Visiting Brutocao Cellars

As we drove through the Anderson Valley on our first day in CA, I noticed we passed Brutocao Cellars on the way to Roederer Estates. I thought to myself that we should stop on our way back if we had time, since Brutocao holds a special place for us. On our first wine country trip, we had dinner at the Lion’s Den Bistro which is run by Brutocao Cellars. We were the only people there, it was our honeymoon, and it was a very memorable time. Made even more so by the fact that our kind server had offered to let us take home our favorite open bottle that had been poured during the pairing dinner, but when we got back to the bed and breakfast, we discovered he had given us a brand new bottle! We gleefully took it home and stashed it away, and drank it last summer on our first anniversary.

We did wind up with some time on our way back out of the Anderson Valley, so we made a stop at Brutocao. Brutocao is house in a large barn type structure. Inside, there’s a huge tasting bar and the tasting room is large, open, and very well lit from skylights. Sadly, the tasting room attendants didn’t seem too interested in us, one lady was selling some headbands she makes to other customers, and the other lady didn’t seem to know much, as I asked her about the Lion’s Den and she had no idea what I was talking about.

2006 Sangiovese: $14. Strawberries, not very dry.

2006 Pinot Noir: $26. Strawberries, cherries, earth, spice, good fruit.

2004 Reserve Merlot: Dark fruit, berries, cherries, a fun wine.

2005 Merlot: $20. Funkier, smoky, dark cherries.

2005 Primitivo: Plummy, musty fruit, cherry, spice pepper.

2005 Zinfandel: Deep nose, red fruit, licorice, smooth, really integrated, good fruit.

2005 Uber Tuscan: Cherry, currants, red fruit.

2005 Quadriga: Vanilla, cream, berries, great nose, nice finish, good fruit. Our favorite, we took home two.

2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: Funky berries, wood, leather, saddle.

Oddly enough, we also took home two Sauvigon Blancs, and one 2006 Zinfandel, but I can’t find my notes for those. Perhaps I wrote them on the tasting menu, I have that somewhere, but can’t locate it at the moment. In all, a mix of wines here, with some I really liked. I think I mostly just annoyed at the tasting room.

2005 Merlot Mistelle: $24. Super sweet, chocolate/cherry syrup.


One Response

  1. My wife and I also enjoyed Brutocao. We had a few of their wines come through Wine of the Month Club, but then one day one of the vineyard managers came to Chicago selling grapes for home wine makers. After talking to him, we decided to stop by the Hopland location on our “mini-moon”.

    We also loved the Quadriga, buying a couple. Also the Zinfandel port was outstanding.

    We picked up some Pinot Noir also so hopefully someday we can do a tasting from the area wineries.

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