New Release: 2008 Garagistes Pinot Noir

2008 Russian River Valley Garagistes Pinot Noir - Zoom

Classic Pinot Noir. New for 2012.

We are very excited to share this wine with our family and friends.

This wine is a homage to the “garagistes” tradition of crafting small lots of outstanding fruit in other than a chateaux environment – in our case our experience in the 1970’s as winemakers in the Taft Street garage.

The wine’s deep red/purple color accompanies distinct varietal notes of blackberry and cherry. Balanced acidity and intriguing oak undertones are parlayed into an elegant finish.

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With St. Patrick’s Day approaching Irish cuisine is in the air. Colcannon goes well with corned beef. Traditionally it is made with cabbage, but I like Tuscan Kale for the color contrast. Any cabbage, chard or kale will work.


  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and chopped
  • I pound medium potatoes (Yukon Gold)
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 cup milk
  • Salt & pepper
  • ½ cup melted butter
  1. Blanch kale in boiling water for 1 minute. Set aside. Boil potatoes until soft. Remove and drain. When cool enough to handle, skin.
  2. Chop leeks and simmer in milk until soft.
  3. Season potatoes and mash. Stir in milk and leeks and kale. Add melted butter and mix well. Serve.

We plan to serve this with corned beef and a bottle of Taft Street 2008 Alexander Valley Merlot. Can’t wait!

Sonoma Spring

The vineyards are ablaze with mustard and wild flowers, the vineyards have been pruned and mowed, and warm days alternate with periods of much needed rain. It’s springtime in Sonoma.

The big news in the wine industry is the sharp change in the bulk market. With two lighter than normal harvests in a row and an upturn in sales, wineries have snapped up what little excess juice existed. Prices have increased dramatically, suggesting consumer bargains will be harder to come by.

In February we participated in two public events. On February 11th local wineries hosted “Sweet 116” – a terrific showcase for six of the West County’s finest family wineries. We saw over 200 visitors. On a much larger scale we poured our Gold Medal Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir and Russian River Valley Riesling to several thousand tasters at the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine Competition Tasting at Fort Mason in San Francisco on February 18th.

March is a big months for us. The first two weekends mark the Wine Road’s annual Barrel Tasting. We’ll be pouring our 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay from both new and two year old French oak barrels on Friday – Sunday, March 2 – 4; and March 9 – 11. We plan to have our Grand Reopening of the Tasting Room for the second weekend’s event. We are very excited about the progress that has been made, and we can’t wait to show off our new digs.

Marketing never sleeps. Winemaker Evelyn White and I will be off to New York City the second week of the month to work with our friends at Vision Wine Brands. The last week of the month GM Mike Martini and I are off to Chicago to participate in the Sonoma County Vintners Association tasting – Sonoma in the City. We will also meet with potential distributors.

Meanwhile, sales are up, up and up. Both distributor sales and (especially) our direct sales in California have far outstripped projections. Let it continue.

Finally, on April Fool’s Day Taft Street Winery will be 30 years old. Who would of thunk? You can still trust us, however. Come by and hoist a glass!

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery