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Tasting notes #1

After a late start, kproche and I headed up to Livermore for a few obligatory stops.

Our 2003 Chardonnay Del Sol futures had turned into a case at Cedar Mountain, so it was time to pick them up. lobolance had picked up our two cases of 2000 Merlot futures a few weeks ago. The Merlot is fabulous, one of the richest and most complex Merlots I've had. It's actually worth over $15 a bottle. The Del Sol? Chardonnay "port." Sweet, heady, interesting.

While we were there we tasted a few whites (too much wine the night before to taste too much). They're doing a delightful Pinot Grigio, fruity, a bit tart and very dry. We snagged a few bottles, including one to take to Susan at Vin Santo. Their Chardonnay is delightful as always, lightly oaked, just the barest hint of butter and vanilla.

Kevin talked Linda (one of the owners) into picking up an ad in the Coronation 2005 program book, and we found out that for future charity events we can get their wines for half price (well, except the really limited stuff).

Next stop was Bent Creek Winery, another little botique outfit for a late club selection pick-up. By then we had regained enough stamina to taste a bit more. Bent Creek does a few wines, a nice Livermore style Chardonnay (lightly oaked and with minimal butter again), a beautiful Pinot  Blanc and a bunch of big reds. If you're in to red, they do wonderful things with syrah and petite syrah.

Finally, before they closed, we swung by Thomas Coyne Winery. As always, Tom and Emily were pouring, but we got a chance at their Bordeaux-style offerings instead of the Rhones they're usually offering when we come by. Pinot Blanc was excellent, lightly fruity. Series of 3 Merlots which, while not as big as the Cedar Mountain all did a beautiful job of showing off different aspects of merlot. Light, bit of acids & tannins, all balanced differently. The real surprise of the day was a varietal bottling of Petite Verdot. There just isn't that much petite verdot grape around in the first place, and most of it goes into blending. It's not easily describable. Gotta try the Petite Verdot if you get a chance.