Crisp tangy lemon fruit. Not bad, but a bit simple.
Red
2006 Sterling Vineyards Sangiovese Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
Reticent with some concrete on the nose. Medium bodied with a little dry cherry fruit. Eh.
Red
2005 Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford USA, California, Napa Valley, Rutherford
Deep color, slightly translucent. Cedar oak nose. A little dusty and peppery. Rather dry smelling. Black currant. Medium-full bodied juicy black fruit. not bad. $40.
White
2007 Sterling Vineyards Malvasia Bianca California USA, California
Aromatic slightly lychee nut gewurz like. Sweet smelling. Sweet peachy flavors on the palate. Well made, not sure when I would drink this though.
White
2008 Sterling Vineyards Viognier USA, California, North Coast
Tangy bright peach/apricot fruit. Pretty tasty. Maybe a little bit sweet. Worth taking a couple bottles along.
Red
2004 Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
Black currant fruit and a touch of cedar on the nose. Tangy bleh palate. Pass.
Red
2004 Sterling Vineyards Merlot Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
Touch corky? Light menthol tangy black currant. eh.

Flight 3 - Beringer reserve room (8 notes)

My father in law wanted to see Beringer, since its one of the labels he recognizes. They were pouring some pretty good stuff in the reserve room.

White
2006 Beringer Vineyards Chardonnay Sbragia Limited Release USA, California, Napa Valley
Rich cereal toasted oak nose. Bright pineapple and sweet lemon. This is all from the Gamble vineyard, 75% new oak. 100% malo, weekly lees stirring. Very interesting and distinctive Chardonnay when you are in the mood for something not ashamed to scream California Chardonnay. Like this.
Red
2004 Beringer Vineyards Merlot Bancroft Ranch USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
Pretty nose - touch menthol and mint mocha. Cherry fruit. Softish tangy cherry. Finishes a bit hot.
Red
2001 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Franc Third Century USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
Really used to enjoy this wine, but it seems past its prime to my palate. Simple dark fruit maybe a little weedy.
White
2007 Beringer Vineyards Chardonnay Private Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
Cereal nose more apple pear fruit. Good sweet ripe fruit. This is picked about a half degree less brix than the Sbragia according to the tasting room host. about 75% new oak. Pretty solid chard. $35.
Red
2002 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Franc Steinhauer Ranch USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
Rather bright fruit nose with a touch of brown sugar. Bit of dry tannin in the palate. Pretty good.
Red
2003 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
Complex nose touch of cedar and menthol. Dark fruit. Rich balanced dark touch of brown sugar. More reserved style of cab.
Red
2005 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
Tasted alongside a 2003. More reticent cedar currant nose. Rich dark currant fruit. Plush. Similar to the '03 in flavors. Touch of brown sugar. Seamless. Nice. Slightly prefer this to the '03.
Red - Fortified
2004 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Port USA, California, Sonoma County, Knights Valley
19% ABV. 100% Cabernet. Rich sweetish. Okay, not my style.

Flight 4 - Dinner at Cyrus (3 notes)

Cyrus is still a fantastic place to eat. My favorite meal to date was at Cyrus in '08. This visit will rank as number two for now. I highly recommend the tasting menu. Someday I will try the grand cru wine pairings as well, but they have too much interesting stuff on the list for me to skip ordering by the bottle.

White
2007 Leo Steen Chenin Blanc Saini Farms USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
With dinner at Cyrus. Dry chenin done in a somewhat lean style for California. Bright lemon fruit with some mineral and herb complexity. Not outstanding on its own, but made a very nice pairing with our first couple courses.
Red
2006 Rivers-Marie Pinot Noir Occidental Ridge Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
With dinner at Cyrus. This was a fascinating Pinot that in some ways didn't drink like a Pinot. Bright lovely raspberry fruit on the palate. Slightly candied. relatively low acidity. Medium-bodied. Enjoyed.
Red
2006 Favia Rompecabezas USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County
With dinner at Cyrus. Apparently a GSM blend. Blind, I might have guessed this was a Pinot initially given its lighter color and relative elegance. Reminds me some of the Copain Les Copain from James Berry Vineyard. Pretty good, but I was not blown away. With a little time I got more Grenache fruit.

Flight 5 - Morning at Paul Hobbs (3 notes)

We met Lauren at the Lindsay estate to taste the Paul Hobbs wines. The Vina Cobos project is really noteworthy. As an aside, the tasting facility here has a really thoughtful modern design with some cool fire features. Lauren was kind enough to demonstrate one of them.

White
2007 Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Medium light gold with a slight haze. Light cereal toast French oak. Touch of pear fruit. Rich tangy sweet apple fruit. Pretty good. According to our host Lauren this is unfined/unfiltered, whole cluster press, indigenous yeast, primary and malo fermentations in barrel. $45
Red
2006 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Lindsay Estate Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Translucent dark garnet, slightly clearing at the rim. Pretty nose of cherry with a touch of pomegranate. This saw 86% new oak, but it doesn't really taste like it. A pretty solid Pinot, but overpriced in my opinion at $85.
Red
2006 Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley USA, California, Napa Valley
Opaque center, garnet edges, clear rim. Cedar and dark currant nose. Touch of leather and tobacco mocha. This was apparently opened yesterday. Rich black currant fruit on the palate with some additional cedar elements. Toothy tannin. Very nice cab. $75

Flight 6 - Quick stop at DeLoach out of curiosity (13 notes)

Rosé
2007 De Loach OFS Rosé Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Moderately dry rose with a distintive watermelon flavor. not bad.
White
2006 De Loach Chardonnay Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Mostly lemon pear nose. Maybe some light toasted cereal. Soft pear fruit. Bit hollow mid palate. Ok. $16
White
2007 De Loach Chardonnay OFS USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Richer more buttery cereal than the regular RRV bottling we tasted ('06). Pear fruit. not bad.
White
2006 De Loach Chardonnay Golden Coast USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Less prominent oak in this bottling as compared to the '07 OFS. Minerals and pear fruit.
Red
2007 De Loach Pinot Noir Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Translucent ruby. Earth dark fruit nose. Pretty cherry fruit on the palate. Okay. $24
Red
2006 De Loach Pinot Noir OFS USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Wet earth. Touch of mushroom. Something of a floral green quality. Finishes with some spices. Eh. $38
Red
2006 De Loach Pinot Noir Sonoma Stage Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
Translucent with hints of amber. Savory smelling earth, tangy cranberry, pomegranate. $85.
Red
2006 De Loach Pinot Noir Maboroshi Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Brighter color than the other deloach pinots. Reticent earth nose. Meatier dark fruit. Mona noted a little apricot.
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Red
2007 De Loach Pinot Noir Green Valley of Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Green Valley of Russian River Valley
Medium bright, translucent color. Unfortunately my notes after that are limited to "ok".
Red
2006 De Loach Pinot Noir Van der Kamp USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Mountain
Pretty bright high toned fruit. Cranberry. Not bad.
Red
2007 De Loach Pinot Noir Masút Vineyard USA, California, North Coast, Redwood Valley
Wet earth nose. Tangy dark cherry. Interesting.
Red
2007 De Loach Zinfandel Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Dark appearance. Touch of briar and loam on the nose. Reticent. Somewhat. Medium-full bodied and tangy. A bit too acidic.
Red
2007 De Loach Zinfandel Nova Vineyard USA, California, North Coast, Lake County
15% ABV. from 40 yr old vines. Lighter styled zin with a touch of dust and olive. Pass.

Flight 7 - Souverain (9 notes)

We took my inlaws to Healdsburg for the afternoon and decided to stop into Souverain. I recall enjoy some of their wines in the past, Sourverain has gone way down hill in my opinion. The surly pourer and hot temperature in the tasting room didn't help.

Red
2005 Souverain Zinfandel Buchignani-Garcia Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
Translucent slightly amber. Medium to full bodied. peppery. Pass.
White
2008 Souverain Sauvignon Blanc Alexander Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Bright slightly peppery nose. Lemony, lean bright lime. Not bad.
Red
2004 Souverain Merlot Winemaker's Reserve USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Somewhat deeper color. Rich tannin. red fruit. Ok, but not at $35.
White
2007 Souverain Chardonnay Winemaker's Reserve USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Rich pear fruit. Butter. Pretty good.
Red
2006 Souverain Pinot Noir Russian River Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
Bit of pinot funk on the nose. Ok. Cranberry cherry fruit.
Red
2005 Souverain Syrah Alexander Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Plummy black fruit. Simple. Served a bit warm like all the wines in this tasting room.
Red
2006 Souverain Syrah Alexander Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Slight gaminess on the nose. Plummy black fruit. Better than the 2005, but not especially good.
Red
2003 Souverain Petite Sirah Alexander Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
This apparently includes some Cabernet. Chewy black fruit high acid. I used to like their petite, but I'll pass on this.
Red
2005 Souverain Cabernet Sauvignon Winemaker's Reserve USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Cedar currant nose. Black fruit. Not bad. I would give this another chance if it were served at a cooler temperature, but for $40, I'll pass.

Flight 8 - Rosenblum (9 notes)

Nice folks. The "08 Kathy's Cuvee is great QPR.

White
2008 Rosenblum Cellars Kathy's Cuvée USA, California
Bright apricot a touch of something like lemon verbena. Sweet rich open styled, fruit driven Viognier. Decidedly on the luscious end of the spectrum. Newly released and great QPR.
White
2007 Rosenblum Cellars Marsanne Preston Vineyard Dry Creek Valley USA, California, Sonoma County, Dry Creek Valley
$25. Creamy tasty white fruit - the exact fruit eluded me, kind of apple meets apricot. Pretty tasty. This didn't have any of the nutty qualities I sometimes find off putting in Marsanne.
Red
2006 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Annette's Reserve USA, California, North Coast, Redwood Valley
Concentrated, but not especially Zin like to my palate. Somewhat funky tea finish.
Red
2006 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Aparicio Vineyard USA, California, Sierra Foothills, Amador County
Sweet zin fruit nose. Dark berry. Jammy juicy soft pleasant. Low structure. Pretty good for current consumption.
Red
2006 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel 30th Anniversary Reserve Rockpile Road Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Rockpile
14.8% ABV. Good nose of mineral, tar, floral quality. Rich red berry fruit. Nice, but the price seems a little out of line at $65.
Red
2006 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Harris Kratka Vineyard USA, California, Sonoma County, Alexander Valley
Juicy nose. Bright berry fruit with rich fruit on the palate. Not bad. $35.
Red
2006 Rosenblum Cellars Syrah Abba Vineyard USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi
Soft. Somewhat inky and monolithic. Dark plump fruit. ok. $25
Red
2006 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel Reserve Carla's Vineyard USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Contra Costa County
14.9% ABV. Peppery nose. Red stewed fruit palate. Bit of cranberry tart in the finish. $30.
Red
2004 Rosenblum Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux Blend Holbrook Mitchell Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley, Yountville
Cedar currant nose. Bit high toned for Cabernet. This starts well, but doesn't follow through. $40.

Flight 9 - Dinner in (3 notes)

White
2006 Balletto Vineyards Chardonnay USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
13.8% ABV, $14. Pretty good value. Ripe apple and pear fruit with a touch cereal. Round. Not bad.
Red
2007 Breggo Cellars Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
14.2% ABV. $50. Mostly uniform translucent ruby in the glass. Bright pretty cherry candy. Medium-sweet cherry tart berry fruit. Late cranberry. Pretty good. I would be more excited if it were in the $35 range.
Red
1989 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
13.3% ABV. Purchased at the winery the day prior. Cork shows a little seepage, but not all the way up. Deep color. Almost opaque with 1/3 inch clearing at the rim. Dark cedar red currant nose. Medium-bodied and somewhat Bordeaux like. Touch of earthy meaty and a little green bell pepper. Fun to taste, but I generally prefer my California cabs a little younger. I wonder what this wine was like when it was young.
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