Monday, February 16, 2009
Thomas Coyne Winery Winter Open House Wrapup.
I visited Thomas Coyne the first two days of the Open House. The tasting room was built in 1881 as a winery called Chateau Bellvue. From the tasting room they have a wonderful view of the Livermore Valley and Mt. Diablo which happened to have snow on that day.
He offered 24 wines for tasting until the Vino Tinto Barato sold out the first day. This was the bottle you own wine. Tom said he made four barrels of Vino Tinto Barato and sold all of it before the end of the first day of the three day open house. That's 100 hundred cases using the 25 cases of wine per 55 gallon barrel formula. Vino Tinto Barato is Italian for "cheap red wine". This red blend is nicely balanced, fruity and had quite a bit of Merlot in it. I could detect some Grenache as well. Tom said it is his secret formula and wouldn't give details on all that went into the blend. But it is well worth the price of $5 a bottle. This will be available again on Memorial Day Weekend in May.
I was at the tasting room quite early and they had not opened yet. There were others there earlier than myself. They were all anxious to bottle their own wine that day. Some were tailgating in the parking lot waiting for the tasting room to open. It is obvious that bottle your own wine is very popular as people line up early for this.
New released wines: 2007 Livermore Chardonnay which a portion had been fermented on the the skins, that is unusual for white wines, and the rest barrel fermented. This explains why this Chardonnay is not over oaked. It went through complete malolatic fermentation and aged surlie
on French Oak for ten months. Very fruity and drinkable now, yet could be put away for couple of years. Only $20 a bottle. This is the second time Thomas Coyne has made Chardonnay other than "Sweet Emilie, Chardonnay Port. One would never know it. It tastes as if he has always made Chardonnay. I took some of this home with me. Only 58 cases made.
2006 California Confluence is a Bordeaux blend of Cab, Cabernet Frank, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Very nice. Full bodied wine that is full of fruit. I'm getting cherry on this one. It's drinkable now but has the grape tannins to allow it to be cellared for several years. This is a real value at $20 a bottle.
2005 Livermore Cabernet Franc, a nice wine with the grapes from his neighbor John Kurtzer. Tom says this is a tricky Cabernet Franc because the grapes ripen late and are picked in October. There is always a concern for rain which could cause some mold on the grapes and take away the fruit that is present in this wine. It's only $18 a bottle and could be put away for a few years but is drinkable now as well. Only 100 cases of this nice wine.
2005 Lodi Malbec. Not a wine that is commonly found. It's a varietal normally used as a blending wine. This one is BIG on fruit despite it is a lighter red. Nice wine to have in the rack. It's only $18 a bottle.
It was busy as Thomas Coyne but everyone looked like they were having a fun time including the help. Can't help but have a good time when there is good wine around.
Thomas Coyne graduated from Penn State. You will always find him in the tasting room wearing a Penn State ball cap. He also has a museum behind the tasting counter of Penn State paraphernalia.
I will be visiting Eckert Estate Winery today. They also have bottle your own wine. Mike Eckert won't tell you what it is until you get there. It is available for tasting. Look for my blog on Eckert a bit later.