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  Sonoma County     [all categories]
  Sonoma - Wineries to Visit
  Sonoma, Day 1

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Author Topic:   Sonoma, Day 1
yesilovewine
Member
posted 03-09-2011 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well I'm still working on Left Brain, Hawkeye but he's getting there bit by bit. If I get another 20 years or so I may get him tuned in just right!
Bless your heart ( in the good way! )- 54 years! WOW! That's just awesome. Congratulations...really.
Looking forward to the big reveal on the scrumiliscious wine.....

IP: 98.232.221.183

damombo
Member
posted 03-09-2011 06:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
I'll take you up on that! and I have witnesses

IP: 98.198.194.134

Hawkeye
Member
posted 03-09-2011 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Damombo, glad you are still on the green side, was beginning to get worried. I would definitely purchase some of the VJB on a future trip. What we need to do is to plan a trip of a couple days so we don't have the opportunity to purchase tooooooooo much wine.

I would definitely check Paradise Ridge in Kenwood and ask if Annette will be there. She is a world of knowledge and a hoot.

Just reading about the kind of wine you like, both Kunde and Mayo would not be to your taste. But then again, remember as I say, wine is a personal taste.

Damombo, I think Sojurn is a must for you. Make you a deal . . . if you don't like their Pinot, I will send you a nice bottle of Zin. How is that for an offer. All four of their Pinot scored 92 and better by Parker, although quite often I do not agree with him (probably less than more), I believe that he is right on here. Cheers

IP: 68.169.189.111

Hawkeye
Member
posted 03-09-2011 04:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Wolfman . . . I could use some of that discount. After vowing not to purchase anything this trip, I believe that we will receive about 3 1/2 cases in the next few days. Received two club shipments today, Biale and Joseph Phelps. Needed more wine like I need a hole in my head!

Yesilovewine, I sure am not looking for a place to get married! Did that almost 54 years ago and I don't have time to break in a new Mrs. Hawkeye.

IP: 68.169.189.111

damombo
Member
posted 03-09-2011 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
Howdy all!

Hawkeye, sounds like a great trip so far! Except, of course, for Mrs. Hawkeye's turbulent tummy...

Sounds like we will need to stop at St. Francis again - we've been once, but I think we must have been in a hurry (probably an appointment nearby) because I don't recall the wines... or maybe it was the end of the day or the trip and I had reached my saturation point. Anyway, the word JAMMY caught my eye so I'm thinking next month we will drop by...

We enjoyed the views from the other Paradise Ridge location, but the place was empty except for us and our pourer wasn't anything like the way you describe Annette, so perhaps we will look for her!

Haven't been to Mayo or Kunde, but we did enjoy VJB - glad you did too.

So you suggest we stop at Sojourn. We are not Pinot appreciators either, but we did buy some of Surh Luchtel's last November, so maybe we'll like these as well...

Looking forward to the continued adventures!!

IP: 98.198.194.134

yesilovewine
Member
posted 03-09-2011 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Welcome back, Hawkeye. I would say that some daily treat of your presence is definitely needed to keep things going. I did my best.... but I think you are the glue that holds this thing together. I don't know where anybody is....its just little ol' me lately. Well, Cabgirl has been here, too. Thankfully.
I am very open to the "other side", and look forward to the time when we can finally put together enough days to take some time to give all these new spots a chance. I think that we just didn't know enough to know that we were not giving it a "good" chance. I have a list for "over there", too...but I'm still and always a Sonoma Gal first.
Once again, I am really glad that you liked Paradise Ridge. I do hope that you will be able to manage a stop to the main site in Santa Rosa, it really is worth the trip. Perhaps when you go back in the fall? They do weddings up there, so they can manage a fairly large group without difficulty.
Looking forward to day 2 and beyond....
cheers til then.

[This message has been edited by yesilovewine (edited 03-09-2011).]

IP: 98.232.221.183

wolfman
Member
posted 03-09-2011 02:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wolfman   Click Here to Email wolfman     Edit/Delete Message
Hey Hawkeye! I guess you could say I used to be in the business. I helped some friends out at a local beverage store for a couple of years. That is where I got my education and appreciation for wine, not to mention a pretty decent discount!

IP: 174.79.103.79

Hawkeye
Member
posted 03-09-2011 01:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Wolfman,

Did I miss something? Are you in the business? St. Francis, on their tasting sheet, has 4 different Zins, one at $38 and three at $40. I was curious, so I looked on their website, and they do have an Old Vine Zin for $22.00. So with a discount, it probably would be a little less than that. A club member gets about 8 bucks off a $40 bottle so that makes a very good price point. You don't have to pay big bucks to have a good bottle of wine. The Zin not tasted was at $45 per bottle.

Yesilovewine, where is Damombo? She usually chimes in but I havent seen anything from her for a few days . . . as a matter of fact, not much from anyone the last few days. Is this what happens when I am gone?

I am probably not going to get Day 2 done today, just too much going on. I know you are not a Napa "side" person, but we really found some cool places "one the other side". More later.

On this Day 1, Paradise Ridge and Sojurn were my two best finds, bar none. As Yesilovewine says, Annettee at Paradis Ridge is a rare find. Cheers.

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 03-09-2011).]

IP: 68.169.189.111

wolfman
Member
posted 03-09-2011 11:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wolfman   Click Here to Email wolfman     Edit/Delete Message
We didn't make it to St. Francis, but I was really hoping to stop there. We used to carry an entry level Zin from them under $20 that I thought was fabulous. I can only assume their other lines are good also.

IP: 174.79.103.79

yesilovewine
Member
posted 03-08-2011 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well, Finally you are back. It was getting really slow over here, buddy! I hope that Mrs Hawkeye is fit as a fiddle by now.
Annette....I can never recall her name, but it was she that hooked us to Paradise Ridge and it was at the satellite room in Kenwood! I think they had been open there about a week. Isn't she just fabulous? So fun and so FUNNY! I am glad that you found wines there that you could enjoy. I am very fond of the Monte Rosso, too, and I'm glad you had some.
I am also glad that you found something you liked at St. Francis. We feel that their style fits our palates quite well and its rare that we taste something there that we don't care for.
I have VJB on the list for our next visit- whenever that is- and will add the Chard to my wines of interest there.
As for Sojourn, I have heard of them, but I don't think I've actually had any of their wine so it may be an add also.
Thanks for the detailed reporting, as always.
Looking forward to the next installment!

IP: 98.232.221.183

Hawkeye
Member
posted 03-08-2011 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
What a great trip!!!! I believe this is one of the nicest we have had, but then, I probably say that each trip . . . but this time I mean it. We found some new (to us) wineries and some that will go down as perennial favorites.

On Tuesday, March 1, we flew into Sacramento and arrived there around 11:00 AM. We retrieved our luggage, we headed over to the rental car area to pick up our car. By the time we got all of this accomplished, it was noon. Shirley (that is our GPS named for a neighbor that had diarrhea of the mouth) always takes us from the Sacramento airport up I-5 to Woodland, then we cut across and go south on (I think Hwy 312). This route misses all of that I-80 traffic around the city.

We checked into the Lodge at Sonoma for two nights. We were presented with a 2 night certificate last year which had to be used before the end of March. Nice comfortable digs. Tuesday night we ate dinner at the El Dorado Kitchen. I had the short ribs and Mrs. Hawkeye had her fish. Both were tasty. I took the server’s suggestion for wine to go with the short ribs. Sorry, but I was underwhelmed and do not remember the name.

Before I begin, I just want to say to anyone new on this board that wine is an individual taste, and just because it does not tickle my palate does not mean that it will not be your style . . . and vice versa.

We were up bright and early on Wednesday morning and had a nice breakfast at the Lodge. Our taste buds were calling, no, hollering to hit the Hwy. 12 trail through Sonoma Valley. As we began our journey, Mrs. Hawkeye said, “remember, we don’t need to purchase much on this trip”. Sure! The trip, although not that long, seemed to take forever and we finally arrive at our first destination:

ST. FRANCIS WINERY - They have the whole gamat, from Chards to Cabs. We chose to do the Fireside Characterie tasting focusing on reds (what else?). We had a 2 Cabs and 3 Zins (our choice). All tasted pretty good but we felt that the 07 Bacchi Zin was tasting blackberry with a hint of smoke and jammy, jammy, jammy. The 07 Rowe Zin was raspberries and spice, just full of fruit. Remember what I said above about Mrs. Hawkeye? Well she tasted these two Zins and said, “We have to take some of this home”. We did! Tina, our pourer was very accommodating. I should mention that they accept the Visa Signature card for the tasting plus a discount on purchases.

PARADISE RIDGE - Those of you who have tasted at the Santa Rosa location and have raved about the views, well, you can keep your views, we tasted at the Kenwood tasting room where we had Annette McDonald to lead us through a whole lot of wines. We had a great time with Annette and she was very accommodating, opening bottles all over the place. We had fun, which is a great surprise at most tastings. She knew her wines and when asked what we liked, she began sampling wines that she thought we would like, and I must say, that most things we tasted were outstanding. We shipped home their 07 “The Convict” Zin which was in the style that most of us seem to prefer, the 08 “The Posse” Estate Syrah, and the 08 Monte Rosso Cabernet. I believe someone on this board has mentioned the Monte Rosso vineyard. The wine was outstanding. We ran into another Monte Rosso Cab at Stryker, but it did not touch our palate like the Paradise Ridge. This will go down as one of our MUST places to visit, one of the best tastes from top to bottom, and one of our favorite wineries. If you stop, ask for Annette, and we guarantee you will have a good time. Also a member of the Visa Signature Card program.

MAYO FAMILY WINERY - We have tasted at Mayo several time in the past and have never found their wines to be to our liking. But, we have never visited their wine and food pairing tasting room up Hwy 12 a little. The charge is $35.00 for a seven course tasting menu designed by Chef Maxwell Porter-Elliott. The food was exquisite, the wines still not to our taste. We did not purchase here. I don’t know if it was the rich food or what, but this is where Mrs. Hawkeye’s stomach began acting up. She was done tasting for the day.

KUNDE FAMILY ESTATE - We have tasted here before. We chose to do the Kinnebrook Room tasting. We were a little disappointed because this was just a small area in their regular tasting room divided by a small wrought iron fence. I believe this tasting was $20.00. The wines were not designed for our palate. This was the second winery where we did not purchase. We probably would not do this one again.

VJB CELLARS - A very nice seated tasting. Although we did not bring any home, they had a very nice 09 Gabriella Ranch Chard which was very crisp and citrisy. The 07 El Darado Zin was very nice with good fruit and finish. Their 07 Rosso Family Blend would make a very nice table wine at a good price point of $26.00. The 06 V’ Estate Cab was fairly bold with good fruit and a good finish. Although we had already over purchased for the day, I would certainly bring some of these wines home in the future. Lindsay Evans was the very incitful pourer.

We came to the last winery of the day and one that I feel is one of those RARE GEMS that we do not come across very often.

SOJURN CELLARS - In downtown Sonoma, just off the square, the tasting room is tastefully set up in a small house and the tasting is done around a dining room table. Leslie John is the Director of Marketing and guided me through the tasting. Now, you all know that Pinot’s normally do not have enough body for me . . . that is, until this tasting. Sojurn has four Pinots that I would be proud to put any one of them on my table, and will. All that I tasted were 09s. The Sangiacoma Vineyard, Sonoma Coast had dark fruit with a creamy texture and at a good price point of $39.00. The Gap’s Crown Vineyard, Sonoma Coast was a bold, concentrated wine with a dark fruit nose and at $49.00 I felt a good buy. The next I tasted was the Rogers Creek Vineyard, Sonoma Coast with good dark fruit flavors and a very nice finish and at $49.00, a good buy. The last of the Pinot’s was the Sonoma Coast and I felt was the most concentrated with fruit and at $39.00, an excellent buy. Then we moved on to taste 3 Cabs. The 07 Spring Mountain NV Cab was one of my favorites with lots of fruit with a hint of chocolate and I had no problem with the $59.00 price tag. The 07 Howell Mountain NV Cab did not strike my fancy as it was a little too dry for me. Then I ended with the 08 Home Ranch Vineyard Cab from the Sonoma Valley. I was surprised at the complexity and fruit of this Cab and at a $39.00 price point, I counted it as a good buy. I shipped home the four Pinot’s and the first and last Cab. WOW, I am running out of room. I would definitely suggest that you put Sojurn on your tasting itinerary.

Mrs. Hawkeye did not accompany me to dinner, but I was pleased that I was going to meet Cabgirl at the Girl and the Fig for dinner. Of course she wanted a complete rundown on the day. Originally, she was going to join us, but work kept her at work. We did have a nice visit.

That was the first day . . . hang on for the second.

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 03-08-2011).]

IP: 68.169.189.111

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