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Sonoma - Sauvignon Blanc

Old Feb 24th, 2007, 06:23 AM
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Sonoma - Sauvignon Blanc

My wife and I will be travelling to Sonoma next month and I am lining up vineyards to visit. I have a number of pinot specialists already set. My wife is a sauvignon blanc fan, and I wondered if anyone had any recommendations for vineyards in Sonoma that we should consider.

Thanks!
Ben
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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Grgich Hills in Rutherford makes one of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs, but I've never visited the winery, so I don't know how it is for tasting:

http://www.grgich.com/index.html
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 07:32 AM
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That's in Napa Valley, Nora.

Here's a little ditty from the SF Chronicle, which holds competitions yearly:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...IGSKKLAEO1.DTL
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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Kenwood makes a really nice Sauv Blanc and is reasonably priced. She may also like the Vintage White there, it is the wine put in the rooms at the Sonoma Mission Inn, very good.

If you are ever in Carmel Valley, check out the Bernardus or the Georis Sauv Blancs, Ventana in this area is also excellent. ***kim***
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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Not sure what particular part of the Sonoma region is of focus (I note your comment on pinots so wondering if you are straying over towards the Russian River side of Sonoma county closer to Healdsburg where there are some fabulous pinots such as Rochioli, Davis Bynum, etc)? If so, that is also where some of the Sauvignon Blancs that I really like would be located such as DeLoach , Gary Farrell, Lambert Bridge, Murphy Goode, etc. If you are staying closer to the town of Sonoma and Sonoma vally proper, I'd say Matanzas Creek (technically in Bennett valley) which has a great S. Blanc plus in a beautiful little valley. Basically, I think that the Alexander and Dry
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 09:39 AM
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oops - finger slipped! Anyway, the Russian River, Dry Creek, Alexander valley regions, etc tend to have more S. Blancs but within Somona valley, there is Kenwood and Mayo family with nice S. Blancs as well. Should note that Chateau St. Jean has a nice Fume if she likes those as well. Finally, as a side note, Landmark has excellent pinots and also has a Chardonnay (Overlook) that to me, trends more towards the type of chardonnay that a S. Blanc fan would like.
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions! We will be staying in Healdsburg, and indeed it appears that the Russian River Valley will be a focus. So far these are the vineyards that are on our list (in no particular order yet):
Landmark
Chateau St. Jean
Walter Hansel
Pellegrini
Papapietro
Gary Farrell
Dry Creek

(Please feel free to critique it)

Thanks for the tip on the Landmark Chard...she likes the less oaky types and their Grand Detour Pinot is one of my favorites, so that will be a must.

NorCalJo, I'll take a look at your pinot suggestions too. Not sure if we will fit all of these in, but we plan to make the most of our 2.5 days there.
Thanks again.

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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 10:06 AM
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The Dry Creek Vineyard has a great SB. I think they do it in the Fume style. Please check them out. Also, check out their Chenin Blanc. They buy the CB grapes from my DH!!!

MY
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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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Ferrari Carrano is famous for their Fume Blanc and it is a stunning winery as well.

My favorite sauvignon blancs are usually from Napa. I your wife loves the New Zealand SB's she should be aware that Ferrari Carrano's is more in the bordeaux style. No cat pee on a gooseberry bush here with their Fume Blanc. If this description doesn't ring a bell just google the expression.

HG
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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 10:22 AM
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Simi Winery is just outside of Healdsburg and make some excellent wines. http://www.simiwinery.com/ It is worth a visit.
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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 10:36 AM
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Quivira in the Dry Creek area has a very nice Savignon Blanc--and it's on such a wonderful road. We also adored the Rochioli wines(and wish we had brought far more home with us)--outside of Healdsburg - such fine pinots and savignon blancs. For fun and contrast, I also recommend you stop at Roshambo winery--less expensive Sauvignon Blanc and funky place. You didn't ask about restaurants, but we highly recommend getting the tasting/ wine pairing menus at Dry Creek Kitchen and Madrona Manor in Healdsburg. Two very different types of places - heavenly food. This was the best adult trip my husband and I have had in 20 years of marriage. We rented a convertible. Hope you have a wonderful time as well!
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Old Feb 25th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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btw..when you visit Papapietro-Perry, mosey across the parking lot and sample at Amphora. Great guy, great wines. Papapietro Perry's pinots (7 of them) just received all over 90 points in Wine Spectator.Somebody is sure to come on here and make a snide remark...cmon...anyway, they may not always be spot on, but this will bring some deserved merit to this winery. We joined their wine club and have just been blown away at what they are sending us. I highly suggest joining there- that way you can order direct and get a discount as well. Gary Ferell's pinot is also outstanding.Where are you staying in Sonoma and where are you dining?
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 06:43 AM
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Thanks to all for such great info! We are so excited about our trip (to San Francisco then Sonoma). I hope 2.5 days up there is enough to satiate me (us - I'm the bigger wino, but as mentioned she does love the SB's). We are staying at the Healdsburg Inn, in a closet apparently, as it was the only way we could afford it!

The Dry Creek Kitchen seems like a definite for 1 dinner...the other is up in the air...I've read mixed things about Cyrus, but as of now it is a possibility.

Linda, can you elaborate on wine clubs? What does it mean/entail?

Simi will likly be an addition to the itinerary, and we may eliminate the Santa Rosa leg in favor of more in/around Healdsburg.

Thakns again!
Ben
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 07:34 AM
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Hi Ben. We had free taste cards for Simi, but found it to be very crowded and not at all like most Sonoma wineries, possibly because it's well advertised and on the main drag. Plus, we found Simi wines everywhere, no great need to visit, IMO. I've heard the tour is good, possibly if that is scheduled it would be okay. Wine clubs vary from winery to winery, but usually you pay so much per quarter or year and you receive shipments at various intervals. That didn't explain much, lol. For instance, we love reds and joined the "all red" club at Rosenblum. You get the latest releases at less than cost, plus the option of reordering at a discount. It's a good way to enjoy the premium wines, too, cause those are always included somewhere in the shipment. What's nice is that we know in advance what's coming and it doesn't sit in the heat somewhere. I've not been to Cyrus....Willi's Seafood in Healdsburg is one of our very favorite. You can make a reservation at www.opentable.com
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Cyrus has recently received a Michelin rating, we will be dining there soon, I'll let you know how it goes. Dry Creek Kitchen is excellent, we did the tasting menu which was included with our room price at the Hotel Healdsburg. Cheers! ***kim***
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 07:36 AM
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I like Preston as a SB and as a winery to vist. It's a great place for a picnic. Their wines are organic.(And they are related to my absolutely favorite jam and preserve maker at the Farmers Market).
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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we can (and will)ask at the vineyards, but how much per quarter/year might one pay? I doubt we are candidats for that kind of thing, but I'd love to conisder it some time.

Kim, do post a review of Cyrus...we'd love to hear!

Thanks!
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Old Feb 26th, 2007, 09:04 PM
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Sounds like a great trip! The places you listed are great (I too love the Grand Detour Pinot!). Since you'll be in the Healdsburg area and based on a few of the wineries you already listed, you might want to consider Davis Bynum (close to Gary Farrell and "J" which has nice pinots/sparking wine/pinot gris plus they pair great little food bites with their tastings!

Finally, it may not fit into your itinerary but have you tried "The Famous Gate" Pinot by Domaine Carneros (maker of Champagne Taittinger)? It is the best and the winery is beautiful - on the southern end of Sonoma valley.

have fun!
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Old Mar 1st, 2007, 02:56 PM
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Skip Simi. It's in town and not the same feel as the out of town wineries. And the wine is fine, but not exceptional.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:03 PM
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NorCal, we did a flight of Pinot Noir tasting at Domaine Carneros last Spring, loved the "Famous Gate." Try to do the tasting in the main room as you enter, not the one downstairs, it is much more personalized for just a bit more. ***kim***
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