Bye Bye Until the Fall

::cries:: This was my last bottle of David Coffaro wine until the fall when my futures case arrives. I wish I could have brought home more, but with the futures case and the 2 bottles I did bring home, I already bought 14 bottles which was more than double the number I bought at any other winery on our trip!

The wine of the evening was a 2005 David Coffaro Zinfandel. I did bring home two bottles of this, but I had purchased one with the intent of giving it to my neighbors as a thank you gift for taking in our mail while we were gone…so it was the only bottle I had for my personal consumption! I purchased this wine at the winery for $26, it had a screw cap closure like all of David Coffaro’s wines, and it clocked in at 15.2% alcohol by volume.

On the nose I found vanilla, blackberry, cedar, oak, and espresso. It needed a bit of time to open up, so I was glad I unscrewed it a bit before dinner! In the mouth the wine showed black cherry and blackberry, with a little bit of spice and oak. The fruit tasted very fresh and juicy, I loved this bottle of win.

I served the wine with grilled marinated chicken (I promise it just looks burnt, the marinade crisps up like that!), rice pilaf, and corn on the cob. It worked because the chicken was kind of a heavier dish and had a lot of flavor from being marinated, plus, this was a giant knock you down kind of Zinfandel.

(See the pretty flowers Matt brought me?)

Purchasing Futures

On our 3rd and last day tasting on our recent CA trip, we met up with Russ the Winehiker at Bella first thing in the morning (more on Bella later.) We enticed Russ (well, really, it didn’t take much arm twisting….) to come out with us for a few stops on Wednesday before he had to head back home by dangling Bella and David Coffaro as stops in front of him!

Our second stop of the day was at David Coffaro. Three other people were at the tasting bar when we sidled up and I whipped out my notebook and started writing. Steve, who was pouring our tasting, took a look and decided I looked serious, so grabbed a wine thief and offered us a barrel tasting. Apparently this was to be the trip of barrel tasting! We tasted everything David Coffaro had in barrels and purchased a case of futures which will be bottled later this year and shipped to us when we decide the weather is good enough!

David Coffaro sells the vast majority of his wines through his futures program, so you pretty much have to go to the winery to get your hands on any of them. However, I promise you, it is worth your time to stop. I’ve found the wines to be excellent values over the years, especially if you purchase in futures as the prices go up the closer he gets to releasing the wines! Also note, all the wines are bottled under screw caps, but as I can attest to, having a couple of 2003s still hanging out in the basement, the screw caps work just fine.

The following were all barrel tastings. Picture above is Steve posing for me between barrels….I warned him it would appear here!

2007 Zinfandel: Price now: $17. Price on release: $26. 83% Zinfandel, 17% Spicy Cabernet. 590 cases. Vanilla, blackberry, dark fruit.

2007 My Zin: Price now: $17. Price on release: $26. 75% Zinfandel, 14% Tannic Cabernet, 11% Petite Sirah. 610 Cases. Blackberry, black cherry, vanilla, tart, slight red fruit.

2007 Estate Cuvee: Price now: $17. Price on release: $26. 465 cases. 33% Zinfandel, 33% Spicy Cabernet, 25% Carignan, 9% Peloursin. Dark oak, berries, red fruit. We loved this one and put 3 bottles in our futures case.

2007 Terre Melange: Price now: $17. Price on release: $25. 365 cases. 49% Peloursin, 29% Mourvedre, 17$ Syrah, 5% Grenache. Leather, a little earth, red berries, still prickly from fermenting!

2007 Carignan: Price now: $17. Price on release: $25. 270 cases. 100% Carignan. Blueberries, vanilla, a touch of red fruit.

2007 Escuro: Price now: $17. Price on release: $25. 500 cases. 35% Petite Verdot, 33% Petite Sirah, 32% Cabernet. Chocolate, pepper, dark berries, spice, tannic, a dark wine.

2007 Block 4: Price now: $19. Price on release: $32. 765 cases. Field blend: 50% Zinfandel, 25% Petite Sirah, 5% Peloursin, 5% Syrah, 5% Carignan, 10% other. Chocolate, cherries, blueberries, pepper. 3 bottles made it into out case.

2007 Aca Modot: Price now: $19. Price on release: $32. 525 cases. 38% Cabernet, 21% Petite Verdot, 18% Malbec, 16% Cab Franc, 7% Merlot. Barny, leather, saddle, red berries, very Bordeaux-like.

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon: Price now: $18. Price on release: $28. 185 cases. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Smells very good, red strawberry, red berries, still a bit prickly, but great. 3 bottles made our case.

2007 Petite Sirah: Price now: $17. Price on release: $26. 335 cases. 100% Petite Sirah. Blueberry pie, vanilla, pepper, earth, very good. 3 bottles went into our case.

The whole case ran us $213. If we had been able to pull off a second case of futures (which I really really wanted to do) we could have had the whole case for $201 as the deal at David Coffaro is that if you buy 2 cases of futures you are in the Circle and get $2 off on all futures and 30% off on bottled wine, which applies to the next two vintages after you by your first two cases. Maybe on the next trip! This was our second visit to David Coffaro and I will certainly be stopping by again. The wine are consistently excellent and I highly recommend them.

Already in bottles we tasted:

2005 Zinfandel: $26. Old vines (really old, planted in the 1890s!). Smoky, chocolate, blackberries, a bit of reddish fruit, tart. Took home two bottles, one for us and one for our neighbors who kindly took in our mail for us while we were gone.

2005 Escuro: $26. Strawberry, herby leather, blueberries.

2006 Fresco: 22% Alvarelhao, 21% Tempranillo, 21% Tinto Cao, 20% Peloursin, 16% Carignan. Cedar, big berries, red fruit, mint.

2005 Petite Sirah: Blueberry cream, pie, tasty, one of my favorites. I wanted to take more home, of this in particular, but Matt was giving me the: it’s only noon and you’ve already bought enough wine look…

2007 Sauvignon Blanc: Only tasted this briefly before we were whisked away for a barrel tasting, but this was my kind of Sauvignon Blanc. Green pepper, grapefruit, tart, crisp, lip smacking acidity.

We walked away from David Coffaro with purple lips and stained teeth, but having tasted some great wine. I am very much looking forward to my futures case arriving in the mail and I will of course post reviews of those bottles as we consume them. It’ll be fun to see how the bottled wine compares to my (brief) barrel notes!

"My Zin"

It’s been a bit of zinfandel couple of weeks for us. Our weather is a little kooky these days (73 one day and ice and snow the next) so I’m not sure how many more weeks of “big red” wine drinking we’re going to get. Though I am looking forward to a return to some light whites and roses (not that I really laid off them too much this winter) with spring just around the corner!

We drank this 2005 David Coffaro “My Zin” with some pasta and homemade tomato sauce, sprinkled with fresh parmasean. It cost us $26.00 at Coffaro last summer, was 15% alcohol by volume and had a screw-cap closure. This is an unfiltered/unfined wine.

On those nose I found currants, spicy oak (does that even make any sense?) and blackberries. The wine was a bit hot to start with. The alcohol is big on the nose, but it quickly blows off. In the mouth it shows smoothly after letting it sit for a few minutes. The taste is of blackberries and spice. After an hour or so I get a little chocolate and earth showing in the glass.

This wine worked well with our dinner because it tend to make a sweeter tomato sauce and the spiciness of the wine was a good complement to the sweet sauce flavors.

Drink it now!

We had a bottle of 2005 David Coffaro Pinot Noir to drink tonight. It cost us $25 at David Coffaro and had a screw-cap closure which was nearly impossible to open. I paired it with garlic herb chicken, mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.

Currants, spice and a hint of vanilla on the nose. In the mouth, cherries. And just a bit of spice. It’s incredibly smooth. There isn’t a hint of a tannin or any bite in this wine. I would suggest drinking it now or fairly soon. It didn’t need to be decanted at all, except for the fact that there is quite a bit of sediment since this is an unfiltered wine.

After an hour, I got raspberries on the nose and in the mouth. What I found odd about this wine was that it looked like a much older Pinot Noir, the color was darker and less ruby than most young Pinot Noirs. Overall, this was a delicious wine and quite a value for $25! Perhaps the layering of flavors that appears actually suggests that it could be aged longer. However, I must say, it taste pretty darn good the way it is.

David Coffaro 2003 Terre Melange

Tonight we enjoyed the 2nd of our 3 bottles of David Coffaro 2003 Terre Melange. The bottle had a nose of berries and black cherries. In the mouth it was big, with currants and cherries. It had a very earthy character over all. The fruits were very subtle, the finish was sharp and long.

We picked these bottles up while visting Coffaro in Sonoma. This one was $24, plastic cork closure, 13.9% alcohol by volume. What an interesting place Coffaro was. The tasting room is in a very large old barn. Lots of sports memorabilia on the walls. Also, an enormous tv screen (I think it may have been a pull down projection screen) at the far end of the barn playing a game, wieght benches and lots of couches. Fun place to visit. The vineyards dog was quite friendly and gave us the once over as we walked in.

Coffaro sells most of its wine in futures sales, and only 30 cases of this Terre Melange were even made, so we were excited to be able to take a few bottles home with us. I think I will keep the other one around for another year or so to see if the finish mellows out at all. Overall, a very tasty bottle, but with lots of sediment!