The Barrel Festival in Sonoma was a three-day event. Since over 100 wineries were participating, I decided to spend each day in one of the sub appellations of Sonoma. Friday afternoon was spent in Russian River Valley, Saturday afternoon in Dry Creek Valley and Sunday afternoon in Alexander Valley with a stop in the town of Healdsburg which is pretty much the center of the Sonoma wine region and has many tasting rooms.
In addition to barrel tastings I was able to attend a sit down tasting at the Ramey Cellars tasting room and a tasting at the Stonestreet tasting room both in downtown Healdsburg.
Ramey Wine Cellars
2010 Chardonnay “Ritchie Vineyards” RRV: Medium gold, slightly cloudy, big honeyed nose, thick and chewy, moderate acids.
2015 Chardonnay “Ritchie Vineyards” RRV: Medium gold, closed nose of honey with green herbs, tropical fruit notes and lime custard on the fruit.
2015 Chardonnay “Rochioli Vineyard” RRV: Medium gold, tropical fruit, toast and earth on the nose, tighter than Ritchie with tropical fruit on notes, clean finish.
2015 Chardonnay Estate “Westside Farms” RRV: Clear medium gold with green tints, big peach nose with lime notes on the finish.
2016 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley: Clear medium purple, plummy nose, raspberry jam on the moderate fruit, tight with some heat at the end.
2014 Syrah “Rodgers Creek Vineyard”: With 10% Viognier, dark red with a perfume of crushed fruit and black pepper on the nose, chewy, spicy with firm tannins.
2015 “Template” Napa Valley: Merlot focused blend, medium to dark red with a perfume of pencil shavings and crushed black fruit, silky dark fruit ending with firm tannins. Only 139 cases made.
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon “Annum” Napa Valley: This is their “winemaker’s wine”, dark red with dusty green notes on the nose, juicy and plummy with firm tannins on the long finish.
Stonestreet Estate Vineyards High altitude grown wines
2015 Estate Cuvee Sauvignon Blanc: Medium gold, toasty, oily nose, moderate oily fruit and acids, mouth-watering.
2015 Chardonnay “Broken Road”: Medium gold with a greenish tint, toasty nose, moderate tropical fruit and acids, toast notes on the nose.
2016 Chardonnay “Red Point”: Light yellow with greenish tints, tight, toasty tropical fruit on the finish.
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon “Bear Point Vineyard”: Dark purple, black olives, bell pepper and pencil shavings on the nose, tight and concentrated with black olive notes on the fruit.
2014 Red Blend “Ridge Walk Mountains”: Dark red to black, dark chocolate on the nose, firm silky red fruit, balance, long finish.
Alexander Valley Vineyards: 2017 Estate Pinot Noir, 2014 Sin Zin, 2013 Cyrus Bordeaux Blend.
Acorn Winery: 2015 Cabernet Franc Alegria Vineyard, 2015 Syrah Axiom, 2014 Zinfandel Heritage Vines.
Christopher Creek Winery: 2018 Pinot Noir Bacigalupi, 2018 Pinot Noir Estate, 2016 Pinot Noir Love Vineyard.
David Coffaro Winery: 2018 Zinfandel, 2018 Estate Cuvee, 2018 Terre Melange.
Merriam Vineyards: 2017 Malbec Lower Pond, 2017 Cabernet Franc Windacre, 2017 Right Bank Bordeaux Blend, 2017 Miktos Bordeaux Blend.
Porter Creek Vineyards: 2018 Chardonnay RRV, 2018 Pinot Noir Fiona Hill Vineyard, 2018 Carignane Old Vine.
Soda Rock Winery: 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Twisted Rail, 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon The General, 2018 Primitivo Los Amigos.
Viszlay Vineyards: 2018 Chardonnay, 2017 Pinot Noir.