Jun 032012
 

When I published my WashingtonExec column on Sonoma, I gave an overview of our trip. I also promised reviews of the wines we brought home. Here are some wines we’ve been enjoying since we got back.

We brought home wines not available for retail sale on this coast. Two were from familiar names in the Kendall-Jackson family of brands, Ravenswood and Edmeades. The third was from a relatively new producer of small batch Pinot Noir, Virginia Marie Lambrix of VML Vineyards.

The Ravenswood was their 2009 Rancho Salina blend. It’s 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Cabernet Franc and 14% Merlot. The wine opens with a big, alcoholic and spicy nose, which lessens after time in the glass. It has a lot of black cherry fruit and a lightish body.

Soft tannins make this an easy wine to enjoy, and it has a spicy zing on the finish. It’s a delicious and very straightforward California style Bordeaux blend. Here’s a link off Ravenwood’s site — only available online or as a member of the wine club for $40.

The Edmeades 2007 Zinfandel Ciapusci Vineyard is a really big Zin. This vineyard is over 130 years old claims to have the oldest vines in Mendocino county.

The wine opens with a huge nose of fruit, alcohol and a bit of licorice. Blueberry is the lead fruit, with some boysenberry. There are plenty of tannins as well in this wine, and a medium body. The alcohol content for this wine is 15.7%, so it’s big that way too. There’s a lot going on here for $32. Here’s a blog post that gives some Edmeades history and mentions the 2007 Ciapusci.

VML Vineyards was one of our favorite stops in Sonoma. The grounds and gardens are gorgeous, and so was the wine. All of the Pinot Noirs we tried we enjoyed, and we bought a bottle of the 2010 Ivywood Pinot Noir to bring home.

This is a delicious Pinot, with more going on than most. The fruit is black cherry and blackberry, darker that some and very smooth. It’s juicy without being too much so, and has much more texture than your average Pinot. The web site says less than 300 cases were produced on the ordering page, and it’s well worth the $45 price.We also liked the 2010 Vinemaker Select Pinot Noir, which we found a bit more mellow with more raspberry and rose petal.

If you’re interested in any of the above wines, I hope you live in a state that allows direct shipping. Do you have a favorite Sonoma vineyard? Drop a comment or send me a message with some wine you’d like to suggest.

  One Response to “Sonoma Wine Finds”

  1. We’ve really enjoyed Edmeades reds. Seems everything we’ve tried has been good. Ravenswood lower end wines haven’t impressed me much, but the reserves are a different story. Quite a difference when you go to the winery and compare side by side. I’m a particular fan of Pinot Noir too, but we haven’t been to VML. I’ll put that on my list of wineries to visit. Sounds like you had a great time and brought home some memories in a bottle. Did you by chance get to Imagery Vineyard? Lovely place, but I just love their wine labels! Wine is good to, but the labels are art.

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