Because of COVID we had to make reservations in advance for each place, so we only did 1-2 places per day, which forced us to relax at each a bit more than in previous trips.
Our first winery of the trip, and one we’ve visited many times for their Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. We were seated at a small table on the patio for our tasting. Sadly, they only had one Pinot Gris left on the menu, but thankfully it was quite nice. Leandra tried the Reserve flight which was all reds and included two side by side tastings of Pinot Noirs from the same year but different vineyards/soil types. Her favorite was the 2017 Heritage Cuvee for value and it’s fruit and smoky notes.
One the three wineries where we are members, we had a nice table on the corner of the porch, and ended up spending >2 hours on our tasting here. The new white blend “Odyssey of the Bee” was my favorite, with the “Riddle Me This” Bubz a close second. Leandra enjoyed her two Pinot Noirs and her fave, a 2014 “Sketches of Spain” Tempranillo.
Brooks has both wine and food, so we paired our tasting with Chef Norma’s roasted Brussels sprouts. As members, we were also able to buy bottles to drink on premises for half off, so we tried their sparkling Riesling. It is quite carbonated, so we preferred to swirl it a bit, but otherwise found it a pleasant and dry sparkler. Otherwise, my favorite was the 2018 Ara Riesling, and Leandra’s was the stunning Red Letter Pinot Noir.
The only new-to-us winery on this trip, we greatly enjoyed talking with the owner about his wines, which we quite liked. And we had the whole place to ourselves!
For me, the Brut Rosé and the 2020 Pinot Gris Rosé were standouts, and Leandra really liked the 2016 “Dundee” Reserve Pinot Noir. Altogether we ended up putting together a whole case to bring home with us!
Since Argyle’s specialty is sparkling wine we felt it only fitting for our anniversary. Much like Brooks, their member tasting was more limited than usual (“due to Covid”) but we were able to try most of the wines that we were most interested in. As expected, the new 2011 Extended Tirage was quite lovely and Leandra enjoyed the 2018 Ojo Brilloso flight.
Our final tasting of the trip, we’ve gone here each time we’ve stayed at La Bastide (since they have a free tasting arrangement). We made a reservation for our final morning, and with the lovely weather and a chatty, knowledgeable server it made for a nice conclusion to our time in the valley.