Last weekend I was supposed to take a trip to wine country for the first time in a long time, but my daughter was having a rough morning due to teething, and was screaming bloody murder and I just couldn't leave her home with mom, because I'd feel horribly guilty. Sonoma would have to wait, alas.
But this left me all geared up for tasting some wine with nowhere to go -- or so I thought. I remembered hearing about the "Urban Wine Trail" in the East Bay, and decided to try a tasting closer to home. When the little one went down for her nap, I slipped out for an hour.
Rosenblum Cellars has a winery/tasting room in the far end of Alameda, in a historic rail road building that's in what looks like an industrial park. It's a massive building filled with barrels, with a table set up on the ground floor for tasting, as well as an upper level with a larger bar.
I went upstairs as the bottom tasting area was packed, and found a small space near the end of the bar to try some wines. My server was nice, but when I asked about the wines, he seemed to be reciting something he memorized. He was helping a bunch of people and groups at the same time, so he could have just been busy. The woman who rang me up seemed to have a better idea about the wines in general.
The tasting included three wines for free, and you can try an additional flight of select wines for $8. I just took the free tasting. Here are my notes:
Kathy's Cuvee Viognier, California - 2007, $18
On the nose, I got a fruit bowl with peaches and apricots dominating. In the mouth, it tasted like dried fruits and was a bit chalky. Finished with spices.
Contra Costa County Mourvedre, Appellation Series - 2006, $18
Lots of cherries on the nose and the mouth. The wine had lots of tannins and structure.
Richard Sauret Vineyard Zinfandel - 2006, $25
Not sure what's going on with the nose - got a strong anchovies smell, very fishy. In the mouth, I got alcohol soaked fruit, blackberries, black cherries. Heat on the finish.
I ended up buying a wine from the sale biz -- the Anthony's Vineyard Merlot, Napa Valley - 2005, for $9. The person who sold it to me that it's very tannic, and that I should either let it decant for a long time or stock it away for a few years.