Red Wine Lovers-Sonoma Valley

Old Dec 17th, 2004, 10:12 AM
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Red Wine Lovers-Sonoma Valley

Hi! My husband and I are spending our 6 year anniversary in Sonoma (just one night) then SFO (3 nights) next month. We are only lovers of RED wine--so what wineries would be the best ones for us to hit in Sonoma Valley? Thanks.
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 10:24 AM
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Rafanelli. Wonderful zin and cabernet. You can't find them anywhere except there and a handful of top restaurants around the country.
You need to put your order in for new releases.
Nice, small family operation and excellent friendly minitour and tasting.

Don't miss this one!
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 10:39 AM
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You have to make a reservation for Rafanelli. They give you a passcode to get in the gate. You will find them on www.wineroad.com

I also like Davis Bynum for great reds.
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 10:41 AM
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I like Ledson and Blackstone makes a really nice Merlot. Ask for the award-winning Merlot. They also make a nice Pinot Noir.

Valley of the Moon is funky with pretty good wines. I just had a very nice Zin from Kunde that we picked up last March. Chateau St. Jean is also very pretty with good wine. Do their Reserve tasting. Cheers! ***kim***
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 11:44 AM
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If you like red wines, you might want to consider Arrowood Vineyards.

Some of their wines have been very highly rated. Their 97 reseve speciale cab got 97 points from Parker.

http://www.arrowoodvineyards.com/index.asp
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 12:24 PM
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If you like zins, Ravenswood in the town of Sonoma has some excellent ones.
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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The Russian River Pinot Noirs and the Carneros PN's are fine, but I prefer the Sta Lucia Highlands PNs - they seem to have the right clones and terroir.
M
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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A.Rafanelli is in the Dry Creek
area of Sonoma County (north of Sonoma town). If you chose to go up there for the day I would certainly chose nearby wineries there, and in the Healdsburg area-you'll be a good hour from Sonoma town.

Good websites are Sonoma.com-very good for showing you all the different areas in Sonoma County and, as Grasshopper mentioned, wineroad.com (paticularly for the Russian River/Healdsburg areas.)

Sonoma Valley(where Sonoma town is) has some wonderful wineries not yet consumed by the mega-corporations. Favorites of mine are:

Gundlach-Bundschu-for their Beritage
blend and Merlot

Kaz-probably the smallest winery open to the public-the wine is as good as the label
designs-many Bordeaux blends-do try
the Flying Star if they are pouring it!

Cline-a marvelous Mourvedre and many zins

B.R. Cohn-has an a nice estate Cabernet.

Do have a lovely anniversary trip here!
R5
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 05:25 PM
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Another vote for Rafanelli's.

Make an appointment and, if, for some reason you can't get through the gate with your car, park across the road and then hike up the hill. Worth the hike - not to be missed!

BR Cohn has wonderful olive oil as well.

Over in Napa Valley, there's Staglin's. Check out their website. Have never visited, but love their wine.

Cheers!
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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If you are willing to devote some time to a half-day trip or so outside of the Sonoma Valley, check out Brutocao in the Anderson Valley - north of Sonoma in Mendocino County. They are famous for deep, powerful reds. A sideline is their port and dessert wines - also very rich and good - I've given them as gifts for years. The Anderson Valley is a very worthwhile destination - not as developed as the Sonoma and Napa areas, kind of the way Napa was 20 years ago. The drive up on Route 128 is very pretty, lots of redwoods and farmland. Restaurants and inns are not as plentiful there, but I can recommend the Boonville Hotel for dinner. If you go all the way west on 128 (about an hour past Boonville) you end up on the Mendocino coast, after driving through some very deep redwood forest.
Have a lovely trip, and do stock your cellar with wines to remember it by!
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 07:08 PM
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You may want to look at www.bestinsonoma.com for information about Sonoma restaurants, wineries,etc.
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Old Dec 17th, 2004, 09:08 PM
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Hartford has some truly excellent zinfandels. You have to join their wine club to be able to buy the most popular ones but it's worth it.

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Old Dec 20th, 2004, 06:07 PM
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The best reds? Too many....Meeker in Geyserville. Your teeth will be black. Take your time here. Rosenblum tasting room in Healdsburg. Check their ratings in Wine Spectator! If you stay in Healdsburg, touring won't be a problem. Limerick Lane, Ferrari-Carrano's 2 new reds- yum! Foppiano's Petite Syrah. Rochembo- huge reds at great prices.
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Old Dec 20th, 2004, 06:19 PM
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There was a wine tasting room right next door to the Oakville Grocery in Healdsburg. Don't go there. Their wines were horrible in my opinion. They were wines from another region, which I can't recall, but Yuck!!
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Old Dec 25th, 2004, 03:07 PM
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For monster reds, don't miss Ridge. The tasting fee and the wine prices are above average, but the power and flavors of their reds are unbeatable.
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Old Dec 26th, 2004, 08:34 AM
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Make sure you see the movie sideways before your trip. It will give you good wine tips and it is a great movie.
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Old Dec 26th, 2004, 01:05 PM
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Sideways was filmed at wineries and
vineyards not in Sonoma Valley or
Northern Ca, but in the Santa Ynez
Valley-a bit over 2 hrs.north of L.A.
R5
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Old Dec 27th, 2004, 01:05 PM
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Get the WineSpectators January2005 issue. The Top 100 etc. I normally take what they say with a large grain of salt BUT, they picked some true stunners, some from Sonoma.

If you can, spend the 3 nights in Sonoma and 1 night in SF...wink!
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Old Dec 27th, 2004, 04:39 PM
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What kind of wine goes with large grain salt? :-?
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Old Dec 27th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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A "Wine" Spectator or course!
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