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Livermore Visits II

In which your intrepid reporters stopped at Bent Creek Winery

A few moments after we walked into the tasting room, I asked "Am I hallucinating, or did you blow out that wall?"

They blew out the wall. Extended the tasting room about 3' wider than it was, which is a good thing. Those of you who remember Storrs in Santa Cruz... this addition makes the tasting room at Bent Creek about the same size as the one at Storrs.

Rick was nowhere to be found, Tom was mowing the grounds, and Pat and Carol were behind the bar with a pair of volunteers, so we got to chat a bit and taste some wines. Alas, their delightful Sauvignon Blanc was sold out, but the 2003 vintage was just bottled and will be available for sale in a few weeks.
  • 2003 Livermore Valley Chardonnay: A fraction of their chardonnay is aged in oak and given lab-strain malolactic fermentation, so it's got a hint of butter and vanilla, but there's plenty of fruit left in the glass.
  • 2001 Amador County Zinfandel: It's not all zin, but is balanced out with a bit of syrah and petit syrah (trademark grapes for Bent Creek). Lots of fruit, lots of acid, nice and big
  • 2002 Livermore Valley Syrah: Bent Creek does magic with syrah. It's nicely tart, with a bit of the "fuzziness" that lots of tanin gives
  • 2002 Livermore Valley Cabernet Sauvignon: It's a Bent Creek cab. Lots of fruit (see a common thread here?), very rich, very dark
  • 2003 Livermore Valley Petite Syrah: This is a new release. We got one of the last cases of the 2002, and it's divine. The 2003 is definitely very young, and needs a bit of time for the acids and the tanins to mellow. If you really like that fuzzy feeling that tanins cause, drink it now. Otherwise, buy it now and let it sit for a few months. At least.
  • 2002 Amador County Vintage Port: Another Portugese varietal port. Bent Creek does a great job getting a lot of fruit flavors and tartness into their ports while still maintaining the sweetness expected in a vintage ruby port. Very tasty.

We bought a case and a half (case of the Petite Syrah, half-case of chardonnay) and also picked up our club selections.