I recently had the pleasure of participating in a fun online event to kick-off the opening [January 2012] of The Wineyard at Santa Rosa Vintners Square [California]. The Wineyard, formerly a strip mall, is an urban winery village with full on-site production and tasting room facilities. The Wineyard will host and showcase select Sonoma winery partners and local farmers. Owners Dino and Maria D’Argenzio have partnered with TasteLive to produce live interactive wine, food, and music related webcasts. The kick-off event included a live streaming demonstration webcast and a virtual tasting with the winemakers from the Wineyard’s first cooperative of wine producers. During the virtual tasting event a select panel of wine bloggers and I had the opportunity to taste a diverse selection of wines from the following four small-production artisan producers: Shone Farm Winery, Flocchini Winery, Atascadero Creek Winery, and Jazz Cellars. Overall, these wines offered good quality at fairly reasonable price points. See my comments as well as the link to the wines and winemaker interviews below. I would like to thank the D’Argenzio family for the invite and wish them good luck and success with the new business. Cheers! [Click here to watch the initial TasteLive broadcast with Dino D’Argenzio about the Wineyard.]
Shone Farm Winery 2010 Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Shone Farm Winery 2010 Estate Sauvignon Blanc [Russian River Valley] (SRP $18): Shone Farm is a 365-acre outdoor learning laboratory for the Santa Rosa Junior College. Seventy acres are under vine and the students get to assists with all aspects of the operation. Upon opening, the nose is dominated by methoxypyrazines [fresh green herbs, bell-pepper, and jalapenos] with bright underlying citrus and white pitted fruit scents and a hint of flintiness. The wine has bright acidity and a refreshing citrus/herbal finish. Stylistically, this wine would appeal to Sauvignon Blanc drinkers who don’t mind a higher than normal level of MP’s, which are typically not found in California Sauvignon Blanc wines. That said, this selection is light and bright and very food-friendly. Click here to view the winemaker interview on Ustream.
Flocchini Winery 2006 Andrea La Rue Pinot Noir
Flocchini Winery 2006 Andrea La Rue Pinot Noir [Sonoma Coast] (SRP $22 ...Good QPR): This Pinot Noir – a real crowd pleaser during the tasting -- offers inviting aromas of ripe cherry, pomegranate and cranberry with nuanced baking spice, tea, and violet notes. On the palate, it has a smooth texture and soft tannins with a round mouth-feel, but retains a pleasing, zesty acidity ending with a clean medium length finish. The suggested pairings, which I agree with, are roasted duck or mushroom risotto. The 2006 was the second vintage from the producer and approximately 300 cases were produced. Click here to view the winemaker interview on Ustream.
Jazz Cellars 2007 La Madres Vineyards Syrah
Jazz Cellars 2007 La Madres Vineyards Syrah [Carneros] ($34): Jazz Cellars Winery is named after the owners’ love of music. Their operation is focused on producing handcrafted, small-lot, single vineyard wines. The Syrah is deep purple in color, nearly opaque, with expressive red fruit scents and additional (complex) notes of spice, soy, graphite, white pepper and subtle floral/perfumed aromas. This Syrah is nicely balanced with a velvety texture, supple tannins, good fruit concentration, yet [pleasing] bright and zesty acidity with a nice long finish. My “seasonal” music pairing: Ella and Satchmo - "Baby It's Cold Outside." Cheers! Click here to view the winemaker interview on Ustream.
Atascadero Creek Winery 2008 Haun Ranch Zinfandel
Atascadero Creek Winery 2008 Haun Ranch Zinfandel [Russian River Valley] ($28): Atascadero Creek (the creek pictured on the label) is a small winery in west Sonoma County operated by Bob Appleby. The winery specializes in crafting small lots of single vineyard wines. Bob uses native yeast, no sprays, the vineyard is dry farmed, and the vines produce approximately one ton per acre. This Zinfandel is dark (nearly opaque), big, bold, and ripe with a mouth-coating texture. Currant, ripe black plums, blackberry, baked pie scents and a sprinkling of sweet spice fill the nose. The wine is full-bodied, dense, and concentrated with ripe/namely baked fruit-driven flavors, smooth tannins, medium-low (leaning low) acidity and a lengthy finish. Besides making wine … Bob plays in a band called Bottle Shock. I wonder if any of their songs are about wine. Cheers! Click here to view the winemaker interview on Ustream.
To visit The Wineyard at Santa Rosa Vintners Square website click here.
Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.
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