We were originally turned onto Robert Young by our good friend, Ben. We went for a wine country excursion there about six or seven years ago. He recommended them as it was our first trip ever to Healdsburg and Anderson Valley and we didn’t know what to expect. Robert Young really made an impression. Sadly, we hadn’t the chance to return until the past couple months when our great friends, Karen and Veronica, visited from Reno. We had three days of Sonoma wine country, so we mixed it up with the Russian River Valley, Healdsburg area and Anderson Valley. Naturally I suggested Robert Young.
The first thing that I always notice on the curvy ride to this fine winery is its sheer beauty. I know that I’m frequently telling our readers about the loveliness of wine country, but here it isn’t hyperbole. The views of the valley, the hillside and the charming Young home are post-card perfect. Our pictures don’t do the place justice at all.
The Youngs still own the winery and surrounding property. It has been in the family for five generations and has seen a number of changes: they used to produce cattle, grow wheat and even prunes before Robert Young was persuaded to plant grapes in the early sixties. It is the classic California story.
Best known for cabernet sauvignon and Bordeaux style blends, they also have a number of enchanting chardonnays—can you believe I’m even writing that?!?
The tasting room is tiny and pleasantly intimate. Since we were in a group of four, we shared the regular and the small lot tastings between us. Pat Warren, the current winemaker, Kevin Warren’s wife, was our tasting room guide. She’s a real fan and her enthusiasm was contagious.
I’ll list the chards first followed by the reds:
2008 Alexander Valley Chardonnay: A transparent golden yellow with a lovely creamy texture that bordered on buttery but wasn’t quite there. Lots of yellow fruit.
2009 Alexander Valley Chardonnay: A pale transparent yellow with really nice tropical fruit and green apple notes.
2009 Area 27 Chardonnay: A pale transparent yellow with a green grape nose, this was crisp, fresh and full of delightful fruit.
2009 Barrel Select Chardonnay: More richly colored than the Area 27 with ultraripe apricot and peach, and some vanilla, this was rich and creamy with a long finish.
2007 Alexander Valley Merlot: Red to purple with highlights of scorched earth and overripe tomatoes, it had medium body, refined tannins and a somewhat bitter finish.
2008 Alexander Valley Merlot: Deep red with a subtle nose, it had medium body, refined tannins.
2008 Alexander Valley Petit Verdot: This 100% Petit Verdot was a purple to black with a caramel nose, chewy tannins and a long finish. This had all the stuffing!
2008 Big Block Cabernet Franc: A dark red to purple with an exciting smoky aromatic nose full of red berries, plum with rich tannins and a good finish.
2006 Scion Cabernet Sauvignon: This is a blend of 80% cab, 10% merlot, 7% cab franc and the rest, petit verdot. Purple black in color with a V8-juice nose we detected rich fruit, mineral with a long finish. This is good drinks.
2007 Scion Cabernet Sauvignon: Red to purple with lots of ripe red fruit, chewy tannins, this was delish.
2008 Bob’s Burn Pile Cabernet Sauvignon: 100% cab, this was a dark red to purple with eucalyptus, V8, vanilla, clove on the nose with great fruit, smooth rich supple tannins and a long finish. Mmmm.
So that’s it for our wine country excursions in 2011. It’s been a great year for us, and we hope for you, too. Can’t wait to see where we’ll visit in 2012. Happy New Year!!!