My first day at the 2016 Wine Bloggers’ Conference (WBC16) was on a pre-conference excursion through the Livermore Valley Wine Country. This trip was the first time that I could remember tasting wines from the Livermore Valley, and I learned a few important things that have made me a permanent fan of Livermore Valley wines:
- While I’m always a Petite Sirah fan, I’m absolutely in love with the Petite Sirah coming from Livermore;
Semillon never really made a strong impression on me before, but the Semillon from Livermore, whether in a blend or on its own, are worth searching out;
- There are some really small producers in the area making limited quantities of the wines…and I loved most of them, which means I’m need to diligently get on their websites and place some online orders directly from the wineries; and
- For some unknown reason, I never paid much attention to the two largest producers in the area—Concannon Vineyards and Wente Vineyards—and that was a huge mistake on my part because they are making incredibly good wine at all price ranges.
And, with that overview in mind, let’s start at the beginning…
Our first stop was the Ghielmetti Estate Vineyard, which is a 64-acre site that provides grapes to wineries in the area, and we tasted wine from a number of them.
Vasco Urbano Wine Company (winery)
2015 Grenache Rosé
Grapes: 100% Grenache from the Ghielmetti Vineyards
Cases produced: 84
Light Salmon Pink
Strawberries and lime
Bright acid, light body, and very nicely balanced
The Steven Kent Winery (winery)
2015 “Lola” White Wine
Grapes: 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillon, both from the Ghielmetti Vineyards
Cases produced: 396
Clear, light straw yellow
Peaches, limes, and oranges with a hint of lemon curd and pear
Bright acidity with a light body
Great summer wine. I wished I had some seafood or cheese to pair with this.
3 Steves Winery (winery)
2015 Sauvignon Blanc
Medium yellow with a touch of effervescence in the glass
Something funky on the nose…maybe oysters and melon rinds? Mixed with citrus and pineapple.
The mouth was all peaches and tropical fruits
Very interesting, and probably goes really well with seafood. That said, the funkiness is not my style.
Wood Family Vineyards (winery)
Grapes: Grapes: 100% Grenache from the Ghielmetti Vineyards
Cases produced: 122
Medium ruby color
Wow…that nose! Strawberries and cherries with a touch of cinnamon
On the nose, there is also a hint of eucalyptus at the end
Slight creaminess in though
Medium tannins and body. Different, but enjoyable.
The Steven Kent Winery (winery)
2012 Lineage (Bordeaux blend)
Grapes: 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot, and 4% Petit Verdot from the Ghielmetti Estate and Home Ranch Vineyards
Cases produced: 300
Blackberries, cherries, baking spices, and a hint of prune
Medium-to-Full body, tannins, and acid.
A bit high in price, but very yummy
Question of the Day: Have you ever been to Livermore Valley, California? Have you ever had any wines from there? What were your thoughts? Do you have any favorites to share?
Bonus Question of the Day: If you went to WBC16, what were your thoughts on the Livermore Valley wines?