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Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Brian Tuite
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#301 Post by Brian Tuite » February 14th, 2017, 3:27 pm

Rich Salsano wrote:Currently out here now so I thought I would add a few points (not sure if previously mentioned).

Scopa in Healdsburg is closing in April. Get there while you can. Killer meal last night.

Acorn Winery is under the radar but producing some fantastic terroir driven field blends. I had not heard of them before this trip.

Visa Signature has a program of participating wineries that cardholders get free tastings and or discounts at a number of places. You can lookup the list online.

Under Winery Listings by AVA see: Note
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Yeah, they announced the pending closure of SCOPA a couple weeks ago. Funny, I live here and have never eaten there because they have never had a table available when I called.

The Grand Tasting of Wine Country Weekend will no longer be held at MacMurray Ranch as they have changed venues to The Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park. Booo hisss!
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#302 Post by Roger Ouellette » February 15th, 2017, 4:33 pm

Hey Brian, you have a bad link in the canoes/kayaks pulldown for Rivers Edge Kayak and Canoe, try this one -

http://riversedgekayakandcanoe.com/

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#303 Post by Jeff Fish » February 27th, 2017, 9:02 am

Just returned from a trip to (mostly) Sonoma Valley. The information here was a great help in planning the trip.

A few notes:
Dining: Barndiva requires a party of 6 or more to order the prix fix, which offered a choice of steak or chicken - no thanks for $79. So we went to Dry Creek Kitchen instead - borderline fine dining, food and service were excellent. Spinster Sisters was okay - food was good, pacing was off, and the metal chairs are incredibly uncomfortable. Willis Wine Bar in Healdsburg was very good - food and service. The meal of the trip was at Walter Hansel Wine Bistro - just excellent all the way around (I am still thinking about the duck gizzard confit salad with lardons).
Wineries: Pasterick Wines was a wonderful new find for us - syrah only producer in a very Northern Rhone style. Gerry Pasterick was a great host. Freeman Winery was a really good experience also - interesting new estate wines, particularly the Sonoma Coast vineyard. We also had a great visit with Paul Luckin at Enkidu, who recommended McClaren Wines located in the Vine Alley which was is also making some interesting cool climate syrahs.
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#304 Post by Brian Tuite » February 27th, 2017, 9:27 am

Jeff Fish wrote:Just returned from a trip to (mostly) Sonoma Valley. The information here was a great help in planning the trip.

A few notes:
Dining: Barndiva requires a party of 6 or more to order the prix fix, which offered a choice of steak or chicken - no thanks for $79. So we went to Dry Creek Kitchen instead - borderline fine dining, food and service were excellent. Spinster Sisters was okay - food was good, pacing was off, and the metal chairs are incredibly uncomfortable. Willis Wine Bar in Healdsburg was very good - food and service. The meal of the trip was at Walter Hansel Wine Bistro - just excellent all the way around (I am still thinking about the duck gizzard confit salad with lardons).
Wineries: Pasterick Wines was a wonderful new find for us - syrah only producer in a very Northern Rhone style. Gerry Pasterick was a great host. Freeman Winery was a really good experience also - interesting new estate wines, particularly the Sonoma Coast vineyard. We also had a great visit with Paul Luckin at Enkidu, who recommended McClaren Wines located in the Vine Alley which was is also making some interesting cool climate syrahs.
I order that salad every time I dine there. The runny duck egg on top is the icing on the cake!
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#305 Post by m e i s h a n b » March 2nd, 2017, 12:42 pm

Brian and Jim - Thanks for the great notes! Now I need Spring Break to come around so I can take the kids up there.

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#306 Post by M. Meer » March 4th, 2017, 11:58 am

Another thumbs up for ACORN. The old vine zin was pretty killer, as well as the dolcetto, syrah, and cabernet franc. They are really accommodating, and the sit-down format of the tasting made it highly enjoyable.
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#307 Post by Brandon R » March 6th, 2017, 8:38 am

My wife and I are using this amazing conglomeration of information to plan our trip. I don't see any mention of golf. If anyone can recommend a good course or two, that would be great (we haven't narrowed down where we're staying yet, so fire away with anything). Also, while I golf, my wife plans to hit a spa for a massage. Any recommendations for great spas would also be appreciated.
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#308 Post by Brian Tuite » March 6th, 2017, 9:11 am

Brandon R wrote:My wife and I are using this amazing conglomeration of information to plan our trip. I don't see any mention of golf. If anyone can recommend a good course or two, that would be great (we haven't narrowed down where we're staying yet, so fire away with anything). Also, while I golf, my wife plans to hit a spa for a massage. Any recommendations for great spas would also be appreciated.
Great, more content!

Lots of places to play golf. A few out in the West end: Windsor Golf Club is fun. Northwood is one of the best if not the best 9 hole course in the Country. Want a wow experience, go to Mayacamas Golf Club.

Spas are like drive thrus here. They're everywhere. Give me a more specific location and I'll recommend some close by.
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#309 Post by Paul Luckin » March 6th, 2017, 9:18 am

Brandon R wrote:My wife and I are using this amazing conglomeration of information to plan our trip. I don't see any mention of golf. If anyone can recommend a good course or two, that would be great (we haven't narrowed down where we're staying yet, so fire away with anything). Also, while I golf, my wife plans to hit a spa for a massage. Any recommendations for great spas would also be appreciated.
there are a number of public courses available to play in SC. here are a few (with my impressions):

The Links at Bodega Bay - fun course out near the water at Bodega Bay. interesting holes across the board, definitely more "links-y" than "parkland". wind can be a factor depending on time of day (typically it picks up in the afternoon).walk-able, but a cart is probably best. green fees usually around $75. (there is a putting green, but no other practice area outside of a net to hit into, FYI)

Oakmont West - short-ish course in Sonoma Valley, winding in and out of homes in the local senior living community. fairly flat with small greens, it's one of the "easier" courses in SC, though it does have water that comes into play on about seven holes. very walkable, and green fees under $50. driving range & practice green available.

Rooster Run - fun course out in Petaluma. like Oakmont West, it's mostly flat with water on a number of holes. the front 9 is a little mundane IMO, and the back 9 is way more interesting. typically, you'll see wind in the afternoon. driving range and practice green available. green fees are around $50 and it's walk-able.

Windsor Golf Club - this track is closer to Healdsburg, and i really enjoy it. a parkland setting, the are a number of fun holes on both the inward and outward nines. not too long w/ regard to length, it is a challenging course. driving range & practice green available.

Bennett Valley GC - heavily played muni in Santa Rosa. for as much traffic as this course gets, it's in great shape. the downside: you're almost always looking at a 5+ hour round, and for that reason i tend to shy away from playing there. with the amount of play BVGC gets, you'll be paired with at least three, if not four others.

other options include Foxtail (the North course is longer and more challenging than the South course), Northwood and Sea Ranch. there are some outstanding private courses as well, so if you're staying at The Fairmont Mission Inn (for example), you'll have access to Sonoma Golf Club. if you have additional questions, let me know.
\m/ >_< \m/

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#310 Post by Brandon R » March 7th, 2017, 8:14 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
Brandon R wrote:My wife and I are using this amazing conglomeration of information to plan our trip. I don't see any mention of golf. If anyone can recommend a good course or two, that would be great (we haven't narrowed down where we're staying yet, so fire away with anything). Also, while I golf, my wife plans to hit a spa for a massage. Any recommendations for great spas would also be appreciated.
Great, more content!

Lots of places to play golf. A few out in the West end: Windsor Golf Club is fun. Northwood is one of the best if not the best 9 hole course in the Country. Want a wow experience, go to Mayacamas Golf Club.

Spas are like drive thrus here. They're everywhere. Give me a more specific location and I'll recommend some close by.
Fair enough. I'll report back when I know where we're staying.

Thanks for the golf recommendations, too!
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#311 Post by JonF » March 10th, 2017, 2:26 pm

It looks like we'll be in Sonoma for spell this coming May and will be doing a fair bit of tastings. If one buys a few bottles here and there, what is the ideal way to get those back across the country? Fedex in a wine mailer? Specialized wine shipper companies? I've seen that wine check bag but not sure if the cost of that plus extra check fees is worth it over sending a case or two intra-continental ground. Any suggestions here?
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#312 Post by Paul Luckin » March 10th, 2017, 4:25 pm

JonF wrote:It looks like we'll be in Sonoma for spell this coming May and will be doing a fair bit of tastings. If one buys a few bottles here and there, what is the ideal way to get those back across the country? Fedex in a wine mailer? Specialized wine shipper companies? I've seen that wine check bag but not sure if the cost of that plus extra check fees is worth it over sending a case or two intra-continental ground. Any suggestions here?
i'd visit the local UPS/FedEx store and pick up a 12 pack styro shipper. buy your wines during the trip, pack and seal the box, and take it with you to the airport and use it as a "checked bag."

upside: most cases will come in under the 50lb. limit whereby the airline will charge you extra for the bag (or in this case box), and you'll get it when you walk off the plane (no issues with weather). depending on your air-travel habits you might get one or more free checked bags (big plus) and even if you don't the carrier probably won't be charging more than $25 or $30 for an extra bag (way less than you'll pay to ship it yourself or have a winery do it).

downside: you'll have to hump all your wine around with you during your trip, as well as lug it to the airport (a couple of 40lb boxes doesn't exactly make for "traveling light"). also, you're trusting the baggage handlers not to drop-kick your box across the tarmac to get it on to the plane.
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#313 Post by Rich Salsano » March 16th, 2017, 6:21 am

M. Meer wrote:Another thumbs up for ACORN. The old vine zin was pretty killer, as well as the dolcetto, syrah, and cabernet franc. They are really accommodating, and the sit-down format of the tasting made it highly enjoyable.
Couldn't agree more. We tasted with Betsy and had a fantastic experience. Bought a mixed 6 pack of wines and will be a future customer as well.
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#314 Post by Jeff Fish » March 20th, 2017, 9:15 am

JonF wrote:It looks like we'll be in Sonoma for spell this coming May and will be doing a fair bit of tastings. If one buys a few bottles here and there, what is the ideal way to get those back across the country? Fedex in a wine mailer? Specialized wine shipper companies? I've seen that wine check bag but not sure if the cost of that plus extra check fees is worth it over sending a case or two intra-continental ground. Any suggestions here?
You can ship the wines from the winery/tasting room when purchased - they'll take care of it for you. Otherwise, as mentioned above, you'll have to lug the bottles around with you and deal with shipping yourself.
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#315 Post by Mike Miller » April 12th, 2017, 8:46 pm

I can add one small piece of knowledge. Right across the street from Rockers Oysterfeller in Valley Ford is the Valley Ford Market. Mom and pop type local market. But they have excellent house smoked salmon by the pound. We often grab some before heading to Hog Island Oyster farm in Marshall (which is actually in
Marin Country, but highly recommended) for a shuck your own feast.

Rockers Oysterfeller itself isn't fine dining, by any means, but a pretty good little casual restaurant with an interwsting and economical little wine list. It's no substitute for Terrapin Creek Cafe or Zazu Kitchen + Farm, but it'd a enjoyable good causal meal.

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#316 Post by M. Meer » April 16th, 2017, 1:50 pm

Just got back from another trip:

The route to Hog Island in Marshall is a great drive, and the destination is a terrific scene to take in a meal. The menu is a limited (the only hot item is bbq oysters), but what is offered is definitely good. I might recommend the shuck-your-own picnic if only to bring something to grill/heat up in addition to what is served at the bar. A chowder would have been perfect that day.

Campo Fina in Healdsburg & Ramen Gaijin in Sebastopol were solid highlights of the trip. I think I'm craving a bowl of the shoyu right now [wow.gif]

SingleThread has several really strong dishes. We went with two different sake for dinner, which we thought complemented very well. Depending on your preference, the wine list does have some gems, which they can provide by email if you request.

We didn't get to try it this time, but this is on our list for the next visit: http://www.quarryhillbg.org/
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#317 Post by Bryan Price » April 20th, 2017, 10:30 am

Brian Tuite wrote:
b. c@stner wrote:Any recommended B & B's?
Radford Inn - Great setting, wonderful proprietors, centrally locates in RRV.
Totally agree! We stayed in February and they were gracious hosts, and we have great conversation together while drinking wine by the fire as well! The Inn is centrally located to a lot of great RRV wineries!
Last edited by Bryan Price on November 9th, 2017, 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#318 Post by Bryan Price » April 24th, 2017, 4:48 pm

Has anyone tried the Kistler (four - $75) or Paul Hobbs (four - $65) tastings? Do they seem worth it for the price? Also, it doesn't seem from the website that Kosta Browne offers tastings. Has anyone been able to wrangle one with them? Trying to plan my Sonoma trip in October and was lining up KB, Littorai, Kistler, and Dehlinger in the same day.
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#319 Post by Brian Tuite » April 24th, 2017, 5:49 pm

Bryan Price wrote:Has anyone tried the Kistler (four - $75) or Paul Hobbs (four - $65) tastings? Do they seem worth it for the price? Also, it doesn't seem from the website that Kosta Browne offers tastings. Has anyone been able to wrangle one with them? Trying to plan my Sonoma trip in October and was lining up KB, Littorai, Kistler, and Dehlinger in the same day.
You can get a tasting wth KB if you are a current customer. They just don't have a tasting room. Never done the Hobbs or Kistler tasting, can't comment on them. Good luck on getting 4vtastings in on the sme day. Littorai is a long one with the tour/educational aspect of it.
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#320 Post by Sean Devaney » April 24th, 2017, 7:19 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
Bryan Price wrote:Has anyone tried the Kistler (four - $75) or Paul Hobbs (four - $65) tastings? Do they seem worth it for the price? Also, it doesn't seem from the website that Kosta Browne offers tastings. Has anyone been able to wrangle one with them? Trying to plan my Sonoma trip in October and was lining up KB, Littorai, Kistler, and Dehlinger in the same day.
You can get a tasting wth KB if you are a current customer. They just don't have a tasting room. Never done the Hobbs or Kistler tasting, can't comment on them. Good luck on getting 4vtastings in on the sme day. Littorai is a long one with the tour/educational aspect of it.
Brian is right. Limit to an AM tasting and an afternoon tasting and plan on freelancing between/after stops. Nothing worse than having to run out of scheduled tasting to make the next appointment.

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#321 Post by Bryan Price » April 24th, 2017, 7:43 pm

I've done about 6 tastings in a day before but most were not appointment only, so you're probably right on that front. I've been going off of the "recommended" time allowance which seems to be 45 minutes to an hour for each tasting. I may reconfigure to only 3 appointments and freelance the rest, but here is my current schedule:

Thursday
11:00 AM Travel
12:00 PM Lunch in Sonoma
1:00 PM Auteur
2:00 PM Hanzell
3:00 PM Patz & Hall
4:00 PM Travel to Healdsburg
5:00 PM Relax at AirBnB
6:00 PM Siduri (Healdsburg)
7:00 PM Dinner in Healdsburg

Friday
11:00 AM KB or Balletto
12:00 PM Littorai
1:00 PM Lunch at Willow Wood Market Cafe
2:00 PM Kistler
3:30 PM Dehlinger
4:00 PM Relaxation / shopping
5:00 PM Relaxation / shopping
6:00 PM Dinner

Still needing to fill up Saturday with appointments, hopefully Arista, Gary Farrell, Hartford and Joseph Swan! Also considering Scherrer, Martin Ray or Williams-Selyem!
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#322 Post by Rboinski » April 26th, 2017, 10:34 am

Those timings are far too close. Hanzell tour tasting is well over an hour plus drive up/down is not quick. It would really be best to put 2 hours on either side of it rather than 1. Littorai as well in and out of the way area of Sebastopol relative to KB, don't believe you could start a tasting 1 hour prior to the arrival time. If you are in Healdsburg and looking to taste Sonoma Cabernet (most of your tastings seem PN based) I would suggest checking out Stonestreet if you get a chance. Along with their cab the Chardonnay is as good as it gets in California.
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#323 Post by Bryan Price » April 26th, 2017, 10:52 am

Rboinski wrote:Those timings are far too close. Hanzell tour tasting is well over an hour plus drive up/down is not quick. It would really be best to put 2 hours on either side of it rather than 1. Littorai as well in and out of the way area of Sebastopol relative to KB, don't believe you could start a tasting 1 hour prior to the arrival time. If you are in Healdsburg and looking to taste Sonoma Cabernet (most of your tastings seem PN based) I would suggest checking out Stonestreet if you get a chance. Along with their cab the Chardonnay is as good as it gets in California.
I did have to revise my timing based on Dehlinger not being able to provide an appointment. I actually asked Hanzell if we could skip the tour and make the tasting only 45 minutes and they were able to oblige. I may cancel Patz & Hall and just go to Sojourn for free since I'm a member there and likely will need to pick up a shipment that time of year anyway. On Friday, Balletto will be a quick hit prior to Littorai (KB said they can't offer me an appointment) I'm really debating on just going big and scheduling Kistler for the afternoon and not doing any other wineries to make the $150 (for two people) tasting fee worth it. Appreciate the feedback on the timing! Still trying to figure out the Saturday schedule. Sonoma is so jam packed with world class pinot noir how many wineries can I possibly fall in love with on this trip?!!!!

Sonoma Next Visit
Saturday - Oct 14
11:00 AM Arista
12:00 PM Williams-Selyem
1:00 PM Lunch: picnic
2:00 PM Gary Farrell
3:00 PM Hartford
4:00 PM Joseph Swan
5:00 PM Relaxation
6:00 PM Relaxation
7:00 PM Dinner in Healdsburg
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#324 Post by Dave H. » May 14th, 2017, 10:28 am

Just spent a day in Sonoma while visiting family in SF. Went to Joseph Swan, Unti, Ridge and J. Rickards. Lunch at Wurst in Healdsburg.
Overall, a great day, an easy amount of driving and the opportunity to try a wide variety of wines. Not a bad pour in the bunch, although standouts were an orange Grenache Blanc that Chris at Joseph Swan let us try from the barrel and the 2015 Ridge Estate Chardonnay, which was really compelling.
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#325 Post by Arv R » May 30th, 2017, 8:27 pm

We just got back from a nice long weekend on the Sonoma coast, and had some flash comments to share.

All of these were great places to eat (suggested by Matt R - thanks!)

Hana - high end Japanese & sake bar, make rezzys
Spinster Sisters - we've been here a couple of times, its great. $20 corkage, good stems
Rosso Pizzeria & Mozzarella Bar - multiple locations, good for kids, free corkage
Fig Cafe - the casual offshoot of The Girl & Fig, very nice, also free corkage, with some conditions, no reservations so call ahead to see how busy they are

We've stayed a bunch of times at the DoubleTree Sonoma which isn't named very accurately, but if one can tolerate the driving, its a reliable place for the region. Pretty much everything the hotel did over the weekend went perfectly, I was commenting on the ride home to the SO that I'd never actually had this kind of hotel (mass market, 200-300 room kind of place) get the details right the whole time. So that was a pleasant surprise.
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#326 Post by Brian Tuite » May 31st, 2017, 6:08 am

Arv R wrote:We just got back from a nice long weekend on the Sonoma coast, and had some flash comments to share.

All of these were great places to eat (suggested by Matt R - thanks!)

Hana - high end Japanese & sake bar, make rezzys
Spinster Sisters - we've been here a couple of times, its great. $20 corkage, good stems
Rosso Pizzeria & Mozzarella Bar - multiple locations, good for kids, free corkage
Fig Cafe - the casual offshoot of The Girl & Fig, very nice, also free corkage, with some conditions, no reservations so call ahead to see how busy they are

We've stayed a bunch of times at the DoubleTree Sonoma which isn't named very accurately, but if one can tolerate the driving, its a reliable place for the region. Pretty much everything the hotel did over the weekend went perfectly, I was commenting on the ride home to the SO that I'd never actually had this kind of hotel (mass market, 200-300 room kind of place) get the details right the whole time. So that was a pleasant surprise.
All great choices and a diverse mix of menus. Well done.

Next time you are in the area check out The Backyard in Forestville, Walter Hansel Bistro in West Santa Rosa, The Reel in El Verano/Sonoma as they complement the others as far as food quality, service and atmosphere is concerned.
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#327 Post by Steven Brown » June 4th, 2017, 9:37 am

My fiancée and I just got back from Sonoma, so here are my observations on some of the wineries mentioned above based on our experience.

Arista - absolutely stunning property. The tasting left us somewhat underwhelmed. Their pinot noir is beautiful to be sure, but because their small production is quickly allocated to club members, there are no vineyard designate pinots to taste.

Hartford - not much to see at the winery, but they pour a wide variety of their chardonnays and pinot noirs. It will be hard to leave without wanting to join their club.

Auteur - Bobbi will spend at least two hours with you in what is a fairly unconventional tasting. There are no tasting notes, geek talk about fermentation, etc., just a tasting of four chardonnays and four pinot noirs — all of them exceptional — and a lot of conversation about the winemaker’s philosophy and whatever other topic happens to come up.

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#328 Post by JonF » June 5th, 2017, 2:14 pm

My wife and i also just got back from our Sonoma/Napa honeymoon and while we hit all sorts of places from mild to wild, there were 2 standouts in Sonoma that i think don't get enough talk.

First was Petroni Vineyards in the Moon Mountain area. If all you care about is PN, then go elsewhere, but if you enjoy Italian and Cal varietals, these folks are making some stunning wines. We like Tuscan wines and they do a lot of Sangio here with a rosso/Brunello type bottling scheme which is what attracted us. The rosso was immediately pleasurable and the Bruinelli so elegant and nuanced. Fun fact, they used to have "Brunello di Sonoma" on the label until the DOCG gave them enough shit to have them stop. Its still on the wrought iron gate at the entrance though. They also do some super-tuscan and bordeaux type blends and as such grow the cab sauv and franc on site. The cab franc came out so good this year, they did a single varietal bottling of it and its phenomenal. Really not a bad wine in the lineup but priced a little higher up on the Sonoma spectrum. The view here up on the mountain is magnificent too. Come for the wine but stay for the serenity.

The second underdog was Dutton-Goldfield. Went there with another couple for a sushi-wine pairing and since we were there for hours just talking and catching up on old times, they just kept on bringing out samples of all thier wines well past the original 5 wines in the tasting fee. Several excellent SVD Pinot's, a Syrah with a complex spice profile and a elegantly floral Gewurtz that smelled almost exactly like the star jasmine that grows all over the place out there. Wines are priced fairly with some a little higher on the range but all great quality.
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#329 Post by Gila Gatewood » June 13th, 2017, 7:25 pm

Screaming Eagle Wines (http://www.screamingeagle.com/faq) have fascinated me for a long while. But they aren't aking any new 'subscribers' (AS IF I could afford them... even on the secondary market, they sell for hundreds to thousands)! I collect bird-theme-related wine corks (http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 5#p2287205), so I also know that even the CORKS and EMPTIES can go for hundreds on eBay...
I'm curious: are there any winery members here?
Only members can tour the place.
What's the wine like?
What's the vineyard like?
What's the EXPERIENCE like?
Thanks for reading.
Gila :)

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#330 Post by Brian Tuite » June 13th, 2017, 7:57 pm

Gila Gatewood wrote:Screaming Eagle Wines (http://www.screamingeagle.com/faq) have fascinated me for a long while. But they aren't aking any new 'subscribers' (AS IF I could afford them... even on the secondary market, they sell for hundreds to thousands)! I collect bird-theme-related wine corks (http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 5#p2287205), so I also know that even the CORKS and EMPTIES can go for hundreds on eBay...
I'm curious: are there any winery members here?
Only members can tour the place.
What's the wine like?
What's the vineyard like?
What's the EXPERIENCE like?
Thanks for reading.
Gila :)
The experience is like being in Napa since that's where Screagle is. You don't buy Screaming Eagle to drink unlesss you see it on the wine list for thirty-seven-fifty. [wink.gif] People buy it as an investment for the most part. But there are some ballahs here who drink it on occasion.

Your corks should arrive Thursday.
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#331 Post by Gila Gatewood » June 13th, 2017, 8:24 pm

Brian Tuite wrote:
Gila Gatewood wrote:Screaming Eagle Wines (http://www.screamingeagle.com/faq) have fascinated me for a long while. But they aren't aking any new 'subscribers' (AS IF I could afford them... even on the secondary market, they sell for hundreds to thousands)! I collect bird-theme-related wine corks (http://www.wineberserkers.com/forum/vie ... 5#p2287205), so I also know that even the CORKS and EMPTIES can go for hundreds on eBay...
I'm curious: are there any winery members here?
Only members can tour the place.
What's the wine like?
What's the vineyard like?
What's the EXPERIENCE like?
Thanks for reading.
Gila :)
The experience is like being in Napa since that's where Screagle is. You don't buy Screaming Eagle to drink unlesss you see it on the wine list for thirty-seven-fifty. [wink.gif] People buy it as an investment for the most part. But there are some ballahs here who drink it on occasion.

Your corks should arrive Thursday.

Thank you, Sensei.
xo Grasshopper

PS. "Screagle"... love that!!!!!

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#332 Post by dkwinter » June 20th, 2017, 1:05 pm

This is great.

Thanks!!
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#333 Post by Roy Piper » June 27th, 2017, 8:58 pm

Some places I like in Sonoma....

Naked Pig: A breakfast place open Wed-Sun in Santa Rosa, just down the street from Spinster Sisters. Local-sourced ingredients. Great bacon. Small.

Sea Thai Bistro: Best Thai food I know in the area, in Santa Rosa. I just eat at the bar to avoid a wait. Rather high-end for Thai.

Walter Hansel Bistro: Sebastapol. Jenn and I rented the whole restaurant for our rehearsal dinner, last month. Excellent food. Rather nondescript roadside location. The wine list is headlined by the very under-rated Walter Hansel wines.

Spinster Sisters: my go-to for breakfast, in Santa Rosa, eat there every week. Best to avoid weekends, go M-Fri. Eat at the bar for the best service.

Madrona Manor: In Healdsburg, has a massive fixed-price dinner with many amuse bouche that you don't know are coming. Takes 2.5- 3 hours. Amazing decor. Rarely that busy. A shame.

Willi's Wine Bar: excellent small-dishes with a good wine list. Busy. Popular. And quite good. Won't break the bank. The sliders are great.

Hana: best sushi north of San Fran and better than most in San Fran. Try to eat at the bar. Amazing sake list too.
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#334 Post by Brian Tuite » June 28th, 2017, 5:44 am

Roy Piper wrote:Some places I like in Sonoma....

Naked Pig: A breakfast place open Wed-Sun in Santa Rosa, just down the street from Spinster Sisters. Local-sourced ingredients. Great bacon. Small.

Sea Thai Bistro: Best Thai food I know in the area, in Santa Rosa. I just eat at the bar to avoid a wait. Rather high-end for Thai.

Walter Hansel Bistro: Sebastapol. Jenn and I rented the whole restaurant for our rehearsal dinner, last month. Excellent food. Rather nondescript roadside location. The wine list is headlined by the very under-rated Walter Hansel wines.

Spinster Sisters: my go-to for breakfast, in Santa Rosa, eat there every week. Best to avoid weekends, go M-Fri. Eat at the bar for the best service.

Madrona Manor: In Healdsburg, has a massive fixed-price dinner with many amuse bouche that you don't know are coming. Takes 2.5- 3 hours. Amazing decor. Rarely that busy. A shame.

Willi's Wine Bar: excellent small-dishes with a good wine list. Busy. Popular. And quite good. Won't break the bank. The sliders are great.

Hana: best sushi north of San Fran and better than most in San Fran. Try to eat at the bar. Amazing sake list too.
I've never seen the Naked Pig open. Now I know why.
Sea Thai was all the rage but when we went we were underwhelmed. Maybe it was a bad night, maybe it just isn't our thing.
Walter Hansel is our go-to, love it.
Used to do Spinster Sisters a lot, need to revive that.
Madrona Manor for us is a very rare splurge.
Willi's I like but we're getting old for the bustling bar scene. They do Wednesday Winemaker evenings in the Summer with small bites paired with wines. Did Siduri there one night.
Hana is "The Best!"
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#335 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » July 18th, 2017, 7:51 pm

Great thread!

I'm going to be in CA in a couple weeks for a wedding, which will be on a Sunday, but we're getting in on Thursday and figured we'd spend a day in Sonoma (my in-laws live in the SF bay area). We've been to Napa many times. I have a particular interest in visiting Martinelli as I love their zinfandels. Are there any good wineries in Windsor or nearby that specialize in white wines (that my wife may like)?
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#336 Post by Brian Tuite » July 18th, 2017, 8:10 pm

Brian S t o t t e r wrote:Great thread!

I'm going to be in CA in a couple weeks for a wedding, which will be on a Sunday, but we're getting in on Thursday and figured we'd spend a day in Sonoma (my in-laws live in the SF bay area). We've been to Napa many times. I have a particular interest in visiting Martinelli as I love their zinfandels. Are there any good wineries in Windsor or nearby that specialize in white wines (that my wife may like)?
Joseph Swan, Fogline, Inman are all just a few mies from Martinelli. Bubbles at Iron Horse.
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#337 Post by Rob M Tucker » July 23rd, 2017, 4:42 pm

This is a fantastic and immensely useful thread. Thanks for all of the information.

NYC-area wine geek here. I've always been partial to old-world/terroir driven and natural/biodynamic wines (mostly Italian/French) and I have started to (re)discover some of the great wines from California. From the list in the first post I have tried and enjoyed wines from the following: Wind Gap, Pax, Arnot-Roberts, Dirty & Rowdy, and Wellington (though I understand the winery has changed hands). (Note: other non-Sonoma California wines that I have enjoyed recently include those from the Scholium Project, Noceto, Martha Stoumen, Vinca Minor, Stolpman / Combe, Edmunds St. John, and La Clarine Farm.)

My fiance and I will be in Sonoma Monday-Thursday in the last week of September. Recommendations among the few wineries I listed above or other comparable/similar wineries would be greatly appreciated. We are looking for a great overall experience (friendly staff, knowledgeable, interesting wines, great environs, etc). An off-the-beaten-path up-and-comer where we might be able to have a lively conversation about Brett or carbonic maceration appeals to us far more than a flashy/glitzy winery featuring three-figure bottles.

Thanks!

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#338 Post by Jay Miller » July 27th, 2017, 1:05 pm

Brian Tuite wrote: Madrona Manor for us is a very rare splurge.
Madrona Manor has been off my list ever since a dinner where they spilled an entire bowl of cold soup over one of my dining companions and the extent of their redress was to bring her some extra napkins. There might have also been a very quick "Sorry" when it happened. Her dress was completely soaked through.

That was probably about 20 years ago but I haven't forgotten.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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#339 Post by Brian Tuite » July 28th, 2017, 5:39 am

Jay Miller wrote:
Brian Tuite wrote: Madrona Manor for us is a very rare splurge.
Madrona Manor has been off my list ever since a dinner where they spilled an entire bowl of cold soup over one of my dining companions and the extent of their redress was to bring her some extra napkins. There might have also been a very quick "Sorry" when it happened. Her dress was completely soaked through.

That was probably about 20 years ago but I haven't forgotten.
20 years eh? Leo, Taurus?
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#340 Post by Brian Tuite » July 28th, 2017, 5:49 am

Rob M Tucker wrote:This is a fantastic and immensely useful thread. Thanks for all of the information.

NYC-area wine geek here. I've always been partial to old-world/terroir driven and natural/biodynamic wines (mostly Italian/French) and I have started to (re)discover some of the great wines from California. From the list in the first post I have tried and enjoyed wines from the following: Wind Gap, Pax, Arnot-Roberts, Dirty & Rowdy, and Wellington (though I understand the winery has changed hands). (Note: other non-Sonoma California wines that I have enjoyed recently include those from the Scholium Project, Noceto, Martha Stoumen, Vinca Minor, Stolpman / Combe, Edmunds St. John, and La Clarine Farm.)

My fiance and I will be in Sonoma Monday-Thursday in the last week of September. Recommendations among the few wineries I listed above or other comparable/similar wineries would be greatly appreciated. We are looking for a great overall experience (friendly staff, knowledgeable, interesting wines, great environs, etc). An off-the-beaten-path up-and-comer where we might be able to have a lively conversation about Brett or carbonic maceration appeals to us far more than a flashy/glitzy winery featuring three-figure bottles.

Thanks!
Sean Thackrey, doesn't get much geekier, but he's not very accessible. Hardy Wallace is a fun bisit as well. End of September though, forget time with a winemaker as that's smack dab in the middle of harvest.
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#341 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » July 30th, 2017, 3:06 pm

I'll be going with my wife to Hartford Family, Martinelli, and Iron Horse this coming Friday. Looks like Sebastopol is the closest town and I looked through the restaurant recommendations, but was curious if there are any good places for lunch that have come up since the first list was posted?
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1988 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Eiswein
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#342 Post by Brian Tuite » July 30th, 2017, 5:00 pm

Brian S t o t t e r wrote:I'll be going with my wife to Hartford Family, Martinelli, and Iron Horse this coming Friday. Looks like Sebastopol is the closest town and I looked through the restaurant recommendations, but was curious if there are any good places for lunch that have come up since the first list was posted?
Since Hartford is in Forestville & Iron Horse view is Forestville - The Backyard is a good lunch spot.
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#343 Post by stewart lancaster » August 1st, 2017, 1:00 pm

hope to visit sonoma second week of october with my wife and two daughters. I'm a zin lover-will definitely visit Ridge-my alltime favorite. Also visited Passalacqua which I loved Any other recs?

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#344 Post by Brian Tuite » August 1st, 2017, 1:41 pm

stewart lancaster wrote:hope to visit sonoma second week of october with my wife and two daughters. I'm a zin lover-will definitely visit Ridge-my alltime favorite. Also visited Passalacqua which I loved Any other recs?
Mauritson, Nalle, Limerick Lane...
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#345 Post by stewart lancaster » August 8th, 2017, 2:35 pm

For my trip to Sonoma in October, my daughters want to spend the first 2 days in bodega bay. What wineries would you recommend to visit while staying there.

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#346 Post by Brian Tuite » August 13th, 2017, 1:04 pm

stewart lancaster wrote:For my trip to Sonoma in October, my daughters want to spend the first 2 days in bodega bay. What wineries would you recommend to visit while staying there.
Nothing really close. Closest would be Sebastopol/Occidental/Graton. Red Car, Dutton Goldfield, Merry Edwards, Emeritus...

Or you could drive north to Fort Ross Winery but then the previous option is closer. Joseph Phelps had a tasting room in Freestone that closed up recently.
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#347 Post by stewart lancaster » August 14th, 2017, 10:50 am

I saw there is a tasting that combines Emeritus, Marimar and Freeman together. $120 for the day. Anyone ever done this?

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#348 Post by Drew Goin » August 17th, 2017, 11:48 am

Rob M Tucker wrote:This is a fantastic and immensely useful thread. Thanks for all of the information.

NYC-area wine geek here. I've always been partial to old-world/terroir driven and natural/biodynamic wines (mostly Italian/French) and I have started to (re)discover some of the great wines from California. From the list in the first post I have tried and enjoyed wines from the following: Wind Gap, Pax, Arnot-Roberts, Dirty & Rowdy, and Wellington (though I understand the winery has changed hands). (Note: other non-Sonoma California wines that I have enjoyed recently include those from the Scholium Project, Noceto, Martha Stoumen, Vinca Minor, Stolpman / Combe, Edmunds St. John, and La Clarine Farm.)
I noticed that the website for the Wellington Winery had been redesigned. I didn't see the classic Wellington wines ("The Duke" red and "The Duchess" white, nor the "Noir de Noir" Alicante Bouschet/teinturiers blend :o ) so, upon reading your comment, I have been panicking a little bit.

I really hope that Wellington keeps the 100-year-old Alicante Bouschet blend in its lineup! They historically have sourced from their Sonoma Valley home vineyard and the Pagani Ranch (perhaps including another) and this has been a rare offering in the world of wine.
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#349 Post by Larry P » September 22nd, 2017, 11:38 am

stewart lancaster wrote:For my trip to Sonoma in October, my daughters want to spend the first 2 days in bodega bay. What wineries would you recommend to visit while staying there.
This advice is not Sonoma, so techincally off-topic, but I'd recommend visiting some places on the Marin/Sonoma Cheese Trail like Marin French Cheese company and Cowgirl Creamery, hit Tomales Bay Oyster Company and visit Pt. Reyes Winery as part of the trip.
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#350 Post by ClydeUnderwood » September 29th, 2017, 10:50 am

New York Times, "36 Hours in Sonoma County":
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... ornia.html

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