david coffaro winery

by Heguiberto on April 22, 2009

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We went with the weirdcombos tasting crew to this out-of-the-way gem in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. Less well known than Alexander Valley or Sonoma Valley AVAs, Dry Creek Valley is particularly famous for Zinfandels. The drive from San Francisco to David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery is about an hour and a half along a gorgeous stretch of highway 101 through rolling hills, some dotted with grazing cows or more often, long rows of grapevines. The weather was record breaking for April, going just over 90 degrees on the day we were there.dscn17181

David Coffaro V&W is small-ish and a bit obscure; located at the far north end of Dry Creek Valley. From the outside, it looked like someone’s country home, something like you might see on eastern Long Island, but a bit more ramshackle. It was very charming though. There was a lazy golden retriever dozing nearby, amid a random seeming collection of wine-production implements, all abandoned in the heat. Finding the tasting room was a little tricky, though it was well marked. The door to the place was just so nondescript that it blended in and was easily missed.

The tasting room itself was large, dark and cool. Really part tasting room and part storage facility as barrels of wine were stacked almost to the ceiling on two walls. But any other comparison to more tourist-focused wineries goes out the window at this point. The place looked like someone’s oversized cluttered garage or perhaps junky basement. There were about a half dozen beaten-up sofas, hopefully waiting for Goodwill, and some very not-winery-style decorations. Numerous old movie posters from Star Wars, Twister and the like covered most of the blank wallspace. Tacked over the winebar were autographs of Mohammad Ali and various 1970’s movie stars. Matt Wilson, the assistant winemaker at Coffaro and our tasting leader, told us that they were the personal collection of the owner and were just for display. We liked Matt. He poured with a heavy hand and was knowledgeable about the wines but didn’t over promote the product. Plus, he was blasting a couple of albums from Muse, a personal favorite of the weirdcombos crew, so we immediately felt at home. The dude has style.

We tried several of their 2006 vintage from bottle. The 2006 Fresco was a blend of mainly obscure grape varietals: alvarelhao, tempranillo, tinto cao, peloursin and carmine. The whole WC tasting crew agreed about this one: it definitely tasted red. The 2006 Pinot Noir was a “hearty pinot” much admired by one of us, who actually splurged and bought one. Though, at $28 per bottle for quality California pinot, this is a good deal. The 2006 Petit Sirah, 100% sirah blended from three different plots of petit sirah grapes, looked “ultra black” and tasted delicious. The ZP2C, also affectionately called the “bottom of the barrel” because it’s made from “equal amounts of all barrels,” was only nice. Both 2006 cabs were excellent. dscn17192

The fun really started when Matt gave us barrel tastings from the 2008 vintage. These wines will be bottled sometime in July 2009. Right now they’re aging in mixed barrels of French, American and Hungarian oak. The 2008 Zinfandel blend, “My Zin,” was excellent: great dark color with a long, lingering finish. The ’08 Escuro, a Coffaro-style weird combination that would send European winemakers into spasms; a blend of petit sirah, lagrein, tannat, aglianico, touriga, souzao and alvarelhao; was a crowd pleaser. The real star of the ‘08’s that we tried was the 2008 Carignan. This is 100% carignan, and according to Matt, sells out quickly. We can believe that. Yummy!

David Coffaro keeps its prices fairly low: the 2006 vintage sells for between $15 and $32 per bottle and they offer volume discounts. The bargain hunter will go for their futures sales. These are all about $10 to $15 dollars less per bottle compared to release price. The only caveat is that you have to get a case or more, though you can mix and match for cases. (No problem for the wine-hounds at WC. We ordered a case and can’t wait to go back to pick it up in the fall!)

We left drunk and happy in the knowledge that fine quality wines can still be found at reasonable prices in Sonoma County.

David Coffaro Vineyard and Winery
7485 Dry Creek Road
Geyserville, CA 95441
707 433-9715
www.coffaro.com/

Open daily 11AM to 4PM

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Rita Tower April 22, 2009 at 4:38 am

I really enjoyed reading about the WC experience at the winery! I felt like I actually went on the trip and tasted some of those wines. It’s good to know there are some good prices out there!
I like that the guy who poured the wine had a “heavy hand!”

Heguiberto April 22, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Xanthe,
It was really fun and the weather sublime. You are the first person to comment on our blog. Yay

Matt May 6, 2009 at 4:05 am

Thanks for the link to your blog for the interesting write up. I’m glad you like the wine and think I have style. Hope you make it back soon.

Matt

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