ON THE ROAD AGAIN IN SONOMA
Woman (or man) cannot live by wine alone – or so said my growling stomach! So, when our merry wine-tasting band (my brother Bob, his wife Nguyen, Richard and I) pulled into the Truett-Hurst Winery, we found a spectacular place for a pre-tasting picnic. Nguyen had packed a picnic lunch and I couldn’t wait to unpack it. We quickly made our way thru the beautiful flower garden
to the winery’s picturesque picnic area alongside a babbling brook
and staked out our site at a grouping of red Adirondack chairs.
We ate. We mused. We listened to that babbling water. We ate. We soaked up nature.
This is one of the joys of tasting in Sonoma. The natural surroundings are so breathtaking, yet so soothing, providing more than just a series of tasting rooms. And the Truett-Hurst tasting room was built to fit into its lovely setting.
The first things I noticed upon entering the large, airy room, much of it made from eco friendly materials, were the drum chandeliers.
I don’t know how eco friendly they are (the ceiling was), but I just loved them. One red wall had an interesting display of art, aged wood (carrying that recycle wood theme down from the ceiling) and wine bottles…
and then there was a birdhouse made of wine corks.
OK, I have friends who collect wine corks – Richard even collected wine corks for a while. And, I’m the first one to admit I collect things – McCoy pottery, bone china, Wallace Nutting hand-painted photographs… but corks? And, I’m all for recycling… but corks? I finally gave Richard’s cork collection to dear friend Kyle, who cleverly ‘recycled’ them into a fabulous cork wreath I display at Christmas. Thankfully, that put a cork in Richard’s cork collecting. But, when I saw that birdhouse, I said a silent prayer… Dear Lord please don’t let this be a sign from the heavens that Richard should start collecting corks again… but I digress…
As Nguyen explored the winery, Bob, Richard and I saddled up to the bar and our tasting began… in wine glasses made to tilt ‘just so,’ allowing you to savor every last drop. That’s a considerate winery!
Sal Curreri, our knowledgeable barista told us that the winery’s founders, Messrs. Truett and Hurst, met and worked together at the Fetzer winery before forming their partnership for the Truett-Hurst Winery in 2007 which consists of 26 acres of zinfandel and petite syrah vineyards, five acres of gardens and that creek where we just picnicked which has Coho salmon and steelhead trout swimming free. Did I mention the sheep? Yup, there are sheep grazing in a nearby pastoral pasture… just like in one of those Wallace Nuttings I love to collect.
Our first pour was the 2010 Swallowtail chardonnay ($20) aged in new oak for two months and stainless for three. Nothing recycled about this wine w/ its fresh apples and pears taste. You might not be able to compare apples to pears – but mix the two tastes together and you get a lovely balanced white wine.
The 2010 zinfandel rose ($15) had ‘lively’ fruit tastes… perfect for a hot mid-summer night’s dream.
Moving on to the reds, we started w/ the 2009 Rattler Rock zin ($29) – I didn’t ask Sal to explain the ‘rattler’ handle and what rock it crawled under because I didn’t want to spoil the luscious jammy, clove-y, strawberry-y tasting experience. I really hate snakes!
The next zin was the 2008 Red Rooster ($29) – now there’s a handle and living creature I can crow about, just as I can about this deliciously decadent wine w/ hints of boysenberries, plums, tea and spices.
It was time for the 2009 Luci zin ($29) – spicy w/ flavors of black cherry and pomegranate thrown in… it’s a Luci in the sky w/ diamonds.
Still in a zin frame of mind, we sipped the 2009 Southdown ($29) – north, south, east or west you won’t find a better zin for the price. Layers of blackberry and cassis w/ some cracked pepper and vanilla wafers. I really could taste the wafers. Honest.
Following the zins was the 2008 Burning Man (I can only imagine) petite syrah ($33) – I gave this wine a bunch of stars in my notes… Figs (I love figs) and dark chocolate gave this wine a wonderful confectionary flavor.
Last, but definitely not least, was the 2009 Dark Horse Vineyard red ($40) – a Grenache blend that I rated a 5 star wine. It was just plain delicious.
Grazing sheep in green pastures, fish swimming in a babbling brook, beautiful gardens, lovely picnic area, fine wines … I could live there. Well, at least hang out for a few days. I think you’d agree.
5610 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg CA 95448