Snooth User: outthere

Went to a boutique tasting today

Posted by outthere, May 23, 2010.

It was at Vinify Wine Service in Santa Rosa Calif which is a custom crush facility where many small Sonoma County Boutique wineries make their wares. 19 wine makers pouring 72 different bottlings. Made it about 2/3 through the presentation before I started getting palate fatigue and everything started tasting alike. Lots of good Pinots, a couple killer Chardonnays, some real nice Syrahs and GSM's, a few Rose's, a couple Cabs and a few Merlots and Cab blends. I'll post a few of my favorites later tonight after we eat dinner.


Reply by dmcker, May 23, 2010.

Sounds like a most pleasant Sunday outing. Looking forward to hearing about the chards, pinots, syrahs and others....

How often does Vinify (or anyone else) do this kind of thing?

Reply by outthere, May 23, 2010.

First up was Gracianna Winery

The 2009 Chardonnay Suzanne's Blend was my white of the day. Medium bodied, well balanced between sweetness and acidity, light butter and light oak, a month since bottling. Grapes from Dutton Ranch in the Green Valley AVA.

2008 Pinot Noir Bacigalupi Vineyard RR Valley. Nice complexity. Layers of, cherry, red currant, minerals, plum and cherry liqueur with a lingering finish of 30 second or more. Yummy

2008 Zinfandel Bacigalupi Vineyard RR Valley was fruit forward with nice dark berry full mouth and medium finish with nice spiciness.

Next was Pfendler Vineyards

2008 Chardonnay. Light bodied, clean and crisp with low acidity and a hint of oak.

2007 Pinot Noir. Very light and crisp in the mouth, kind of flat with a short finish. Not a lot going on here.

2008 Pinot Noir. Almost a carbon copy of 2007. tried a few extra swirls to get things going.Just didn't do anything for me.

Bjornstad Cellars

They had 9 different wines on the table and it was crowded. The wine maker came out from behind the table so we could talk. Never got a chance to taste his wines because of the crowd, too many varietals. I decided to come back later.

Next table was Barbed Oak which was a label of I got to try one of his wines. The 2007 Bennett Valley Chardonnay was single a fermentation, stainless steel wine with good acidity, grapefruit and a nice smooth finish. Almost like a Sav Blanc. This was a nice changeup from the normal Cali Oak and Butter bomb.

Suacci Carciere Wines

They had 6 bbottles but I skipped the Rose and Chardonnay and focused on

2006 Suacci Vineyard Pinot Noir which was smooth with a glycerine mouth feel with black cherry and cola or black cherry cola. I liked it.

2008 Suacci Vineyard Pinot Noir was similar to the 06 but with more acidity and spice on the back end. Needs bottle time.

2008 Bismark Vineyard Zinfandel. Sweet with dark fruit up front and smooth semi tannic mouth and medium finish. This was my wife's ZOTD.

Lattanzio Wines and Cinque Insieme were on the same table. Same wine maker but two different entities.Both had a Syrah and a Pinot.

2008 Lattanzio W.E.Bottoms Pinot Noir was crisp and fruit forward with refreshing acidity, cherry and cinnamon the palate and medium spicy cherry finish.

2008 Cinque Insieme Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast had a raspberry nose, mineral palate and medium plus finish.

2006 Cinque Insieme Whitehawk Vineyard Syrah Santa Barbara County. Dark fruit with lots of pepper, sweet plum, some earth and a medium finish.

2007 Lattanzio Frederick Ranch Syrah. This one was my favorite Syrah of the event. It reminded me of Culler and Pax wines from the Petaluma Wind Gap, Peppery nose, dark purple color with layered flavors of pepper, black cherry and some charcoal. Gripping tannins and a long finish that say this will age well

Time for bed. More tomorrow night.


Reply by outthere, May 23, 2010.

Vinify does this once a year. It's a good opportunity for these small operations to get some much needed exposure and press. They do a press tasting before the general public is allowed in. It's a $20 cover charge that is refunded with a purchase of $200 or more. You get unlimited pours, cheese, crackers, fruit, bread, vegetables, lemon ice water and you keep your Reidel Burgundy glass. Best wine tasting value in Sonoma County in my opinion. Too bad Donelan Wines wasn't open for tasting as they are across the parking lot as is Carol Shelton, Pisoni, Inspiration and others.

Reply by MarkAse, May 24, 2010.

I think Pisoni abstains partly because they show up in some other tasting groups like Family Winemakers.


Those are always a ton of fun.  Hard to make it through everything though with your palate intact.

Reply by outthere, May 25, 2010.

Continuing on with the tasting we moved next to Claypool Cellars:

2007 Purple Pachyderm Pinot Noir (Hey, I don't make this stuff up) Was a nice clean wine with a raspberry and pepper nose and flavor throughout the medium finish. Fun people, tasty wine and cool Chevy Panel Van in the parking lot.

We then moved on to Olson Ogden or was it Ogden Olson (inside joke). I tried their 3 Syrah's

2007 Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah, this was a tasty Syrah. Deep black fruit, lots of black cherry, pepper, tar, smoke and earthy minerals. Hefty tannins that will soften with age. Interesting to find a Syrah from Atlas Peak which is more known for Cab, Zin and Sangiovese.

2007 Unti Vineyard Syrah was sweeter than the Stagecoach but had nice smoke, tar and tannins. Another wine that will likely improve over a few years.

2007 Sonoma Napa Syrah was a blend of the Unti and Stagecoach which I thought didn't quite live up to the individual varetals though it was still a very good wine.

Another Syrah table. Oh boy! Bevan Cellars

2007 Syrah Bennett Valley "Bob's Cuvee" Sure is nice to see Bennett Valley wines get their due. This one was exceptional. Very complex, dense, with good structure, blackberry, black cherry fruit mocha and rich tannins.

2006 Syrah Bennett Valley "Porter's Cuvee" had an intense boysenberry nose with a mineral quality and smoother tannins on a medium -long finish.

The crowd wad getting thick now and getting to a table was more difficult. I stopped by Calluna Vineyards and tasted

2008 Calluna Vineyards Cuvee - Bordeaux Blend - A switch from the Syrahs with a plum forward flavor with tar and cassis thanks to the Merlot. Round tannins and nice smooth finish with ripe tannins.

2008 Calluna Estate barrel sample was more impressive with heavy earth flavors mixed with plum, tar and graphite and a tannic grip that lingered for a long time. 

Palate fatigue was setting in. I moved to the next table where the winemaker was so full of himself I thought he was going to explode all over the guests. He started yapping about his Chardonnay and started pouring some into a decanter. He asked, how's this look and I said it looked like he sucked it from the bottom of the barrel. The cloudiness was reminiscent of watching a friend bottle his chardonnay and hand bottling the remainders from the bottoms of the barrels that were cloudy. The guy gave me a dirty look and said, you can buy crystal clear chardonnay for $9 a bottle everywhere. Mine is unfiltered and infined so I can offer you something better than the bulk wines out there. Blah, blah, blah.. It could have been a 95 Louis Latour Chevalier Montrache, but I wasn't going to taste it. I was done for the day. Too bad because there were still great wines to be had such as Sojourn, Baker Lane, Audelssa, Frostwatch and more. I'll have to pace myself better next time I do one of these. Sure was fun though.

Reply by John Andrews, May 25, 2010.

@outthere ... where was my invite? 

Reply by outthere, May 25, 2010.

:-( - Uh, er, well...

Reply by John Andrews, May 25, 2010.

Hhahahhahahahhahah ... next time.  Post event details on the Sonoma page. 

Reply by napagirl68, May 26, 2010.

LOVE this!!!  Thanks for the notes!

Reply by John Andrews, May 26, 2010.

@NapaGirl ... gonna invite us out to Napa for something similar?  Maybe at Cult Wine Central? 

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