January 25th, 2010

full steam ahead

Wine tasting in Livermore

No, I wouldn't have thought of it as a wine area either but when we told spikeiowa we wanted to take our SF friends Iain and Monica wine tasting she said she wanted to go to Livermore and then we dragged along Jon & Tamzen because - well, just because and we had 7 people, 6 of whom were having breakfast at the Original Pancake ahouse in Fremont, 1 of whom could count and 1 of whom knew the way. Still haven't had the clam pancakes because the bacon pancakes and potato pancakes are too good. We started by heading to Thomas Coyne, trusting the GPS and going round in circles three times before finding it... when we got there, it's a big barn of a place with a nice mix of very drinkable rhone styles but no particlar standout for me (the Quest is a great table wine). After some debate (Tom said, well if Tom said) we stopped at Eckert, which is a little house you'd expect an aunt to be living in. Very fragrant Semillion, very drinkable field red of 8 italian varieties and a cab sauv with a touch of smoke from the barrell, plus a desert primitivo. Page Mill had a cat, two forgettable chardonnays, a superb alexander valley chardonnay, a couple of reds I liked but don't remember as well as the lovely violet and tobacco zinfandel or the yummily cherry syrah or the stunning but over-priced leathery petit syrah. Murietta's Well has a legend with an aura and a tasting room list we spurned for the barrel tasting: a sauv blanc that was buttery like chardonnay, a tempranillo with portuguese varieties, a tempranillo with different additions, I think a petit syrah and one wine from the barrel that was soft enough to be agreeable but not memorable. Back to Mountain View for Mexican (mole and somethink remarkably like butter chicken and much besides) and gelato classico and then back to pack - as tomorrow we are homing pigeons. muchas gracias to our delightful tasting companions today!