Friday, March 23, 2007

Fenestra Livermore Zin (1998)

This 8+year old wine had held up better over time than most other livermore wines we've tried. It was spicey, some black pepper, but also bitter or sour...maybe rhubarb. It was also hot and took awhile to blow off. All in all it was a nice wine, but it isn't the big zin that I prefer now. affection to Livermore Valley wines continues to fade...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Foothill Wineries

Dave, Issac, and I made our way up to the Sierra foothills yesterday to wine taste and also to pick up some futures we had purchased from Winery by the Creek, Charles Mitchell's new winery.

First stop was Boeger. We tried most of the wines they were pouring, but nothing really stood out for us except the 2005 Walker Vineyard Zin, El Dorado.

Next stop was Jodar, home of my all-time favorite Cab, their 2001 El Dorado Cab. Their whites leave something to be desired, but the reds are really good. The latest Cab (2002 El Dorado) wasn't up to the 2001 vintage, but it could still be in bottle shock, so I picked a bottle of it up to try a bit later. Their Cab Franc is also outstanding and I picked up a couple bottles of it since it's Terri's favorite wine. Overall their red wines seem concentrated with really big jammy flavors.

Next stop was Dave's favorite foothill winery...Mount Aukum. Lance's wines are just outstanding, and really showcase the potential of foothill grapes. It's hard to find a wine here that isn't good...the only complaint we had was that he makes so many wines--there are 4 syrahs, 3 zins, and 2 petite sirahs. That's where the complaints end however, as all the wines are different but outstanding in their own way (have you figured out that we love Lance?). Our 2 favorite wines here were the 2004 Fair Play Reserve Petite Sirah and the 2004 Sierra Foothill Zin.

We wanted to take Issac by DKCellars, where both Dave and I had fallen for their 2001 Foothill Zin a couple years ago. DKCellars does not disappoint. The 2003 Herbert Vineyard, Fairplay Zin is a fantastic foothill zin--big and bold. The 2002 Pratt Vineyard Cab is also amazing--it actually reminded me of my previous love the 2001 Jodar Cab. Overall I really enjoy DKCellars and would recommend if you like foothill wine then you take time to visit DKCellars. Besides great wine they are just friendly people...Kim Pratt--one of the two owners/winemakers--has been in the tasting room both times we have been by and is always great to talk with.

On Kim's recommendation we went by the newest foothill winery, Iverson. They were still in the process of releasing some of their wines, so we only got to taste a few. We were impressed by the Sauvignon Blanc, which is the first SV from the foothills that I have liked. The Cab Franc also seemed to have a lot of potential--it needs a few years in the bottle to mellow out. Overall we thought their wines were good, and I'm sure I'll be back to check out the rest of their wines soon.

Since we had a few minutes before the Winery by the Creek event started, we decided to squeeze in another couple wineries. So we stopped by Single Leaf because Dave thought their website looked interesting (note to Dave for future trips: do not trust websites). Dave hesitated just before we went in the door, suggesting that we turn back, and I guess I should have listened to him but I spurred him on. Big mistake, since we didn't care for any of their wines.

Finally we arrived at Winery by the Creek to party and pick up our futures. We couldn't remember which of the 3 zins being released we had purchased, and were disappointed to discover it wasn't the one we liked. I don't know what it is about this winery, the wine is just too hit or miss for me and I'm not excited about going back there anytime soon. Our futures were for the 2005 Reserve Fair Play Zin, while we thought the best of the zins being released was the 2005 Reserve El Dorado Zin. Oh well, both are now in my cellar so we'll see how they progress.