Friday, October 12, 2007
Sonoma Day 1 - Continued
Leaving Luna, we took the Oakville Cross to get back to Sonoma. On the way Rob saw the Silver Oak Vineyard tower, and instinctively drove into another winery. There was a Sonoma connection here - Rob wanted to compare their Napa to the Sonoma Silver Oak bottlings. Fortunately, there were pouring both at the winery, saving us a trip to the Sonoma estate. The 2003 Silver Oak Alexander Valley was classic California Cab, but very dry with dusty, earthy, tannins, rather Bordeaux-esque. Nicely done, needs some time in the bottle. The 2002 Silver Oak Napa Valley was a seriously complex wine with copious tannins and tremendous length. Elegant, balanced, but far too young. Overall, despite the different terroirs, the wines were quite similar. While the Napa was the better, was it $40 better? Not sure about that.
By now we were ready to start our Sonoma trip. Taking the scenic Oakville Grade through the Mayacamas mountains made for an adventure in itself, with over 100 hairpin turns and steep twisties. Made for a Porsche, our Dodge was less prepared for such a drive. If the drive were any longer I may have lost that burrito stand lunch...
We arrived in Sonoma near Kenwood, and decided to finish our winery tour with a stop at Landmark, a winery known for Pinot and Chardonnay. These are rather highly rated wines, but Rob was not terribly impressed - kinda ho-hum. I liked the 2005 Domaris and Lorenzo chardonnays, but the 2005 Kanzler Pinot was the highlight of the visit - spicy, mushroomy, earthy, raspberry jam, coffee - smooth and crisp, great balance, substantial tannins. Nicely done.
Capping off a terrific wine day was dinner in Healdsburg at Barndiva. Hip, trendy, this bistro served up great wine, great food and great service. Sitting at the bar, we conversed with son of the Marietta Cellars owner. Serving up great wine and tips for the next day's tours (their winery is not open to the public), we were soon joined by his brother, a recent UC Davis wine grad. These tips led to our greatest wine find of the trip! Gotta catch a flight - more details on the dinner and the wines soon. Say tuned for Day 2 - Dry Creek Valley Treasures.