After gorging ourselves and drinking a ton, it was time to head across the bridge and north to Sonoma County to, well, gorge ourselves and drink a ton. We were there mainly to taste Pinot Noirs and we did find a few that were good if not great. Two private tours/tastings were set up by a friend of ours, Josh Miles (a sales rep at Martin Scott Wines). Josh, being a Burgundy specialist, knows a great deal about this particular grape, so we were very much looking forward to his recommendations.
First we drove to Windsor to meet with Kathleen Inman of Inman Family Wines. Kathleen told us she thought the Russian River Valley was a great place to grow Pinot Noir and that she feels any Pinot-based wine needs a good amount of acidity to give it balance. Tim couldn't agree with her more about the acidity--some of the better Burgundies he has tasted have needed a good deal of acidity in order to balance out the wine and even contribute to its complexity. We tasted a Rosé, a Pinot Gris and two Pinot Noirs, eventually deciding to buy a bottle of 2006 Inman Family Thorn Road Ranch Pinot Noir. What we tasted was a lot of sour cherry and some other berry fruits along with some leather, but mostly just a very nice, fairly fruity, soft, balanced wine. At $52 a relatively good buy in our minds. In our book, worthy of a 6.0 out of 10.
Next up was Scherrer Winery in Sebastapol. Fred Scherrer gave us a grand tour of his wine making facility, fed us some delicious lamb burgers left over from an open house the day before and let us sample 10 or so different bottles. We were most impressed with his Rosé which unfortunately for us was sold out. Most of the wines we tasted were good not great, but we both felt Fred was very close to making terrific wines and we will keep him on our radar.