Vacation trip to Lodi and Sonoma – Aug 2019 – Day 6

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1567022208503{margin-top: 300px !important;}”][vc_empty_space height=”200px”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”700px”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”400px”][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”700px”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Day 6 Thurs  . . . Should be a great day. . at least the first part of it.  I get to attend my first ever CAVE TOUR.  I had arranged, before we left home, to participate in the cave tour at Alexander Valley Vineyards.  The labyrinth or caves that AVV has created is pretty phenomenal.  Based solely on my memory (because I forgot to write it down) they currently have 25000 sq ft of caves with 3 separate entrances into the mountainside AND they are in the process of adding a significant amount more square footage . . .details escape me.  It was still early when we visited . .11am and the temp had already hit 88 degrees.  The significant temp change as we entered the caves was remarkable . . .I believe our guide said that it stayed between 55-60 degrees in the caves at all times.  Way to take advantage of a natural resource.  I really enjoyed AVV the last time we visited and was very much looking forward to this tasting.


Alexander Valley Vineyards

2018 Gewurztraminer – Mendocino County – Gorgeous floral and stone fruit aromas . . .soft mid palate texture. . . great acidity . . .almost effervescent.  Going home with some of this

2017 Chardonnay – Apple and pear aromas with vanilla . . .soft mid and great texture . . .low acid and a lovely mouthfeel.  Flavors carry thru from the aromas nicely.

2018 Rose’ of Sangiovese – Aromas of watermelon and strawberry . . .tart, crisp mid . . .great flavors.  Definitely taking some home.

2017 Homestead Red – Red blend – Merlot 48%, Zinfandel 20%, Grenache 11%, Mourvedre 10%, Cabernet Sauvignon 8%, Syrah 3% – Gorgeous red fruit aromas and flavors . . .satiny soft texture . . .the epitome of a great blend, as far as I’m concerned.. . .Also going home.

2014 Redemption Zinfandel – Soft nose. . .silky mid palate. . .gorgeous and elegant flavors . . .This is the one they had a special on (50% off) so we bought a case.

2014 Reserve Old Vine Zinfandel – Robust red and dark fruit . . .silky mid though with a slight acidic edge at the finish . . .tannins are still kicking.

2013 Cyrus – This is the Award Winner . . . Heavenly aromas of both red and dark fruit . . so soft yet quite robust tannin structure. . .Superb flavors throughout . . but a bit over my price at $65

2016 Late Harvest Zinfandel – This is done like a port-style but without the fortification of brandy – The reduction is amazing. . the flavors are very concentrated . . great dark dried fruit flavors, plums. cherries, raisins, etc . . .satiny structure.  With a dollop of dark chocolate it is just like a chocolate covered cherry. Wow!  Also going home.

What an amazing morning this was.  So many deliciously wonderful options and many of them came home with us.  If you find yourself in Sonoma county, you owe it to yourself to visit Alexander Valley Vineyards.


The next two places were suggestions from friends.  There is so much diversity in the wine community and I tend to keep to a specific lane.  Our next stop, we soon found out, was outside of that lane.

Lancaster Estate Vineyards is a gorgeous place.  The rolling hills are awash with vineyards, gorgeous and loaded with fruit ripening in the afternoon sun.  The tasting room was understated elegance.

2018 Sauvignon Blanc – Luscious nectarine and peach  . . luxurious mid palate . . . refreshing with a tart and tight finish.

2016 Sophia’s Hillside Cuvee – A Cabernet driven blend – Bold fruit on the nose . . .chewy tannins. . .quite dry throughout

2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – Robust nose . . .great cherry flavors  . . .silky mid palate.

2016 Lancaster Estate Nicole’s Proprietary Red – 90% Cabernet Sauvignon – Our server gave us a special treat.  This wine had a dusty nose . . .very young fruit, quite aggressive . . .Definitely will need several years to mature.

2016 Lancaster Estate Winemaker’s Cuvée, Alexander Valley– This one is 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot – The fruit on the nose was really great, super supple and silky mid palate and quite robust fruit on the palate.  Truly a magnificent wine.  But. . a bit above my pay grade at $100 a bottle.


Our final stop of the day was way out in Dry Creek Valley at an interesting way-station.  This locale is home to several wineries and their associated tasting rooms.  We saw Papapietro Perry, Peterson, Family Wineries Cooperative, and our destination . . .Kokomo Winery.

This was another friend suggested tasting.  I wasn’t sure about it. . . I had heard of the one across the parking lot. . .Papapietro Perry . . . but had no time to investigate it.  So. . .we pressed on.


Kokomo Wines

2017 Muscat Blanc – A bright cheerful nose, quite enticing . . crisp mid and yet soft. . . very nice

2018 Sauvignon Blanc – Bright tropical fruit . . .I got a bit of coconut and banana . . .soft mid palate and the right amount of acid. . .Would be a great food wine.

2017 Chardonnay – Aromas of apple, vanilla and graham cracker . . . creamy texture. . was told it resided in 30% french oak . . .really nice acidity.  I may be turning a corner on my dislike of Chardonnay.

2016 Grenache – Dry Creek Valley . . .Light nose of luscious dark fruit. . .silky mid. . .super nice tannins on the finish. . Decide this one was going home.

2017 Zinfandel – Pauline’s Vineyard – Cherry and plum aromas. . .great fruit  . .silky texture and a great overall structure.

2017 Barbera – Mild nose. . .soft yet solid structure. . med-heavy body . . .beautiful fruit that finished slightly spicy.

2016 Merlot – Warm sense of dark fruit . . quite heavy bodied for a Merlot . . .excellent flavors, though seemed a bit high in ABV. (confirmed at 15.1% abv)

2017 Primitivo – Dry Creek Valley – Timbercrest Vineyard – Robust fruit, both red and dark . . very soft texture though heavy tannin structure. . .quite a dichotomy . . .Wonderful spicy notes on finish.

**One of the perks I’ve noticed from taking notes is that wine folks appreciate when you make the effort. . so they often times give Extra tastes of some “special” wines . . It’s not WHY I do this, but it is a side benefit**

2016 Winemaker’s Reserve Zinfandelextra pour – Aromas are light but the texture and  fruit are amazing . . .super soft, almost velvet and there is a splash of spiciness on the finish . . everything you would hope for. . .


This winery was a pleasant surprise, but I guess my friend Craig does understand what I like . . . Thank you sir! . . .Overall a pretty great day in Sonoma County.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][dt_fancy_title title=”Photo Gallery” title_align=”left” title_size=”h3″ title_color=”accent”][vc_media_grid element_width=”2″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1569528611234-c7f98665-e61f-7″ include=”15738,15737,15736,15722,15719,15720,15721,15679,15680,15687,15690″ css=”.vc_custom_1568928161748{margin-top: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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