Winter in the Wine Country

The skies opened up in January, helping ease a three year drought by filling local reservoirs and bringing significant snowfall in the Sierras. More rain is in sight and it is welcomed. As the vines are dormant this time of year there has been virtually no harm to the vineyards.

Our bottling schedule is ramping up. The 2009 Sonoma County Rose′ of Pinot Noir is now in bottle and will be released later this month. We will soon bottle our 2009 Russian River Valley Riesling for a spring release. After that we will bottle our 2008 Pinot Noirs: the 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir; and the 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Garagistes.

Had the usual crazy time at this year’s ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers) tasting at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Thousands of people attended and we poured nonstop from 10 am until the final buzzer at 5pm. Evelyn, Rick, Heather and I met lots of old friends and made dozens of new ones. We’ll do it again later this month (February 20th) at the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine Competition public tasting, also held at Fort Mason. We’ll pour our 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, a BEST OF CLASS award winner.

Positive critical reviews continue, this month from the highly regarded CONNOISSEURS’ GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA WINE. Our 2007 Russian River Valley Zinfandel Cobblestone Vineyard was awarded ONE STAR (Fine example of a type or style of wine): “This well made Zinfandel is another nice reminder that ripeness and defined fruit need not be mutually exclusive, for while a fleshy and full-bodied wine that shows a glimmer of heat here and there, it is fixed on sweet berries from front to back and gets a good boost in richness from its carefully placed oak. Its juicy leanings make it easy to like now, but it has the virtues of structure and depth and will evolve positively over the next several years.”

The 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay also received ONE STAR: “Here is a nicely focused, pleasantly fruit, mid-sized Chardonnay that will be a perfect mate to a wide variety of dishes. Its fruit is keyed on the sweet apple part of the varietal spectrum, and its balance of acid and medium-full body is enhanced by its fairly smooth and inviting texture. It is precise, pristine and priceworthy. GOOD VALUE

Check out our online specials, our CONVERSATION WITH EVELYN series, the SF Chronicle Tasting, and the upcoming Russian River Wine Road Barrel Tasting. Or just stop on by for some West County hospitality. There’s a lot going on at Taft Street.

Cheers,

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

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