East we go!

My what a weekend! With my cold on the wane, I was looking forward to a weekend full of friends, wine, and sunshine. This did not disappoint!

Saturday brought an open house at 4 local urban wineries in Berkeley, which has spoiled me for choice with the East Bay Vintners Alliance. This collection of 13 urban micro-wineries provides people BART-able access to premium wineries, without worrying about driving around. For me, it’s a 15 minute buzz across the bridge to some really amazing sips.

I was met by my fellow Wineaux Liza and Xandria of the Brix Chicks
Brittanay & Marshall of Wine Q
Russ from California Wine Hikes
for a day of lovely wines and laughs.

Starting out at A Donkey & Goat, I particularly enjoyed the Three-Thirteen GSM blend. I am a huge fan of the Grenache-Syrah-Mouvedre blend, and always savor a change to taste more. This example showed tons of spice, particularly nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper. I also tasted rich dark fruit, and a tiny bit of cherry cola at the finish.

I also enjoyed the Fenaughty Vineyard Syrah, which is co-fermented with a touch of Vinogner, which gives it a floral aromatic that is simply divine. This syrah is a rich dark purple color, and is full of smoke & leather, like my grandfathers old club chair. The first sip showed blueberries, blackberries, and baking spices.

In the same space, Dept C is another microwinery within a winery. Here, Pinot Noir is the specialty and we tasted a Pinot Gris rose, a barrel sample from Santa Cruz Mountains and a Santa Lucia Highlands example.

After a relaxing hour or so, we headed a few blocks away to Eno Wnies, on Camelia. I ahve been a fan of Eno since my friend David, the Wine Pimp, introduced me to Sasha and his juice a few years ago at a festival in San Franciso. Let’s just say I have never been disappointed! At Eno, the Never Say Never Pinot Noir is a rich but light pinot characteristic of it’s home in Santa Lucia Highlands. A touch of Russian River Valley mingles the flavors and gives this wine an earthy aroma with spicy cherry and dark red fruit YUM is what I can conclude! I of course, left with 2 bottles.

Continuing at Eno, I also love the Yes Dear Greanche. This Grenache comes from one my new favorite vineyards, Eaglepoint Ranch, which has been providing it’s Mendocino fruit to some of the most well known names in Sonoma. This is a juicy strawberry of a wine, and has hints of herbs. I love it because it’s so easy to drink.

Housed in the same space, Broc Cellars who was pouring 2 Grenaches and 2 Syrahs. The first Grenache, Dry Stack, was a nice fruity Greanche but wasn’t overpowering. I found a lot of strawberry flavors, with subltle oak. The 2nd Grenache was VentanaVineyards, and was also a classic example of Grenache. This was a deep red color, with lots of spice and darker fruit than the Dry Stack. I of course, took home one of each.

The Broc Cellars Cabernet was a steal at $20 and was a great way to start off after a refreshing Rose.

So many wines, so many good times! Stay tuned for a report on Lost Canyon!

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