Excellent Santa Barbara Pinot Noir. The vineyard was purchased by Robert Mondavi several years ago, and sold back to the original owners after his death. The grapes are excellent and the wine maker created very excellent wines. Worth the stop by the vineyard if you can.
Another great wine from Soda Rock. This time a Primitivo. If you haven’t tracked wines from this winery yet, go do it. Reasonably priced, mid $20s to $40s,
Primitivo is an earthy grape, but not too strong. Very drinkable out of the bottle.
I got this to cook with. While the normal rule should be, “cook with what you drink” I was experimenting with a recipe that called for pinot noir, and I didn’t want to use the good stuff. It was a wine reduction syrup for French Toast (a recipe from Diners, Drine-Ins and Dives) that worked out fine. The wine was only moderately ok to drink.
One of our apple hill wines. The Mourvèdre grape isn’t common, and when done well is a great drink. This wasn’t a great version, but workman like. The grape was front and center, but it may have needed more time in bottle (thus my fault).
Gift from friends, M2 a 2010 Zinfandel from Lodi. Yes, very good and ought to be on your list if you visit Lodi. Manley Vineyard.
2010 Mourvèdre from Crystal Basin Cellars in el dorado county. An odd grape and this wasn’t a bad example.
From our current favorite winery. Soda Rock in Alexander Valley in northern Sonoma County. Good list of varietals, excellent winemaking. This Cab Franc is their reserve, and excellent for a reasonable price (about $30 I think).
Red blend - 2010 general Sierra Foothills AVA. Mostly Petite Sirah and Zin. From Illuminare Estate. Picked it up during our apple hill trip a month or so ago.
Cab Franc from Beemer’s Winery in El Dorado county. Not a bad version of the varietal.
Sweet Riesling from Chateau Diana in dry creek. Great cold on a hot summer (or late spring) day.