We visited the winery, Gundlach Bundschu, just outside Sonoma, CA today for a tasting and tour. GunPun.com, as they're trying to use as a funny short for their name, was founded in 1858 and has remained a family owned & operated business for the past 152 years.
Wine tasting again in Clarksburg, Ca at the Old Sugar Mill. The first winery were tasting at is the Three Wine Company.
They source their grapes from out Northern California. Started by former Cline Estates owner Matt Cline and his wife Erin, they produce about 6k cases in a boutque fashion. Their tasting room is located in a great old sugar mill that has been renovated to be a wine tasting room.
Three Wine Company focuses on Zinfandel and old vine red varietals like Carignane & Mourvedre. Everything I tasted was consistent and mild, very good stuff. I loved their '06 S3X Riesling which is a nice alcohol 9% to sugar 12% ratio. It's a wonderful dessert wine for those that fancy it.
Michael David Family of Winds is a Lodi based winery that started in 1984 under the Phillips Ranch logo, then in 2000 they launched the 7 Deadly Zins label that was an immediate hit.
I tasted the syrah and petite sirah's, as I had previously tasted their zins. I liked them all, though little stood out. The Inkplot Petit Verdit 2005 was distinctive, it had a nice bite to it without being painful.
Their tasting room, located just off highway 12 (a few miles east of highway 5), has a little cafe, outside picnic area and small food. It was a nice easy stop, free tasting and pleasant wine.
Seghesio is an old winery, dating back to 1895, that has gained notoriety with a top 10 wine on this years top hundred wine spectator list. While they have been a major vintner, known for outstanding Zinfandel, they are big enough (100k cases a year) to be driving the Sonoma wine reputation forward.
Sunday morning wine tasting at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg with Carvalho Family Wines.
Carvalho produces between 5500 and 7500 cases a year, and Carvalho was the first of the 7 wineries making wine and offering tastings at the Sugar Mill.
Started off the tasting with a bright Sauvignon Blanc with grapefruit overtones. Then moved on to an amazingly crisp and refreshing Chardonnay 2006.
Typically not a dessert wine fan but was impressed with their sweet but not too sugary Muscat Canelli. The last was harvest was good but did not compare.
The rose is made for food with flood flash fruit that quickly finishes dry. Nothing I would recommend. The Pinot Noir 2003 is very oaky and then presents more oak. Enough said.
2005 Petite Sirah no overwelming acid allows the fruit to shine through in a soft yet present way. 2005 Barbera, grapes from Amador, light Italian style varietal. Nice overall.
2004 Tempranillo - black cherry jam, nice balance minus the typical smokiness of tempeanillo.
HB Boat Shed Red - made of 2 Zin blends, Petite Sirah & Tempeanillo. A well appointed red that has plenty of strength and character.
All in all Carvalho Family Wines are great, consistent with particular strength in the whites with a unique Chardonnay & a wonderful Muscat.
My last stop of the day was by far the best thanks to consistent wines & very friendly tasting room staff at Miraflores Winery. The winery is brand new, 18 months old, all their grapes are sources from the nearly 40 acres of planted grapes on their 240+ acre vineyard property. They have gained quick notoriety for a wonderful Zinfandel (wine spectator gave the 05 a 90) and Syrah (wine enthuiast gave their 05 a 92).
Everything I tasted was yummy but my favorites were the Zin & Barbers.
We visited Scott Harvey Wines in Sutter Creek, CA. Specializing in Zincandels, they source grapes from Napa and Amadke Valley.
I tasted the
2004 InZinerator - a sin blend
2005 Napa Old Vine Zinfandel - nice but light zin
2005 Old Vine Zinfandel - light cherry blossoms tasting
2005 Mountain Selection Syrah -
2005 Mountain Selection Barbera - classic, simple Mediterrean style wine. Easy drinking wine.
2004 Forte - traditional port, a little too sugary for my liking.
The Harvey is a second generation winemaking family.
On a trip to the quickly growing Delta wine country today we visited Clarksburg, and the Old Sugar Mill which houses a half dozen small wineries. A couple years ago the mill was renovated for tastings and an ambitious project to add a restaurant and artist style lofts.
The first tasting was Todd Taylor, a nice small vintner who produces 2500 cases a year.