Driving towards the ship yards on the island of Alameda across the bay from San Francisco isn’t a typical venue in which to find a winery. Our GPS assured us that we are in the right spot, as we round the corner and see our destination. Rosenblum Cellars originally started in a small building on the streets of San Fran and after moving to their current location in 1987, is now one of 6 wineries producing and bottling wine in Alameda. Rosenblum built a name for themselves making single vineyard Zinfandels, sourced from all over California. Committed to quality, Kent Rosenblum keeps his eye on each of the vineyards they source from in order to produce a product that has garnered countless accolades.
I was really excited to try the wines because we don’t get much of the single vineyard ones distributed here in Richmond, and I never see any of the white wines. Lucky for me, the tasting room manager at the Alameda location is fellow blogger and friend Farley who offered to give the wife and I tasting and tour of the facility. What a great way to start our California vacation, tasting and geeking out about wine an hour after our plane landed
2006 Fess Parker Rousanne – rich in honey and pear juice, floral notes and fairly viscous – yum
2007 Kathy’s Cuvee Viognier – tons of apricot and peach on the nose, good combo of acidity and rich exotic mouthfeel, nice nectarine finish – double yum
2005 Richard Sauret Zinfandel – raisin, fig, chocolate and black currant
2006 Kontrabecki Zinfandel – blueberry, blackberry with spicy black berry and dry finish, fairly big tannins – very nice structured Zin
2005 Harris Kratka Zinfandel – more red fruit with red currant jam notes, touches of floral and a spicy leathery finish
At this point Farley thought it would be a good time to fill up our glass and explore the facility, and do some barrel sampling before we finished up on the tasting menu. The barrel rooms were a flurry of activity, getting ready for their open house event that was coming up that weekend. Over here on your right are some barrels and over to your left are some more barrels. After peaking in on the bottling line that was finishing up bottling of the new vintage of the chocolate dessert wine Desiree, we started our barrel sampling.
Richard Rhodes Carignane (sorry did jot down the vintage) – cherry, red currant tomato and all spice.
2007 Harris Kratka Zinfandel – lots of chocolate, raspberry and toasty oak at the finish
2007 Patio Vineyards Mourvedre – espresso, chocolate and black raspberry
2007 England Shaw Syrah – butter cream, smoke, black currant and spice, very nice
The Reds Continued
2005 England Shaw Syrah – cooked fruit, cooked veggies and a hint of funk, tasted a bit off
2006 Rominger Syrah – hint of banana, chocolate liquer, blackberry and green bean, slight leathery aromas
2006 Rockpile Syrah – coffee, chocolate, cranberry sauce, black currant jam, green pepper
Desiree – chocolate and vanilla extract goodness
Albeit an unusual location for a winery, the wines are extremely good and I wish we could get more of the small lot ones here in VA. For lovers of California Zin and new world style Rhone varietals this is a must stop for you, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. In addition to the Alameda tasting room, there is also a tasting room on the square in Healdsburg.
Thanks again to Farley for being a great host and giving us the VIP treatment, we had a great time, as I said what a perfect way to start a vacation.
Alameda Tasting Room
Open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
2900 Main Street in Alameda
Minutes from San Francisco
Healdsburg Tasting Room
Open Daily 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
250 Center Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448