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  Sonoma County     [all categories]
  Sonoma - Wineries to Visit
  Reviews- mostly north and west county

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Author Topic:   Reviews- mostly north and west county
posted 10-21-2010 10:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Trentadue makes my new favorite, before that we used to get the "La Bomba" at Charles Creek's tasting room in Sonoma.
I love to drink them straight-up, but over ice cream is a good alternative.
We really didn't drink much port until we tried that. Then we went to Loxton's and he makes a "port-style" Syrah ( I was summarily informed that if it ain't from Portugal it ain't port by the lady at DeLoach) that will absolutely knock your socks off. That got us into the "willing to try" mode which has been an interesting adventure.
Port is usually WAAAY to "hot" for me- high in alcohol and not much else, but we have found some that we really like in Sonoma County.- Maybe we should start a port thread?


posted 10-21-2010 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Chocolate port you say! hmmmmm.... sounds like something I may need to find and give a try. I brought home some Chocolate Cabernet Sauce from VJB this September - we had in on vanilla ice cream the other night, and I may have converted my non-chocolate loving husband. We also had a Zinfandel Port with a decadent chocolate cake - almost a pudding it was so dense - and everyone decided that we should take the cake along wherever port is being served!


posted 10-21-2010 05:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
It is difficult to understand how Trentadue has any following at all after our visit to the tasting room. We were the ONLY people there and still couldn't keep the hostess engaged. I admit I'm not the best conversationalist, but jeeze, isn't it their job to keep the guest entertained and not the other way around??
If I weren't so enamored of the chocolate port, I would never do business with them.


posted 10-21-2010 08:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Well how did I miss these posts? Thanks for all the wonderful detail - glad to have found this as I'm still planning our November itinerary. Too bad we will only have two days in Sonoma County... but that is why it's good to come back several times a year!! I found your impression of Trentadue interesting - we tried to taste there last November, but nobody even greeted us until we'd been standing there for 10 minutes, and then said we'll be with you when we can, and after another 10 minutes I said adios... I understand that tasting rooms get very busy, but to not even acknowledge us was ridiculous, especially since there was room and we were actually standing at the bar. Don't know that I'll bother to try there again since there are sooooo many to choose from!


posted 10-06-2010 08:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Last day was in Sonoma Valley, and limited in scope due to it being departure day.
St. Francis was first stop. Another personal favorite for the scenery, facility and personnel as well as the wines. Would be outstanding for a reception or a meeting. Food/Wine pairings are available here, by the way, as well as a new option called the wine-cation which includes a tour, and a library tasting for $25. We are members here, so I've forgotten the tasting fee, but it is refunded with bottle purchase; taste 6 from a menu of over 20 choices.
Our favorites were the un-oaked chardonnay and the 2006 Wild Oak Syrah. The 05 McCoy Malbec was also a hit with us. Prices range from $15-60 on the regular tasting menu, and there are reserves available as well.
Imagery was next. We had been there before but the crowd was too big to try to get to the bar, and it got that big while we were there. Tasting fee of $10 for choice of 5 from a menu of 8, but this is liberally held- I think we tasted about 11 wines here. These are unusual or rare varietals, much like Bill Frick's, with things like Petite Verdot, Lagrein and Mouvedre bottled on their own on the menu.
I like the facility's multi-use design with bocce and the Varietal Walk separated from the picnic and music areas. They are sold out of the Wow Oui which took best in class at the Harvest Fair, but the White Burgundy is very similar, though not as good IMO.
Prices range from $24-39 on the regular menu and up to $199 for a horizontal flight of the Taylor Zins.
Ledson was the last stop for us; a private tasting with Kelsey who has hosted us before.
We like Ledson for the diversity of the wines offered and the consistent quality of the wines we like. With a tasting menu of over 70 wines, its hard to not find something to like at least a little. Our favorites are their zins, Malbec and Barbera, though the '09 Napa Sav. Blanc is none too shabby.
I think the tasting fee here is $10 for a choice of 7 from the menu and prices range from $8-275. We have been happy with this club because there are several options for the mailings and, as I said, we like many of the wines and find they are consistent from year to year.
The facility is a destination unto itself as the building is beautiful and they really thought out the landscaping. There is an on-site deli which is pretty good and I love the picnic area which is out under some really old oaks that are full of character.
You could hold a lot of different kinds of events here, weddings, meetings, most any celebration,and with large numbers, but I understand that the fees are quite high so you would probably need a pretty big budget to hold an event here.


posted 10-06-2010 12:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Spent 3 days exploring the area this trip. This will be abbreviated but please feel free to ask detailed questions; I'm going to try to keep this short.
Day 1: Dry Creek, Alexander Valley
Trentadue- lovely facility, some good wines, but staff was snooty and not at all engaged with us during the tasting. Tasting fee is for a flight of 5 that you choose from either 8 or 10. They are listed as Ticket to the Wine Road participants, but did not honor our tickets. They are also in the Visa program, but only honored one of us, even though we both had cards.
Frick- in the boonies but a great visit for an unusual experience. Tasting room is small and intimate with paintings by Bill's late wife on the walls along with wine info and grapes' photos. Specializes in unusual Rhone varietals and their blends. You choose up to 6 wines to taste from the menu of about a dozen and I believe it is complimentary. Wines priced from $19-39 and include varietals like Grenache Blanc, counoise and carignane. His tasting notes are exceptional. Try the grenache blanc.
Dutcher Crossing- Love this place. Gorgeous views from the tasting room and the picnic area with a very nice staff and outstanding wines. Went for the zins, but the Proprietors REserve Cab won a gold at the Harvest FAir and the 2009 Sauv. Blanc was very good as well. Tasting fee is $10,but they are in the Visa Signature program. Wines on the menu range from $22-43
Passalaqua- another great visit at a lovely facility for picnics or an intimate party.
Tasting fee is $5 and is not applied to purchase, they do not particpate in Ticket to the Wine Road or Visa Signature. Blown away by their wines, very elegant and balanced- you would be proud to serve these any time. Prices range from $20-48 for the wines on the menu and other wines are available priced as high as $85. Ask for Tony if you are interested in getting a really good education into their wines.
Wilson- love them and have for several years, but the crowds here are at the cusp of making this too busy for us on a weekend day. Their zins are consistently good and won 12 awards this year. The 2009 Sav Blanc was another medal winner you might like. Tasting fee is $5 for a flight of 5 that you choose from a menu of about 15 wines.They do particpate in both Ticket to the wine Road and Visa Signature programs and fully honor them.
Iron Horse- lovely setting but do be careful on the truly one-lane road back there. Very rustic and tastings are held outside at a split-plank "bar". Tastings are expensive- $12-18 for a 6 wine flight, they honor Visa but not Ticket to Wine Road programs. Tasting fee is waived with a bottle purchased from the flight you taste. These wines are highly acidic, even the stills, but have lots of balanced flavor and the sparklers are really well done with tiny bubbles that coat your tongue. Prices range from$30- $160 ( not a mistake) in the regular tasting menu. We did taste beside several brides looking for wedding day wines, so if your budget can stand it, think of Iron Horse.
DeLoach- rustic but somehow elegant place with nice courtyard for eating. Wines were not our favorites, but we did enjoy the tawny red wine very much- its not "hot" like port-styles can be. tasting fee is $10 for 5 wines from the menu of 8, with one fee waived with one bottle purchased. DeLoach has gone to a pinot emphasis since it was sold, and we aren't pinot people, but if you are, you might like them. prices from $10-60 on the menu
Hook and Ladder- bare bones compared to the operation at DeLoach now. Tasting from the menu is complimentary for a 5 wine flight, and a $10 reserve flight is available. That fee is waived with a purchase of a reserve wine ( prices 25-35). We liked their Merlot best, followed by the Station 10 blend. Menu wines priced from $17-25. They are in both Ticket and Visa programs.
Harvest Moon- really fun stop. A newer winery with lots of charm. Tasting fee is $5 for 5 wines from an 8 wine menu. Some interesting flavors in Randy's wines...our favorite was the 07 Sonoma Harvest REd Wine- a bordeaux blend. menu wines priced $24-38 and vaulted wines from $28-108.
Martinelli- love this place; its quaint and rustic but not shabby. Very nice picnic area
Tasting fee is $5 with menu wines priced from $28-75. The style of their wines didn't really appeal to us, but we enjoyed Mary, our server.They are in the Wine Road program, but not the Visa one.
Paradise Ridge- we love this winery and the staff. The Santa Rosa facility is situated to get the best views of the valley you can imagine. We really love their Rockpile wines- zins and cab - and their Sauv. Blanc.
I have forgotten the tasting fee, but I think its $10 for a 5-wine flight which you choose from a menu of 13. Prices range from $20-65 for the menu wines, and they also have a reserve list which I can't find at the moment.They are in the Visa program.
I'll save Sonoma Valley for another time.
please feel free to respond with questions-


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