Sunday, December 13, 2009

2009 Barrel tasting at Woodside

Woodside Vineyards is a small 2000 case winery located on Kings Mountain Road in Woodside. Bonded in 1963, it's one of the wineries that helped define the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. Each year Woodside vineyards offers futures on their estate Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, and opens the winery for barrel samples. It was expected that this year's tasting would be in the new facility, but progress has been slow on that front, so we got one more chance to taste at the old facility. Forgive the image quality; I left my camera at home, so took these with my phone.

First, a white to try. I was standing very close to a smoky wood fire while tasting this, which affected my perception, hence the lack of a point score.

2007 Estate Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains
Nose of lemon and wet stone. Oak seemed very pronounced, good lemon & lime flavours, Crisp finish. No rating, but I bought some to try again later.

Winemaker Brian Caselden poured three barrel samples in the barrel room. The 2008 Pinot Noir will remain in barrel for a few months more; the 2007 Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon have already been bottled - these barrels were held back for the tasting.

The futures offering gives a 25% discount over the list price, with half payable now and the remainder (including the sales tax) payable on delivery, a year from now. Minimum purchase is 12 bottles.

2008 Pinot Noir barrel sample
Sourced from four different vineyards, with new, 1 year and 2 year old French oak barrels. 8 out of 12 barrels made the blend.
Quite dark colour (though it was fairly dark in the room).
Oak and chocolate on the nose, a little smoke, not much fruit on nose at this stage.
Earthy, with liquorice root, red berry and black cherry. Oak prominent on the finish. 88-90 $36 list, $27 futures.

2007 Zinfandel barrel sample
Smoky, with raspberry and blackberry.
Rich, spicy raspberry fruit with a hint of cinnamon; peppery on the finish. Great value. 90-92 $30 list, $22.50 futures.

2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon barrel sample
The Estate Cabernet is the bigger brother to the softer King's Mountain Cab (which isn't offered on futures) and typically requires some cellar time.
Nose shows blackcurrant and blackberry, with espresso notes. Plenty of acidity and fine tannins. At this stage the fruit is restrained and the finish soft. 88-90 $40 list, $30 futures.

Finally Brian offered their newly released port:

2005 Port
Made from Zinfandel. As I've said before, I'm not much of a fan of port-style wines unless they are made from the traditional port grapes; I'd sooner have the genuine article.
Lightly oxidised, bright raspberry nose and sweet, spicy raspberry flavours. Well made, but not my thing. 84, but that's just me. $30 for 500ml

Update: See Wes Barton's take on the tastings too.