At the barrel tasting event in Sonoma, our 2nd stop was Truett Hurst winery. One of the reasons I wanted to check out the Truett Hurst winery was because of their sustainable practices and the fact that they use sheep for weed control. I also thought one of their recent posts about the sheep not being dependable lawnmowers on a rainy day was hysterical.
I have to say that Truett Hurst really hit the nail on the head with the way that they managed the barrel tasting. I have been at this event 2 years now and have visited a number of wineries each time, and have always found it frustrating, and downright short-sighted of the wineries to have the barrels in different spots than the previous years bottled versions. Yeah, I understand that every year the grapes taste different, based on weather, harvest time, etc., but what about terroir? What about varietal? I just don’t have faith that all those people tasting out of the barrel really have a sense of what the final product will taste like – I know I can’t.
This is why I truly appreciate how Truett Hurst ran their show. Next to the barrels, they also had bottled versions (from the previous year) to kind of get an idea of what the final product would resemble. There was no tasting here and running to another crowded line to compare, no forgetting exactly how the barrel tasted once you find that bottle somewhere else, no back and forth, just simple side-by-side tasting. This is how you engage your audience and allow them to learn and understand exactly what they are tasting; a sense of how the barrel will develop. I’m sure some people don’t care and just want to taste wine all day, in any shape or form. Some people are die-hard winery fans and will buy no matter what. But for me, I really was impressed with Truett Hursts engagement and planning. Aside from that, I loved the wine:
Rattler Rock Zinfandel – Beautiful, smooth Zinfandel.
Red Rooster Zifnandel – Classic bold and spicy Dry Creek Zinfandel
Dark Horse “GPS” – Blend of Mourvedre, Frenache, Petite Sirah and Syrah
*My personal favorite was the Rattler Rock Zinfandel, but my dad happened to love the Dark Horse. However, it was a hot day that day and I found myself wandering into the general tasting area to try the 2009 Zinfandel Rose. LOVED IT!
2009 Zinfandel Rose – Their description referenced Lychee and I tasted it, but I usually don’t like Lychee. This was fruit-forward, crisp, refreshing and perfect for a hot summers day! I bought 3 bottles and should have bought a case. Can’t wait for the next hot day here now.