During the Winemakers of Sonoma Class at the Santa Rosa Junior College, we’ve been visiting with some of the region’s most famous stars. Mike Lee charted the history of winemaking in the area and his list of Big Improvements for Better Wine, including gentler pumps, sorting tables and the ability to de-alc. a wine. His latest endeavor is in Mendocino, crafting the wines for Patiana. The ’05 Syrah is particularly delicious.
Kerry Damskey discussed his work in India with Sula and the brand which he is building locally called Palmeri. He and his wife have a tasting room in Geyserville where you can taste the Syrah and other wines that Kerry is making. Look for the Van Ness Syrah which is packed with flavor.
Last Friday we visited with Stephen and Eric Sterling at Everett Ridge. Eric shared with us the breadth of ’08 Riesling from their Cole Ranch property. It’s amazing how Riesling can shine from zero to many grams of residual sugar. From there we tasted barrel samples of Pinot from their estate in the Anderson Valley. Look for the ’07 Esterlina Reserve, which will combine the best of the barrels. Available right now is the ’06 Anderson Valley which smells sweetly of vanilla and is a supple delight right now – no delayed gratification required.
This was my second visit to the winery in the past month. During my last visit we tasted the ’07 Rieslings in Bottle which were also delicious. But the most annoying thing ever in my life of taking wine notes happened – I lost my little Moleskin notebook. So on this visit I made sure to buy a bottle of each to taste at home and renew my notes. Here’s the latest:
Esterlina, Cole Ranch, Dry Riesling 2007 There’s a full blast of lime in the nose while the mouth embraces the high acid, dry approach to Riesling. This would satisfy any Sauvignon fan who doesn’t know the joy of dry Riesling. P&B in Healdsburg 13.2% $19 at the winery
Esterlina, Cole Ranch Riesling 2007 In this wine we get the citrus again with elements of candy and perfume. The mouth offers a touch of RS to balance the acidity, making this a beautiful match for crab fresh from the shell.
Tasted one year and a half later, there is added complexity and a little creaminess as well – very nice. P&B in Healdsburg 12.3% $19 at the winery Esterlina Vineyards