Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Rosenblum’s quarterly rager

By Jessica Yadegaran
Wednesday, February 14th, 2007 at 9:57 am in Uncategorized.

The last winery we visited over the weekend was Rosenblum Cellars in Alameda. Lucky enough, they were having their quarterly open house. If you’ve been to Silver Oak’s biannual Cab release party, it’s similar, except over a period of two days, four times a year, closer to home and a far greater range and selection of wines. Need I say more? Also, Rosenblum features new releases and barrel samples in addition to current releases. All in all, a whopping 45 wines from some 14 appellations. You really can’t beat it.

We tried to pace ourselves, but it didn’t work. Jenny skips most whites (at least Chards), but Rosenblum makes beautifully crisp, well-balanced Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne, tons of honeysuckle and tropical fruit, so we couldn’t resist. The standout for me was the 2005 Viognier Kathy’s Cuvee. Tons of apple and pear. But I didn’t want to pay $18 for it. On the edge of being too much for a white for me.

For all fans of Rosenblum’s San Francisco Bay Zinfandel — the grapes come from Contra Costa County, by the way, as do at least two other wines in their portfolio — the 2005 has a lovely mix of chocolate and dark fruit and a continued testament of the quality of local grapes. However, my takeaway zin was the 2004 Annette’s Reserve. It was gorgeous, with a lot of black tea tannins. But again, I didn’t want to pay $35 for a zin. I liked all the Syrahs, all nine of them.

People often ask me how I keep track of notes, and it’s not hard to do most of the time, when a tasting flight is 4-6 wines, a mix of reds and whites. Rosenblum’s event is five hours (noon to 5 p.m.), so we should have taken breaks, you know, between the 10 zins, but we powered through them and my mouth was a battlefield by 3:30 p.m. Note to self for next time: pace.

Also, we had that comatosing lunch at La Pinata. Had we known about the open house and the fabulous food — sausages and other grilled meats, cheeses, homemade wine ice cream — we would’ve skipped the sopes. It’s a great event and well worth it for $30. The next one is scheduled for May 19 and 20. Be prepared, they usually draw about 1,000 people each day.

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