When we woke up on Monday morning, the sky covered the sea in a light gray blanket, and the smell of wood burning stoves was in the air. I won’t lie, it felt like an Irish morning, and I loved it. The in room coffee at Timber Cove Inn was SO good. I can not remember what the brand was, but after another bad night of sleep, it was just what we needed. Recaps of breakfast at the Timber Cove Inn, along with our Sunday dinner, will be up later tonight. In the meantime I will skip to our drive from the coast inland to the Russian River Valley of Sonoma, aka Heaven In mere miles we went from the beautiful, rugged Northern California coastline to forests full of massive trees.
Tree hugger, that’s me Without much warning at all, the landscape changed from dark forests to fields decorated with grape leaves in their full autumn glory.
Our first wine country stop was DeLoach, one of my friend Jill’s favorite Sonoma wineries and one of the “can’t miss” spots on my list.
While we tried several wines at DeLoach, our absolute favorite was the 2007 Forgotten Vines Zinfandel. DeLoach’s tasting notes say: Offering aromas of cherry compote laced with exotic spices, this Zinfandel exemplifies the vibrant elements that old-vine wines are known for. Notes of orange rind and black currant engage the palate as cranberry flavors mingle with clove and cardamom spice. Sweet oak and elegant tannins lend lush mouthfeel to this wine for a lingering finish. For me, the definite spice in this wine really made it stand out. Not overly jammy like some Zinfandels, this one is really a lovely journey through layers of flavor. Our bottle is en route to New Jersey at the moment, as we could not ship to Massachusetts from Buffalo Bill’s Shipping Post (more on this later, truly a godsend if you want to buy wine from various wineries and ship it home altogether). After snapping a few photos at DeLoach, we moved on to Hook & Ladder, a winery I had heard about through Su Chang’s wine dinner back in September when I tried their Gewurtztraminer. Our visit to the winery, however, was all about the reds. The tasting room itself is vastly different that the one at DeLoach but has a ton of character and firefighting memorabilia representing the background of their founder.
Zinfandel won again. Hook & Ladder’s estate grown 2005 Gambogi Ranch Russian River Valley Zin, to be specific. Here is what they have to say about it: Bring on the BBQ with this dark purple red “zin-fully” delicious Russian River classic. A nose full of blackberry, vanilla, sandal wood and spice accentuates the bright berry flavor of this hearty old-vine Zin. Aged in American oak for 11 months, only 470 cases of this hand-made, open-fermented, single-vineyard Zinfandel were produced. I would like at some point very soon to host a wine dinner using some of our California purchases. Planning the menu and blogging about it will be fun. . . finding the time to actually get
people together will be more of a challenge! Next up. . . the Dry Creek Valley and my husband’s favorite meal of the trip!