Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Five standouts from Urban Wine Experience

By Jessica Yadegaran
Monday, August 27th, 2007 at 11:22 am in Uncategorized.

I haven’t blogged about the Urban Wine Experience on purpose because I’m devoting an entire cover to the wines, the people and the overall movement in our paper on Sept. 19.

But for now, I can’t help but gush about some of the wines. I’m very proud this is all happening in my backyard (the 15 wineries that make up the East Bay Vintners are in Berkeley, Oakland and Alameda areas).

If you missed the event, here are the wines you need to get your hands on now. Look out for my story in the Food & Wine pages of both our paper and the Oakland Tribune on Sept. 19, where I hope to tell their stories:

The winery: Harrington Pinot Noir, Berkeley.
What to try: The Carneros pinot was my favorite, but since that’s hard to find, I recommend the 2005 Sonoma Coast ($38). They made 160 cases of it. It’s got a lot of big tannins, dark fruit and game.
Find at: Solano Cellars, Albany and Farmstead Cheeses & Wines, Alameda.

The winery: Dashe Cellars, Oakland.
What to try: 2006 Dry Riesling from McFadden Farms ($20), in Mendocino County’s Potter Valley appellation. Bone dry, it’s got an orange blossom nose and honeysuckle flavor. Gorgeous acidity. I can’t wait to have this with Burmese food.
Find at: Their web site, or call the distributor.

The winery: Eno, North Berkeley.
What to try: Grenache “G05,” Eaglepoint Ranch, Mendocino ($25). The 10 percent Syrah deepends this wine’s color and mouth feel yet stays completely true to the varietal, with bright colored fruit flavors. I can see why, as it was age in neutral French oak.
Find at: on their site.

The winery: JC Cellars, Oakland.
What to try: 2005 Preston Vineyard Marsanne ($32), gorgeous, lush, full of mineral and a treat to be home grown. If you can afford it, get your hands on the Pourquoi Pas ($135) as well, half winemaker Jeff Cohn’s Rockpile Syrah and half his buddy, French winemaker Pierre Gaillard’s Northern Rhone Syrah, from Cote Rotie. As of last weekend, they only had 9 cases left but boy is this stuff beautiful. It’s the only Syrah blend of its kind and should age beautifully for at least a decade.
Find at: on their site.

The winery: Aubin Cellars, Oakland.
What to try: 2004 Columbia Valley Syrah. Boy oh boy, talk about complex and black currant goodness. Washington state’s long growing season (harvest in October) helped I’m sure.
Find at: Du Vin Fine Wines, Alameda.

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  • jeff diamond

    we carry many of Jeff Cohn’s wines (JC Cellars), including his Marsanne and the Pourquoi Pas….

  • Jessica

    Excellent – you have Pourquoi Pas left? I still dream about that wine. I was at Jeff and Mike’s all day yesterday. Saw Jeff’s super clean petit sirah and zin grapes come in. Good times.

  • Megan

    WHAT?? No mention of Aubin’s ’05 Pinot Noir Verve Sonoma Coast? That was my favorite of the day! ;-p

  • Jessica

    Doh! Hiya Megan. Indeed. Dare I say Jerome does not make an unpleasing wine? That pinot IS yummy.