AVV, Trentadue and Valdez Family(!!!)

28 May

Alexander Valley Vineyards (AVV) was our first stop of the day. We carry several of their wines because of their exceptional value to price ratio. Even though they’re on the large side at 150,000 cases per year, they’re family owned and maintain control. We visited them in 2004, and the tasting room is still the same friendly place it was then, and the wines are even better.

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Lori, Jacob and Ray

We arrived right after opening and we had a nice visit with Jacob, energetic and friendly and a wine geek like us (see picture). We got to talking about pairing and one of Jacob’s cohorts brought out some cheeses for us to try….what fun. One of the cheeses was coated with coffee and lavender, from the Beehive Cheese Company, was a perfect pairing with their Cab. We re-tasted some of the wines that we have at Pairings, being reminded of how good they are for the price, along with some reserve and wine club wines that aren’t generally distributed. The Cyrus, a Bordeaux blend we have is superb. Their “primitivo” has 25% zinfandel, pointing out that although Primitivo is genetically the same as zinfandel, there are different clones.

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Outside at Trentadue

Our next stop was Trentadue, which also is family owned and has been around since being bonded in 1969. They hand-pick all their grapes, with production of about 25,000 cases. Trentadue made their name with “Old Patch”,  a jammy, spicy, inky, chocolatey, delicious blend of old vines zinfandel, petit syrah and carignan, a very popular wine at Pairings. We started with a fresh Viognier, and ended with their upper level of “La Storia” wines. We carry the La Storia zin, which has a huge jammy nose and palate. We also like their “supertuscan”, petite syrah and cab. They also make several ports, which, now that we’ve tried 5 of them, we’ll look to bring into Pairings. Their Angelica (made with mission grapes, which aren’t good for dry wine but are excellent for port, which we didn’t know), Viognier, zin and petite syrah “ports” are excellent. Trentadue also caters to the college crowd, labeling wines with the symbol from most NCAA colleges.

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Mauricio and Ray

The find of the day was Valdez Family Winery, north of Healdsburg in Cloverdale. We’d had their wine at the restaurant Zin the previous night. It was the best of a line-up of zins we tried…wonderful. Mauricio, the winemaker, led us through the tasting. The Valdez family started out as viticulturists, and manage many vineyards. In 2004 they started making wine themselves, with help from some of their famous customers (e.g., Paul Hobbs, a winemaker from Jordan, etc.). Whatever they did, it turned out great! These wines are fabulous, and we’re going to see if there’s any way to bring them into MA. The Sauvignon Blanc is awesome, as is their chardonnay (which has been served at the White House, amazing for such a small winery), the Pinot Noir, 2 zinfandels, petit syrah…all exceptional. During our discussion about many things wine we found out that Maricio loves Enkidu, which we’d visited recently (see previous blog) and also love. What can we say but “awesome tasting”.

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