Saturday, January 7, 2012

Point Reyes Vineyards

On our drive up the coast to Bodega Head we stopped at the small winery, Point Reyes Vineyards. It sits on a low rolling hill right off of Hwy 1 just outside Point Reyes Station. The gracious tasting room hostess, Anne, told us that they source most of their grapes from Marin and the vines outside the tasting room are for sparkling production. The tasting room is a large spacious room with a fireplace. They served delicious cheese from a local Creamery in addition to their wines. There are a few cheese companies (some have tasting rooms) in the area along the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail. The winery also runs an inn on the premise.

They have a wide variety of choices from sparkling to whites to reds and even a dessert wine. They don't have all their wines open to taste on any given day and they don't have the same bottles open every time. So, conceivably, one could go there a couple times without much overlap. In addition to the variety and ambiance, I also appreciated the range in ages of the wine. So often at tasting rooms you are tasting wines that should be shelved for a few years, but here all the red wines are aged and released when the winemaker says it is ready. Some of the wines still have room to age, but at least they aren't super young.

Here is a small selection of the wines I tasted:

The Blanc de Blanc Non-Vintage Marin County was a wonderful sparkling wine with citrus, pear and a slight yeastiness on the nose. Upon the palate the citrus refined itself into lemon, the yeast became more prominent and there was a floral note reminiscent of orange blossoms. This was tart and crisp and would pare wonderfully with oysters.

The 2003 Zinfandel from Bellotti Vineyard in Alexander Valley smelled like jam with fresh cracked black pepper on top. The wine was bold and balanced the tannins and alcohol with a good amount of acid. The aromas were of blueberry and blackberry and the bouquet was of black pepper and allspice. The finish lingered but not for long.

The 2005 Merlot from Marin County had strong scents of blueberry and anise as well as being slightly herbal with a hint of strawberry. The mouth feel was soft and balanced with good acidity. It tasted of dark fruit and was exquisitely herbal. It ended in a long peppery finish.

The 2006 Late Harvest Viognier is sweet at 8.4% residual sugar, but not cloyingly so. Unlike many dessert wines the alcohol is noticeable at 13.3%, but not overpoweringly so. The aromas of nectarine, lemon and pine wafted from the glass. Then in the mouth it was slightly oily as most Late Harvest Viogniers are and it tasted of Meyer's lemon and nectarines and was completely delectable.

In conclusion, whether you are driving out to Pt. Reyes for hiking, oysters, cheese, kayaking on Tomales Bay, or taking your kids to the Miwok Village (which I loved as a kid!!!) you should definitely take the time to stop at this little winery.   

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