Monday, February 15, 2010

Cellarmistress Tastes Live From The Russian River!

Awhile back, I had an eye-opening experience when I accepted an opportunity to taste some world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir hailing from the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. The event was TasteLive on Twitter and the host winery was DeLoach Vineyards. As a participant, I received a box of six sample bottles---all 2007 single vineyard wines. As the event began earlier that day than anticipated, I was only able to participate in tasting four of the six wines but the experience left me longing for more and wanting to learn more about this exquisite area of wine country!

DeLoach Vineyards, located in Santa Rosa, CA, received a push into the limelight in 2003 when Jean-Charles Boisset (of Burgundy's famed Boisset Family) visited the area and really fell in love with it, realizing it was perfect for growing and producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. He purchased the winery and since then, the focus has been on biodynamic, organic and sustainable farming practices. The current young winemaking team of Julia Vasquez and Brian Maloney have a fresh, new approach. They worked closely with famed consulting winemaker Greg LaFollette, formerly of Flowers and currently with Tandem Winery (I had the pleasure of meeting Greg and sampling some of his Tandem wines last Summer). With their common goal, they are achieving many accolades for their wines. This past September, DeLoach Vineyards was named a Top 100 Winery Of The Year by Wine & Spirits Magazine. While Greg is no longer consulting with DeLoach, his legacy lives on and judging from the wines I was able to sample, I can foresee many great things for DeLoach Vineyards in the future!

I have to say I was impressed with the wines. They're representative of some of the great wines coming from this area and are definitely worth seeking out!

2007 Hawk Hill Vineyard Chardonnay: This wine was huge! An intense burst of grapefruit and pears, with a wonderful minerality and herbaceousness that lasted right into the velvety, butter-like finish. I asked one of the winemakers about the high alcohol content of this wine, 15.5%. I had not encountered this level in a Chardonnay before. They said that in 2007, they pushed the envelope as far as seeing how far they could take this wine. It is intense and powerful and worth every bit of its $50.00 price tag. Wow!

2007 Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay: A little more oaked but a lot more tropical with tangerine, lemon and some stone fruit, this wine had a slight flinty flavor and a nice nutty finish. It wasn't as round as the Hawk Hill but would be easy to pair up with a variety of seafood and poultry dishes and reminded me of a cooler climate chardonnay. $45.00.

2007 Green Valley Pinot Noir: What can I say? The Russian River Valley produces some exquisite Pinot Noir and this one was a fine example of it! Red fruit (raspberry, rhubarb) and roses-this is cool climate Pinot Noir at its finest!! $45.00

2007 Masut Vineyard Pinot Noir: For those of you who like your Pinot Noir with more depth, this one is for you! I was astounded at the color of this wine. Deep and dark. Redolent of boysenberries, blackberries, dark cinnamon and spice. An absolutely amazing wine that could stand up to the best steaks and rival those Cabernets out there! $45.00.

So, where can you run out to get some of these fantastic finds? Well, if you don't live in the area, the best thing to do would be to check out their website, or call your local wine shop to see if they can order it for you. If you do live in the area, please stop by and visit their tasting room in Santa Rosa. They have so many more wines and surprises waiting for you there!

'Til the next Taste Live! Here's to you! Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for joining us for the TasteLive tasting - we hope we'll be able to get you out to the winery soon to discover more in person! Cheers!