The rains held back and provided a great weekend of wine tasting on March 29-30 for the Livermore Valley Barrel Tasting Weekend. The Livermore Valley winemakers provided wine lovers with the opportunity to check out some soon-to-be-released wines and to learn more about how a wine matures in the barrel.
Las Positas Vineyards let visitors sample their 2012 Barbara and we had a chance to experience this wine being aged in a French oak barrel and the same wine aging in an American oak barrel. Having tasted various vintages of the Las Positas Barbera, it was a joy to sample this great wine as it was aging. Later, in the tasting room, we tasted the 2011 vintage and were pleased with the finished wine showing aromas and flavors of raspberry, cherry, spice and blackberry.
Cuda Ridge Wines shared their 2012 Cabernet Franc and the 2012 Petit Verdot in the barrel and we got to compare it to the 2011 vintages to see the difference that aging can provide. In both cases you were able to tell what these wines were going to produce. The Cabernet Franc was already on its way with great aromas and tastes of raspberries and spice. The Petit Verdot from Cuda Ridge continues to be one of the best Petit Verdot’s in the state.
Wood Family Vineyards does not have a tasting room so it is a rare pleasure to be able to visit the winery and sample their great selection of wines. They offered visitors tastes of their Chardonnay, Cab and Merlot. Their barrel tasting was the 2012 Muy Beuno Zinfandel. This is a blend of 80% Zinfandel and 20% Petite Sirah. We had the opportunity to do our own blending seeing what various percentages of Petite Sirah does to the final taste of the wine.
Caddis Wines is a new winery in Livermore. Winemaker/owner Chris Sorensen is a native of Livermore and has over 15 years of experience in the wine industry and has made that decision to start his own winery. For the Barrel Tasting Weekend he shared his 2012 Tempranillo. The 2011 vintage won Double Gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the 2012 was heading in the same direction with great dark fruit aromas and flavors.
Barrel tasting is a great chance to meet the winemakers, sample wines at different stages of development and learn more about the steps the winemakers go through to make sure that the wine is delivered to the customer at its peak.