Picazo line-up Winter '11

A crisp setting for tasting wine at Picazo Vinyards in Livermore, CA

Last weekend the Bryersantis team forged ahead in our quest to taste from each Livermore winery in our fertile East Bay valley. That endeavor brought us up the driveway of PICAZO Vineyards just before lunch.  This is the best time to go tasting IMHO, low crowds, lots of energy, untainted palate and not weighed-down from a meal.

We started with 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Yontville, squeezed from the fruit the Preston clone line.  It’s barrel fermented in neutral oak allowing the fresh and fruity experience for the consumer. Look for sweet grass, honeydew and grapefruit in each sip.  If you have the opportunity to pick-up a case before your next lobster dinner party, we are told that your guests will delight in the pairing.  In most cases whites are usually “just okay” for me and I neglect them unless I’m at a hot summer picnic.  But this one is great even on a winter’s afternoon and we enjoyed it with some bites of triple creme, I recall.

Next up: 2007 Proprietary Red composed of 1/3 Napa  and 2/3 Livermore juices and at the same time is  1/3 Merlot  and 2/3 Cabernet Sauvignon. My daughter is knee deep in fractions at school so I’ll break-it-down, fool: 1/6 Napa Merlot, 1/6 Livermore Merlot , 1/6 Napa Cab and 1/2 Livermore Cab, right?  Regardless of the fractionation, the common denominator among the blends coming from Livermore wineries is the drinkability. This wine can be enjoyed before, during or after a meal.  If you are a fan of the dry finish then this may become your favorite red blend.

Then poured was the 100% Livermore grown Merlot, ’06 vintage. I was thinking, “Just great. I can’t stand Merlots and the wine maker is right here looking for the expressions in our eyes.”  I put myself in poker face mode, made a small opening between my lips and gave it a try.  Guess what? Yep, it was great, which is no wonder now that I know the history of the passionate focus on Merlot at PICAZO.

The Cabernet Sauvignon served was a blend of Coombsville-grown clones 191, 169, 337 and 30, all barrel-fermented.  Following the Cab was a sneak taste of the 2007 Amorous.  It’s not officially bottled yet but when it is, it will fly off the shelves.  It’s a sweet dessert wine but whereas ports are fortified to over 18% alcohol, this Amorous is non-fortified and weighs in at 14%.  You’ll find the Amorous to be less viscous feeling than a typical port which facilitates swallowing.  In my opinion, PICAZO’s 2007 Amorous is the best dessert wine I’ve ever tasted.  We are very excited about its release!

Have you been to PICAZO? If so, let us know what you enjoyed.

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