There’s no better way to celebrate the Harvest season than with the release of unique red varietals from Wine Road’s select winery members. Located in Northern Sonoma County with 190 vintners and 50 lodgings throughout the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River valleys, these unusual blends from the Wine Road are sure to offer something for every palate. Varietals for specific wineries include:
ACORN Winery/Alegria Vineyards
ACORN Winery/Alegria Vineyards grows and makes wines from the more than 60 grape varietals that are planted in their Russian River Valley Alegría Vineyards. The winery is one of few to make Cabernet Franc and Alicante Bouschet, the latter of which was made in 2009 with grapes first planted in 1890 in the Alegría Vineyards. All ACORN wines are field blends:
· First ACORN Dolcetto: 1995; vines planted 1991; 2 acres/100-300 cases; retail $32
· First ACORN Cab Franc: 2003; vines planted 1991; 5 acres/300-400 cases; retail $32
All of the 60 varieties of the aromatic grapes (Cinsaut, seven Muscat varieties, and Viognier) with Syrah, Mourvèdre, Grenache, and 15 other varieties are included in the “Medley,” though the proportions vary year to year. Other ACORN varietals include, Sangiovese, Syrah and old vine Zinfandel. The suggested retail price is $45 per bottle, with a six bottle limit.
A sparkling wine made from Syrah, Amista Vineyard grows five acres of Syrah on its estate vineyards and makes 200 cases of Sparkling Syrah. Techniques used include:
· A classic French method, champenoise
· To keep the Rosé color, the skins were left on for about 12 hours
Amista Vineyards first made 60 cases in 2008 and each bottle is $32.
David Coffaro Vineyard & Winery
Always looking for something new and exciting to produce, Dave has planted on his small estate vineyard more than 10 little-known red grape varieties over the last 10 years, including:
· Italian varieties - Aglianico, Lagrein, Sagrantino, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo
· Portuguese varieties - Alvarelhao, Souzao, Touriga Nationale
· French varieties - Peloursin, Tannat, Carignan, Pinotage, Mourvedre
Most plantings are small, averaging as little as 500 vines, which allows for plenty of opportunity to blend and make a specific varietal whenever the vintage is of exceptional quality. Retail prices for the wine will vary from $30 - $36 per bottle and most are sold as futures for as little as $15 - $20 before bottling.
Forchini has crafted two distinct red blends from their Dry Creek Bench Vineyards. First is Papa Nonno, a tribute to Jim Forchini’s Tuscan grandfather, similar in style to the Chianti wines of Tuscany because of the addition of white grapes. The blend is Estate Forchini Dry Creek Zinfandel, Estate Forchini Dry Creek Carignane, Estate Forchini Dry Creek Cabernet, aged 18-months in neutral French and new American oak barrels for an all-around fruity wine. Bottle price is $25.
Frick Winery is surrounded by Zinfandel in the Dry Creek Valley, but has planted unique vines that are well adapted to hillsides. Here, Viognier, Counoise, Mourvedre and Grenache Blanc vines grow delicious wines in 130-case lot sizes. Bill Frick's vision is to produce the most interesting and delicious wines possible from his soil and site. These Rhône varieties fit the bill with wonderful complexity of fruit and spice when grown on low yield hillsides. Bottle prices range from $27- $26.
The second crafted Forchini wine is the Beausierra Bordeaux blend, named after granddaughter, Sierra. A co-fermented blend of classic Bordeaux grapes from Estate Forchini Dry Creek using Cabernet, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, it’s aged 18-months in neutral French and new American oak barrels for a deep, rich wonderful wine that pairs well with food of all sorts. Bottle price is $28.
Producing world-class single vineyard Cabernet Franc since 2005, Merriam Vineyards now has two separate single vineyard wines: Estate Wind Acre Vineyard and Dry Creek Valley’s Jones Vineyard, totaling about 150 cases each per year. Prices range from $40 - $45 per bottle.
Paul Mathew Vineyards
Paul Mathew Vineyard’s “Knight's Valley Turner Vineyard Valdiguie” is a new discovery for many happy customers looking for a unique wine that has character, a great price point and is fun with food. Paul Mathew Vineyards has been purchasing two acres of this Valdiguie varietal from Knights Valley since 2004. It was introduced to Mat as Napa Gamay and he decided to make a Beaujolais-style red using 100-percent carbonic maceration and stem inclusion. Originally labeled as a Gamay Noir, Mat later discovered that Napa Gamay was tested by UC Davis to be a grape named Valdiguie. The name on the label has since been changed for the next vintage and still has the same consistent following. The 2012 is currently offered in the tasting room for $20 per bottle.
Siduri & Novy Family Wines
Four-Mile-Creek Red Table Wine is Siduri & Novy Family Wines’ version of a Côtes-du-Rhône with a distinctly California twist. Similar to many Southern Rhône reds, this wine is a blend of Syrah and Grenache, but with a generous dose of Zinfandel to complete the blend. Siduri & Novy Family Wines began producing this blend in 2008, in an effort to provide its customers with a great drinking, yet value-priced wine during a difficult economic time. The suggested retail price is $14 per bottle.