Calistoga is a venue that provides a nice and relaxed atmosphere for a wine tasting, it's a world away from the hustle and bustle of Rose Street/George Street. I'd been looking forward to the De Loach tasting after getting the low down from the vineyard website. The website is extremely well designed and takes you on a detailed tour of the vineyard (link below).
From the De Loach range we tasted:
Chardonnay - Russian River Valley 2007
Pinot Noir - Russian River Valley 2007
Pinot Noir - Green Valley 2005
Zinfandel - California 2006
Forgotten Vines Zinfandel - Sonoma County 2006
Oaked Chardonnay isn't a personal favourite. Although in this one the oak isn't the only thing happening in the glass and I like the ripe white fruit aromas. The 14.5% alcohol is pretty evident on the nose too. It's pretty rounded on the palate and gets a thumbs up from the fans of this type of wine around the table.
There's over £10 difference in price between the two Pinot Noirs (the Green Valley being the pricier of the two). I like them both; the Russian River Valley offers the light red fruit packed option where as the Green Valley offers a spicier, earthier and smooth tannins. It's like moving from a summer lunchtime with friends to a winter's evening with someone special.
The two Zinfandels are worlds apart, the older vines of Sonoma County offering a complex mix of black fruits, tobacco and a long finish, it's crying out for a game meats to try and tame it. The basic Californian Zinfandel is just that, it's a fruity little number that's an easy drinking simple wine.
I would loved to have heard more about the eco friendly/biodynamics approach but the presenter on the night didn't know too much about it, another visit to the website is all that's required though.
Click here to find out more about the wines and the production methods
Click here to discover Calistoga a great place that offers an extensive list of Californian wine in Edinburgh, meals and wine tastings