Nalle Winery, Sonoma County

by Stevie on November 2, 2009

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outside Nalle tasting room

outside Nalle tasting room

I’ve wanted to get to Nalle for ages! I’d read about it in Matt Kramer’s New California Wine. He recommends their Zinfandels and Riesling and concludes a short blurb about the place as “worth pursuing.” I often agree with Mr. Kramer’s tastes in wine so thought that this was a must.

The winery is very small: run only by the husband and wife team of Doug and Lee Nalle, and their son, Andrew Nalle, who’s now the winemaker. They outsource most of their grapes though some of it comes from relatives who own the property around the winery. Really it’s a tiny family-run enterprise. The Saturday that we were there, we met Doug who poured us the tastings, Lee and their son Andrew. That’s pretty cool. And it’s a lot less impersonal like you might see at larger wineries in the area.

classic Nalle bottlings

classic Nalle bottlings

This year is the 25th anniversary of the winery so they’re offering some discounts for bulk purchases. They’re open on Saturdays for drop-ins and by appointment other days. Despite what Matt Kramer wrote, there wasn’t a Riesling on hand. However, they did have chardonnay.

2007 Chardonnay Hopkins Ranch, Russian River: This was pale yellow, tart with a long finish. We noted a lot of apricot and green apple.

2007 Pinot Noir Hopkins Ranch, Russian River: This was a transparent cherry red. It was very fragrant. Those of us who can actually smell found it to be “incredible!” John thought that it was “smoky.” Hegui found mulberry, cranberry and raspberry in the nose. It had a light body with red berries, especially strawberry.

2007 Zinfandel Old Vines, Dry Creek: This wine is 87% zinfandel with 7% petite sirah, 3% carignane, 2% mourvedre and 1% each of syrah and alicante bouchet. This was a fairly opaque reddish purplish color. We thought it was very different form all of the zins that we had at Stryker Sonoma. It was fruit forward, a bit oaky per Christian, with medium body and some sourness. It finished with a pleasing metallic note.

enjoying Nalle

enjoying Nalle

2006 Zinfandel Reserve Old Vines, Dry Creek: According to Lee Nalle, this wine was produced from the finest zinfandel grapes sourced in 2006. It was opaque reddish purple. It tasted more developed and complex than the 2007 Zinfandel. It was a bit tart and also very different in style from other zinfandels we’d had elsewhere. That’s exciting.

We liked the intimate surroundings of the tiny winery. The family lives on the property behind the place. The wines themselves didn’t wow us.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

vilma Aparecida da Costa November 2, 2009 at 7:55 am

Que legal!Eu acrescentaria *vale a pena conhecer* Gostei do que li e vi.
Me senti aí observando e perguntando *sou geminiana,mt curiosa e falante rs rs rs* Idéia brilhante.
Tudo que é cultivado com AMOR vira ouro. Felicitá

Heguiberto November 2, 2009 at 9:50 am

Alô Vilma,
Sem dúvida 🙂
Obrigado pela sua visita. Come back again!

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