Sunday, January 3, 2010


Yesterday, in an attempt to take better advantage of our proximity to wine country, I joined Thea (@winebratsf) for a day of wine tasting in Sonoma. Our itinerary was somewhat planned but also random. Because Thea had been to the Russian River Valley recently, we did not head over there, though I admit it is usually my stop for tasting. In all we made 5 stops: Eric Ross, Mayo, Kunde, Deerfield and Audelssa.

My favorite for the day, by far and to my surprise was Audelssa. Surprise simply because I had not tried their wines before. Thea tells me that they are yet another reason I need to try the Winery Collective.
We tasted 6 wines.
First off was the 2008 Chardonnay. This was my least favorite of the bunch. It was very well done, but with a bit more oak than I prefer.
The second was their 2007 Tephra. Tephra is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Zinfandel, from their hillside vineyard. The grapes are hand sorted, and punched down every 8 hours. I thought it was very rounded with red fruits and some tannin. They consider this their everyday wine at $28.
Next up was the 2006 Alder Springs Merlot. My notes suggest dry cocoa, fruit on the nose, very smooth. Price is $60.
Next was the 2007 Summit. This wine is 38% cabernet, 30% merlot, 12.5 %cab franc, 10% malbec and 4.5% petite verdot. Clearly, a Borddeaux style blend. My notes say that cab tempers merlot with good body. This wine is still young, drinkable now, but likely to improve in the coming years.
Wine #5 was the 2007 Summit Reserve. The blend on the wine is 75% merlot, 25% cab franc. This wine had the smoothness of a good merlot, with some cab franc on the finish. It had a lot of structure and should age beautifully. At $125, this is not an everyday wine (for me at least), but was quite lovely.
Our final wine as the 2006 Cabernet Reserve. I thought it was very smooth, with low tannins, lovely fruit. I also have a scrawl about brandied cherries, but I seem to spend a lot of time thinking about the ones we made. At $90 this wine is also not one I can drink everyday, but I very much enjoyed it.
When we were getting ready to leave they happened to mention that come February they will have their Rhone blends to taste. As a Rhone fan, I'm eager to taste.

Note that any errors in blend numbers or prices are probably due to my sometimes illegible scrawl.

1 comment:

  1. If you're ever near the Eric Ross winery again, do stop by the cheesemonger across the street (the name escapes me). They have some exquisite cheese. -Patrick