The 42nd annual Sonoma Barrel Tasting was held the first two weekends in March from Friday to Sunday each weekend. Over 100 wineries participated in the event in which you had the opportunity to sample their wines that are still aging in the barrels. The wineries also offered the opportunity to purchase “futures” of those wines at a discount.
It’s a yearly party with groups of people coming back year after year for the weekend. Many of the wineries had live bands and music and though not billed as a food event, many served nibbles.
Many of the superstar wineries in Sonoma did not participate in the event but it was a great opportunity to try the smaller, off the radar wineries that would have been overlooked at another time.
Many of the barrel wines were not surprisingly from the 2017& 2018 vintages but some wineries were pouring from older vintages in barrels as well. Surprisingly I found many of the barrel samples less harsh than I anticipated, no doubt because of the warmer growing seasons that kept the acids low. Not too long ago I had a tasting of newly bottled 2016 Bordeaux and my mouth was shriveling from all the tannin.
I was at the event the second weekend which means I missed the extensive flooding that had hit the wine region the previous week. Some wineries told me they had floodwaters coming up to the tasting room door! Since the wines were unfinished, I didn’t take notes, I just enjoyed the party.
Some of the wineries I stopped by for barrel samples:
Balletto Vineyards: 2018 Winery Block Pinot Noir, 2018 BCD Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2018 Emerson Block Pinot Noir.
Clos du Bois Winery: 2016 Fumé Blance Reserve, 2017 Chardonnay Reserve, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 2014 Briarcrest.
Davis Family Vineyards: 2017 Campbell Ranch Pinot Noir, 2017 Soul Patch Pinot Noir, 2017 Old Vines Zinfandel.
Deloach Vineyards: 2018 Estate Pinot Noir
D’Argenzio Winery: 2018 Marcucci Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2018 DeNatale Sangiovese, 2018 Marcucci Vineayrd Zinfandel, 2017 Anthesis Pinot Noir.
deLorimier Winery: 2017 Primitivo River Lane Reserve, 2016 Cabernet Franc Romazzotti, 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Crazy Creek Reserve.
Fog Crest Vineyards: 2018 Rosé.
Porter Creek Winery: 2018 Fiona Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2018 Carignane Old Vine.
Pedroncelli Winery: 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Block 007, 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Block 007.
WestWines: 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.