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Old 06-12-2015, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Austin
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Thanks. Any comments on why you recommend these? The wines? The facilities? Other such as gardens, lakes, dogs, etc?
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Roadking2003 View Post
Thanks. Any comments on why you recommend these? The wines? The facilities? Other such as gardens, lakes, dogs, etc?
Mostly because they all make very good to great wines. I'm not all big into puffery, I'd rather taste at someone kitchen table or using an old wine barrel while standing in a pole barn than at some fancy expensive cave.

Tobin James you don't need an appointment for. It's a large tasting room but there is plenty of staff so you will be well cared for. Just belly up to the bar. They don't charge a tasting fee and their wines start in the $15 range and go up to around $80 IIR. SQN is almost impossible to get into unless you have been buying large allocations from them since day one.

I get the tasting experiences at Denner, Booker, and Linne confused with each other. Both can be tough to get into without being on their list or being referred by someone on their list, but it can't hurt to call in advance and ask. Denner is IMHO the best price to quality value in the area, hands down.

I don't think you need an appointment for Terry Hoage, and if I recall some of his football memorabilia is in the tasting room. I want to think they have a friendly dog who will greet you. (I haven't been to Paso for a few years, so some memories are faded)

As far as where to eat, I'll be honest we have been overall underwhelmed with dining in the area. Maybe we were expecting too much or just there at an off night. Artisan is probably the best of the bunch--I think they try to hard.
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:00 AM
 
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One of my favorites...not maybe so small, but still an intimate family operation of 160 acres, all estate bottled wines, without a lot of 'fancy' stuff:


Iron Horse Vineyards
9786 Ross Station Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472


I particularly got interest in the sparkling wine...(champagne to many).
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Old 06-15-2015, 09:11 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,595,142 times
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Originally Posted by Ted Bear View Post
One of my favorites...not maybe so small, but still an intimate family operation of 160 acres, all estate bottled wines, without a lot of 'fancy' stuff:


Iron Horse Vineyards
9786 Ross Station Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472


I particularly got interest in the sparkling wine...(champagne to many).
It's not Champagne. It's not in France.

Iron Horse is OK, but there are several MUCH better producers in the Napa/Sonoma area.

The best (by a very long distance) is Schramsberg, followed by Domaine Carneros (but only their higher end products.) Next would be Gloria Ferrer.

Chandon and Iron horse are in the Middle of the pack, mostly for their higher end offerings--the lower end products just aren't very good.

Korbel is at the bottom and Mumm Napa is Not worth the visit.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Laughlin, NV and Southern Colorado
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In the Paso area, highly recommend Tobin James (Zins and Cabs) and Eberle for great Cab (in addition to Turley for great Zin). For food nearby, must try Pier 46 in Templeton (near Trader Joe's). They have great seafood tacos!

In the Napa area, V. Sattui is high on my list for Zins (Black Sears, etc.) and food (also like their sparkling wine, Prestige Cuvee). They can get very busy though so go early. Much prefer Sonoma to Napa, in general. Try St. Francis for their wine and food pairing. Excellent!

In Healdsburg, try the Wilson Family wineries. They own several and if you belong to one you can taste for free at all of their wineries. Mozzocco Winery is known for their Zins and they have a nice tasting room with a neat outdoor area to enjoy your wine. Also try Pezzi King. They have THE best Zins and some of the most beautiful grounds but you do need an appointment to taste at their ranch. Otherwise they have a small tasting room in downtown Healdsburg.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:55 AM
 
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V Sattui? Really? Total tourist trap and the wine is marginal at best.

If you like Black Sears (or Howell Mountain in general) there are a dozen vintners who make MUCH better wine from that fruit.

FYI--It's going to get much more difficult to get wines made from Black Sears fruit because one of Napa's leading winemakers put most of it under contract for the next five years. The prices on the remaining rows shot up by about 500%.
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Old 06-15-2015, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Laughlin, NV and Southern Colorado
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annerk, Who do you recommend for Black Sears Zins?
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Old 06-15-2015, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Amy WJ View Post
annerk, Who do you recommend for Black Sears Zins?
Off the top of my head...

Playwright sometimes makes them when they can get the fruit at a reasonable price.

Black Sears of course makes their own, but most is sold through their list.

T-Vine makes a nice one, I think they sell either through their own web site and possibly through Vintner's Collective as well.

Robert Craig and D-Cubed have made them in the past as well, but I haven't seen them produce one for a few years now.

But as I said, a well known Napa Winemaker went in and offered a huge amount of money for almost all of the fruit starting with the 2014 harvest, so for the next five years there won't be a whole lot of Black Sears in the marketplace unless you can get an allocation from that winemakers list. Sorry, I am not liberty to say who the winemaker is, but I will say it's a female--which narrows it down some.
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Austin
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Originally Posted by annerk View Post
It's not Champagne. It's not in France.

.
Actually, that is not correct. Several California were grandfathered under the naming agreement and can still use Champagne on their labels.
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:09 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,595,142 times
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Originally Posted by Roadking2003 View Post
Actually, that is not correct. Several California were grandfathered under the naming agreement and can still use Champagne on their labels.
Actually that is not correct. They need to specifically use "California Champagne" on the label. They can not simply label as "Champagne.
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