The Wine Road Barrel Tasting is the first two weekends of March, and here’s a peek at some of the wineries that will be participating. Naturally the focus will be on their barrel samples, and the excitement about investing in futures, or bottlings that will typically be ready for the market in 12 to 18 months. That said, these wineries may have some of these bottlings on hand for purchase, as well, and they won’t disappoint. Check www.wineroad.com to route yourself for the 40th anniversary of the barrel tasting, which is March 3-5, and March 10-12, with wineries open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Porter Creek, 2014 Mendocino County Old Vine Carignane, 13%, $24. A lovely carignane with tangy fruit of cherry, pomegranate and currant. Bright acid. Top rate.
Holdredge, 2015 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 14.3%, $38. A striking pinot noir, layered with flavors of black cherry, herbs and cracked black pepper. What makes it a standout out is its tangy fruit coupled with its undercurrent of spice. Complex, with bright acidity. Rock star.
Hanna Winery’s Elias, 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 14.6%, $53. This is a rich, yet crisp chardonnay that’s Chablis-like, with notes of apple, pear and mineral. Bright acidity. Nice length.
Siduri, 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 14.3%, $27. This is a pretty pinot noir that’s also edgy. It has bright red raspberry fruit and crisp acid, which makes it a lovely food pairing. It also has layered flavors, with notes of mushroom and smoke. Well crafted. (Siduri is open the first weekend only, according to the www.wineroad.com website).
Kendall-Jackson, 2013 Vintner’s Reserve Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5%. $24. This is solid cab with generous blackberry fruit, subtle spice and a hint of mocha. Ripe tannins. Seamless texture. (Kendall-Jackson is open the first weekend only according to the www.wineroad.com website.)