Tasting the Russian River

On the first night of the Wine Blogger Conference, the Russian River Valley Winegrowers hosted an “after” party. This was probably one of my favorite events of the conference this year. I’ve been really enjoying many of the wines I’ve been seeing coming out of the Russian River Valley recently, so I had hoped to try many different things at this tasting. Alas, it was late at night, palate fatigue eventually settled in, and I didn’t get to taste as much as I had intended. A good excuse to head back to CA, right? 😉 What I did taste was worth the effort, and many of the wineries had the owners and/or winemakers present to chat with us, which is always a fun time.

2006 Acorn Sangiovese: strawberry, bright fruit, pepper, spice, earth, leather, red fruit, raspberry, cherry, nice acidity, spice.

2006 Acorn Cabernet Franc: deep strawberry aroma, fresh raspberry, spice, bright, red fruit, pepper, blue fruit, tannins.

2006 Acorn Axiom Syrah: Red berries, fruit forward, cedar, spice, raspberry, creamy fruit, round, pepper, floral, roses, red fruit, strawberries, tannins.

2006 Acorn Heritage Zinfandel: Smoky, pepper, blackberry, spicy, chocolate, red berries, bright fruit, nice fruit.

2007 Freeman Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: Leather, funk, eucalyptus, mint, herbal, raspberry, dirt, black currants.

2007 Freeman Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir: Dirt, earth, berries, red fruit, raspberries, little barnyard, tart red fruit.

2006 C. Donatiello Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: Fantastic nose. Brown sugar, raspberry, black cherry cola, vanilla cream, herbs, slight milk chocolate, red fruit, nice structure.

2001 Joseph Swan Syrah: Perfumey, violets, very aromatic, roses, deep black plums, spicy, meaty, chewy, anise, pepper, plums, smooth, integrated.

2007 La Crema Russian River Valley Pinot Noir: Smoky, pepper, raspberry, cranberry, cola, floral, vanilla cream, bright red fruit, tart fruit.

I missed many of the wineries that poured at this event. However, it was markedly less crowded than the Sonoma Grand Tasting earlier in the day, which I would guess was related to it starting at 10pm. I stayed to the end, but I got caught up talking to folks so I didn’t work my way as diligently and rapidly through the offerings as I normally would have. All in all, a nice line up of wines and a good incentive for me to spend some more time in the Russian River Valley.

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