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Livermore visits...

You know, it's a lot easier to go wine tasting when you can get up early in the morning and make it to the wineries before they start closing.

Today is the first time kproche and I have done that in a while.

Of course, that meant that we found out many wineries had changed their start-time from 11:00am to noon. Fortunately, we weren't moving so early that was a major problem.

We rolled into White Crane winery just as they were opening and caught Nick and two of his tasting-room volunteers opening new bottles. White Crane is fabulous, but expensive. Nick has a second "budget-conscious" Winery 21 label (21 has something to do with the lot number, but I forget the details). We tasted
  • Winery 21 Non-vintage California Sparkling Wine: A bit rough when first opened (tons of mineral flavors), it mellows out pretty nicely after just a few minutes
  • 2002 Folkendt Estate Chardonnay: White Crane does a pretty clean chardonnay, kind of oaky but with nearly no butter. You can taste the fruit
  • Winery 21 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon: decent inexpensive cab, bit of tannins and acid
  • 2002 Folkendt East Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon: bit heavier cab, better balance
  • 2002 Folkendt West Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon: also a bit heavier than the Winery 21, better balance, definitely different from the East Ridge grapes
  • 2003 Touriga/Nacional/Sousao Portugese Port: classic vintage style port made from Portugese varietals, sweet but with a nice touch of acid and frutiness
  • 2004 Folkendt Estate Chardonnay Port: White dessert wine made in the port style (stopped and fortified with brandy), this is a rare white port that actually ages well. Lots of sweet fruit flavors

We also got to taste a 2003 Merlot and a 2004 Pinot Noir that are still in the barrel and only available as futures.

We picked up a few bottles of the sparkler, a few bottles of the chardonnay port, and two sets of club selections that had been waiting for months.Oh, and K snagged 4 bottles of futures of the 2004 pinot noir.

More notes on more wineries to follow when I feel like writing more.