Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hello from Sonoma, Day 1

Good evening to my mom, my other 5 followers and whomever else stumbled upon this blog looking for something else. As some of you know, I'm in Sonoma for the next several days to attend my friend, Jayne's, wedding as well as get in some much needed rest and relaxation which for me involves visits to several wineries.

Today I made it to 7 (which, actually is so-so for me - my all time best was 13 in one day in Oregon). I could probably write several pages about my day, but then I'd lose the few readers I have so I'll be brief - well, I'll try to be brief.

9:30am, Merry Edwards
It's almost a pity that I started the day with Merry Edwards because ultimately it ended up being my favorite. Of course the cards were stacked in its favorite as Merry Edwards is known for pinot noir, which is my favorite varietal because of its versatility and food friendliness. Merry Edwards requires an appointment, but the tasting is free and well worth a quick phone call. I tasted with Leslie who was knowledgeable and un-pretentious. We tasted 6 pinot noirs. My favorites were the Tobias Glen and the Flax, both froom the 2006 vintage. The Tobias was light ruby with a lovely orange ring around the top of the pour, denoting its age. It was jammy and smooth, with a slightly tannic finish. I was envisioning a firm pork tenderloin while drinking this. Thinking of a tenderloin at 9:30am is not something I do often. The Flax is jammier and a little thinner, but quite smooth with just a hint of tannins on the finish. I also got a burst of flavor about 10 seconds after sipping. It was a really lovely and elegant pinot noir that would pair with almost everything. I bought two bottles of each and I'm going to attempt to hold on to them for 4-5 years.

Now that I've gushed about Merry Edwards, I promise I'll try harder to be brief.

11:30am, Gloria Ferrer
They're known for their sparkling wine, which is readily available at most places. So I decided to deviate and try some of their non sparkling wine. I tried 3 pinot noirs. They should stick to sparkling wine. They also should check their bottles before they pour a sample because one of the wines I tasted clearly came from an aerated bottle. They might have been able to recover from this had the non-spoiled bottle actually been good!

12:30pm, Arrowood
Nice Rhone style wines (lots of Grenach/Syrah/Mourvedre). A little slight, but generally enjoyable. They also ended up comping my tasting and giving me an additional pour of the reserve Cabernet, which was lovely. Very smooth, just the right amount of dryness and a hint of fruit.

1:30pm, Imagery
My second favorite of the day. Bought 3 bottles of the Pallas which was a Cabernet Sauvignon/Malbec blend. Crazy nose of burnt caramel but the wine tasted very smooth and not sweet at all. Light fruit with some tanins on the finish.

2:00, Landmark
The first two wines, both Chardonnays, had a nose of cat urine. Seriously. I tried them anyway and they tasted better than they smelled, but neither were very good. Didn't really enjoy the reds either. Some people love this place, though, so perhaps a cat just peed in my wine while I wasn't looking and that ruined the whole experience for me.

3:00, St. Francis
Pretty good. Nothing wowed me, but I enjoyed the Petite Syrah and the lovely Australian couple and their daughter who I met while tasting.

4:00, Ledson
Had a great time and ended up getting a tour of the beautiful castle-like house. I really liked the Petite Syrah and was going to buy a few bottles, but I'm starting to get annoyed with places that don't comp your tasting after you decide to buy their product. I think it's only fair that they not make you pay for a tasting if they end up making a sale. Therefore I won't be taking any Ledson home this trip.

5:00 Back to the Hotel to get ready for the rehearsal dinner and plan my tastings for Sunday.

Until Sunday night, cheers,


elliej said...

How do you know what cat urine tastes like?

Alli M. said...

I didn't say it tasted like urine, just smelled like it. I have friends with cats and sadly this is a smell I've experienced. It's a bit more understandable on carpeting than in a white wine.