Sonoma wineries

Phyllis and I biked around the Healdsburg area, tasting a bunch of wine. Here's what I think of what we tried.

Ridge - Good wines but many of them were not particularly distinct. Their Zins were on the subtler side, but my tongue could not detect much complexity... maybe a better palate could. They did have one Zin which was a bit spicier and fruitier, the 2006 Lytton Springs Zinfandel. We ended up buying a couple bottles of this. The Syrah was a typical California fruit-forward Syrah, which is to say it was quite good, but their petite Syrah had more complexity (along with more tanin), so I actual preferred this to the regular Syrah.

Peterson - A small winery which produces only about 5,000 cases per year. The wine was very accessible (and affordable!). Great for drinking with pizza and burgers. A lot of spice and pepper. Each wine had a very distinct personality.

Toad Hollow - Once owned by Robin Williams' brother, Todd, this winery seems to have slipped a bit from its glory days. The wines were cheap and tasted like it. Everything was kind of "eh". They did have an interesting blended wine (supposedly) composed of 18 different varietals. Unlike the other wines being poured, this one had enough going on that I bought a bottle to ponder its many different flavors while we eat smores by the fire pit at the Farmhouse Inn.

Thumbprint - This winery has decor which is a bit too cool for school, but the wine is fantastic. Our tasting started out with a voignier, which is quite possibly the best white wine I've ever had. It was rich, almost like honey (but not too sweet, either), and not oakey at all. We also tasted a fantastic cab and a blended wine going by the cutesy name of "threesome". This wine is not cheap, but Phyllis and I were sufficiently excited about it to sign up for the wine club.


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