The Flavors of Fall: Dry Creek Valley Wines
Autumn in Dry Creek Valley offers up all of the the quintessential trappings of the season one would hope for and is one of the best times of year to come visit us. After the long hot summer, the air becomes brisk enough that we can pull out our coziest sweaters and comfiest jeans. The leaves on the vines turn to brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds, for scenery on par with the best East Coast fall foliage. The best Fall fruits and veggies abound for hearty harvest meals and the cool evenings are wonderful for twilight strolls around Healdsburg and surrounding winery vineyards. It’s also the perfect time to drop into the Healdsburg Farmers Market, which takes place every Wednesday afternoon through October and Saturday mornings through November.
Such a stunning season calls for luscious wines to match, so while you’re visiting, here are just a few Autumn-inspirational wines you can pick up along your travels. Each selection you’ll find is a perfect pairing with the attitude of the season and the heartier cuisine that will soon be filling your dining tables.
Michel-Schlumberger 2012 La Brume Chardonnay $32.00
A nose of fresh apricot, green apple, white flowers and and vanilla tones compliment fresh apricot and apple flavors and long fruit finish. Aging in neutral oak barrels for a full year gives this wine a sumptuous vanilla creme richness, balancing the crispness of the fruit flavor. A high quality, rich chardonnay like the La Brume is fantastic with roasted turkey, buttery pastas, and pork loin. With our new Dry Creek Valley Culinary Cooperative, you could pick up a bottle from the winery and take advantage of free corkage at Barndiva to enjoy the wine with their Lobster Risotto.
Kachina Vineyards 2008 Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon $42.00
This is a bold, highly-extracted cabernet sauvignon that aged a full four years in new oak before release! The wine also contains 5% syrah and 3% charbono. Aromas of tobacco, black currant, and licorice lead into a palate of ripe black cherry, juicy raspberry and savory dried herbs. Only 300 cases of this wine were made. Drink this wine with rich red meat, dishes with mushroom or truffle, and aged gouda. If you’re in no mood to cook, this wine is awesome with the Double G Flat Iron Steak from Bistro Ralph.
Bella Vineyards 2012 Belle Canyon Zinfandel $38.00
The winery describes this as, “one of the most robust and intense expressions of this vineyard” they’ve ever seen. This zinfandel is a particularly bold example of what Dry Creek Valley zinfandel can be, with supple texture and bursting with flavors of blackberry, vanilla, and cinnamon. The wine is 98% zinfandel and 2% petite sirah, aged in oak for 12 months before release. We love this wine with aromatic spices like nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon and saffron. It’s fantastic with flavorful vegetables like caramelized onion and squash, and flavorful meats like lamb. Try it at Pizzando with the Crispy Fried Quails with North African Spice, Saffron-Cooked Cranberry Beans and Tomato.
Chateau Diana Zombie Zin $12.00
What October would be complete without a bottle of Zombie Zin? It’s got the most fun, festive label you’ll find in Dry Creek Valley, and a killer price to match. It ages for six months in American Oak for a hint of toasted flavor and baking spice. The wine has dense aromas of ripe blackberry, blueberry and black cherry, and flavors of blackberry, cola and cherry jam with a hint of black pepper on the finish. Chateau Diana recommends this wine with, “Bloody BBQ meats, sinister soups with eye of newt, bubbly caldron of fleshy stew,” but we also like it with the BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich at Healdsburg Bar and Grill.
Fritz Underground Winery 2012 Estate Late Harvest Estate Zinfandel $35.00
This decadent wine is made from 30 year old vines from the Fritz Estate. Garnet-colored, with radiant aromas of red currants, blackberries and cocoa and a semi-sweet palate of Bing cherries, cranberries, and dark chocolate. This is a true example of how elegant an after-dinner zinfandel can be. We love this wine with berries or dense chocolate desserts, like the Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake at Willi’s
Seafood and Raw Bar.
See you soon and happy wine tasting!