Kind of a weird request, but I am looking for a specific type of winery/wineries to visit this November. I have not been to all the wineries on Spring or Howell Mnt, but several. I’d rather spend a day at each mountain, sometime in the future, but not this trip. I’ve also been to the majority of wineries on the floor and all of the Stag’s Leap district wineries (we go to V2V often). I’m basically looking for new places to visit that have hill side fruit, that are smaller - off the radar, not overly priced wineries that have been what I call “Parkerized”, and just downright good juice. I also like the more intimate visits where you can relax, visit with the owners or wine makers and casually taste their wines without the pressure of crowds or feel like part of the heard. I’m not afraid to spend upwards of $200 for a bottle of wine, but would prefer to find a winery or two with wines in the $20 - $60 range. For consistency reasons, I do prefer wineries that grow their own fruit. I buy way more “offer / allotment” type wines in the + $60 range than my salary should support already, and don’t need or want any more.
I really don’t have a favorite varietal, country or region. I like just about all wine, but maybe not bubbly’s too much. I’ll just list what I don’t like. I do not like wine that has been over oak’ed, and is over extracted jammy swill that is so common nowadays. I like a bit of dirt mixed with fruit. Not too much of either, just a hint of both, but I don’t like to have to dig too much to smell it either. I also don’t like wine that is over the top with tannins and you feel like the moisture has been sucked out of your teeth when you drink it, or wine that’s hot with too much alcohol. I don’t pay a great deal of attention to scores, especially Parker or WE. Out of all the critics, I probably look to Tanzer more than the others. My caller is very eclectic, to say the least.
Some of my favorite Cali wines are (in no particular order): Lamborn cab, Peter Michael (all of them really, but not their price), O’Shaughnessy cab, Lewelling, David Arthur 1147, Matriarch, Faila pinot, W/S pinot, Donelan Family Syrah, Turley P/S, Mary Edwards Sav Blanc, Malk Sav Blanc, Hartwell Merlot, Edge Hill Mixed Blacks, White Rock, Outpost P/S, Ridge Monte Bello, Far Niente Dolce, Tresspass Cab Franc, Booker, Philip Togni, Flora Springs Wild Boar, Jeriko Canyon. I buy Turley, and am quite saturated with their zins, so I really don’t need any more zin (and no, I do not enjoy ALL of their zins).
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