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  Sonoma County     [all categories]
  Sonoma - Wineries to Visit
  My Sonoma Trip

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Author Topic:   My Sonoma Trip
yesilovewine
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posted 03-16-2011 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Well, that is why we go back...to do what we missed on the previous trip.
The Rockpile flight was offered seperately I think- I don't recall that it was on the general menu- maybe a reserve tasting option?? Oh well, doesn't matter. Next time...as with the Barbera. Yummm!
Glad that you enjoyed your visit...that is the important thing.

IP: 98.232.221.183

wolfman
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posted 03-16-2011 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wolfman   Click Here to Email wolfman     Edit/Delete Message
I remember you or Hawkeye mentioning the horizontal flight for Rockpile and I guess I didn't see that being offered or forgot to ask. I might have been confused when I saw the tasting list which featured different varietals from Rockpile. Either way, I still enjoyed it. They were out of the Malbec however, and I would have liked to try it.

[This message has been edited by wolfman (edited 03-16-2011).]

IP: 174.79.103.79

yesilovewine
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posted 03-16-2011 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
Hiya wolfman! So glad that you found the time to write and thanks for doing it.
Several from your "missed" list are on my " if I ever get back" list so I will work on that and let you know how (if) it goes.
Am very glad that you enjoyed Armida as it is a MUST for me next time; Mauritson is a favorite of ours, too and I'm glad you got there without it being too busy. Next time, do the horizontal zinfandel flight from Rockpile- its a great aid to understanding the effect of terroir on the grapes. Before we did that I always thought "Terroir" was just another "phrase of the month" thing that was a marketing tool, but I see now that there really is an effect.
Hope you can get back sooner rather than later! Shoot for the first weekend in October and go to Harvest Fair- I think you are one of those folks who would really get a lot from having all those wine choices to experiement with.

IP: 98.232.221.183

wolfman
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posted 03-16-2011 10:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for wolfman   Click Here to Email wolfman     Edit/Delete Message
This was my first time in the Sonoma area and I was really looking forward to it after I noticed most of my wine purchases were Sonoma wineries. I had a lot of wineries on my list and I spent Sunday morning making some last minute changes.

Before I get to the itinerary, I must say I definitely found these wineries to be more welcoming and reasonable with the tasting fees. My next trip will probably entail spending two full days in Sonoma.

As I did in my Napa review, I am going to list my original itinerary, knowing ahead of time I would not make it to all of them.

1) Mill Creek - We were the first ones there and since they opened earlier than others on my list, I made this our first stop. I remember seeing a beautiful picture of their property which also attracted me to Mill Creek. Their tasting fee was only $5 which our hostess said she was waiving that day.

I enjoyed the tasting very much and would probably go back, but nothing really "wowed" me. The Chardonnay was nice because it had only a slight hint of oak. The Gewurztraminer was drier than most I have had and I rather enjoyed it. The Zin was next, followed by a Merlot and Syrah. It was the Syrah that I found most interesting and my notes have something about bacon. I think I was referring to its smokey finish.

One other interesting thing about our first stop was a couple and their child showed up a few minutes after us. I noticed the gentleman was wearing a fleece jacket with Stryker embroidered on the chest. We found out they were locals and like to check out a few of the wineries on Sunday after breakfast. I made a comment about the jacket and said I had heard some good things about Stryker. They smiled and introduced themselves and as it turns out he was a winemaker at Stryker.

2) Armida - A short drive from Mill Creek and an interesting drive up a narrow and long driveway we arrived at Armida. I chose this winery because I wanted to try a Maple Zin. Again, we had the place to ourselves for awhile and enjoyed speaking with our host (Kurt or Kirk).

We decided to share their two tastings, one was complimentary. They have a Zin named Poizin which is followed with the Anidote, a dry Pinot Gris. I actually enjoyed both of these wines.

We also tasted Tina's Block Maple Zin, a full bodied Syrah, and compared a 2008 versus 2009 Maple Vineyard Zin, which was just released the previous week. I really liked just about everything I tasted here, but we left with a 2008 Maple Vineyard Zin and a 2009 Maple Vineyard Zin. I just hope I can remember to keep the 2009 in the cellar for about a year. And when I say "cellar", I am referring to my redneck wine cellar, the wine fridge in the corner of the kitchen!

3) Everett Ridge - I was looking forward to this stop, but we spend longer than expected at Armida.

4) Seghesio - I really like their wine, but I wasn't in the mood to stop in town.

5) Wilson - We stopped in but their tasting room was pretty crowded. We waited around for awhile and enjoyed the views, but decided to move on down the road.

6) Mauritson - This turned out to be one of my favorites (along with Armida). Our hostess was Mary and she has a wonderful personality and is really easy to talk to. She apparently has some restaurants back in Indiana and is taking a sabbatical.

They had some wines for a complimentary tasting and then a limited production tasting for $10, which included several wines from the Rockpile area.

We shared the tasting, which was probably a good idea because I think we tasted everything on the list. I could list all the wines we tried, but for now I will just say we left with a 2009 Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 Dry Creek Zin, and a 2008 Charlie Clay Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley.

We also ran into our new acquaintances from Stryker and chatted with them for awhile.

7) Mazzocco - Drove right by it...we were getting tired and hungry.

8) Dutcher's Crossing - I had hoped to check it out, but it was too far out of the way.

9) Francis Ford Coppola - We chose this as our final stop so we could unwind and get something to eat. While we were waiting for our table at Rustic, we walked over the bar for a tasting. Our pourer was a really sweet and entertaining girl who told us all about the winery.

We shared a tasting and I found most of the wines to be average. I am sure our palates were not cooperating at this point, or maybe I just didn't go into it with an open mind. I used to enjoy their Diamond series years ago, then my opinion changed somewhere along the way. We tasted a few Reserve and Director's Cut wines. The thing I remember most is the cool artwork on the Reserve bottles.

A quick comment on the restaurant, Rustic. It was everything we expected after asking some locals and reading some reviews. It is noisy, but the food is wonderful and reasonably priced. (The pizza is great and the meatballs are huge!)

I hope someone finds this useful. I can't wait to go back!

IP: 174.79.103.79

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