Friday, December 30, 2011

A Lovely Treasure Island Tasting Room

This is a shared tasting room/winery located on Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA. The third winery sharing the space wasn't pouring any wines when I was there. They are one of four tasting rooms on Treasure Island.

The tasting room is spacious even with all the t-shirts and winery kitsch that is usually saved for the larger winery tasting rooms. The staff was very friendly and the winemaker for Stein Family Wines was pouring as well. The tasting room was busy, but not crowded when we went. They were doing a prawn paella banquet that day so when it was ready the room cleared up a bit and we were able to taste in peace. Even with the place crowded, the acoustics were such that were could hear each other and the winemaker just fine. They charge a small fee to taste up to five wines of the ten plus wines to choose from.

We started with the Stein Family Wines Gewurtztraminer 2009 Los Carneros ($22). This wine had a little more body than the typical Gewurtztraminer as there was a field blend adding some Chardonnay to the wine. Honeysuckle led the pack of floral aromas. On the tongue it remained floral, joined by honey, peach, and pear. This wine was off-dry, but the sugar was kept in harmony by the high acidity so that both were gentle nuances to this wonderful wine.

Stein's Just Joshin Tempranillo 2007 Sierra Foothills ($15) has a whimsical label which I usually don't go for, but it was a whimsical look at Tempranillo so I gave it a pass. It was much lighter than the Tempranillos I am used to such as Laetitia and wines from Rioja. It had a slightly floral nose. The palate was dominated by cinnamon, plum, and allspice. It had a little astringency and a crisp finish. At $15 it was a wonderful value.

The Knightswood Merlot 2005 Sonoma County ($28) had a nose of mocha and dry dusty earth while the palate was full of licorice, dark fruits, and red fruits. The tannins were nice and soft. The acid was a little off balance for a Merlot which helped create a quick finish.

The Knightswood Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Sonoma County ($28) has about 24% Merlot. The bouquet contained cloves and was a bit dusty while the blackberries and dark cherries showed in the mouth. The tannins showed potential, but could still use up to three years round and soften. I'm not sure if it was the abundance of Merlot or the fact that my palate was a little tired by the end of the tasting, but I didn't notice any of the typical bell pepper or eucalyptus flavors of most Cabs.   

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