April in Careneros, Part 2

The weather on Saturday was warm but still in the just right range. Sunday was officially too darn hot. We're troopers when it comes to wine, though and I wanted to check out several of the wineries at the 8th Street East area. This is a group of boutique wineries that rent space in industrial complexes in the city of Sonoma.

We started with Tin Barn- awesome wines and a great pulled pork food pairing. Did I mention this year's event had some of the best food parings I can recall? We really liked the Zinfandel with the pork, and all of the wines were great.

We moved down the row to Talisman, which specializes in Pinots. Talisman is a good example of focusing on one varietal and doing it really, really well. They were offering a vertical of Pinots from 2003 to 2007. Visitors had the chance to taste the difference between vintages and gauge how the aging process effects the wines. Both M and I were enamored with the 2004.

We stopped in at Parmalee-Hill and Ty Caton, both had good showings, but our next favorite was Enkidu. Nice people and great wines. Some inky, intense Rhone styles here. But I have to confess, between the heat and all the heavier wines I was feeling overcome, and had to switch to whites and roses for the end.

We finished up our 8th Street foray with Anaba. Stephanie, their marketing manager, and I are both in the MBA program. We chatted a bit. I skipped the reds, but loved the Voignier blend. Lovely florals with a nice acid component to balance the wine. At this point I was over wine tasting for the day, but M wanted to stop at Folio.

Folio offers a mix of their own labels, wines they import, and several boutique wineries who use their facilities for custom crush. I was just too whupped to do any serious tasting this time around, but I have some favorites from previous tastings. I melted into the chair, enjoying the stunning view on their back porch, while M tasted. Then we got a call from our friends from Saturday who had come back for more. I bucked up and took one for the team so we could meet up at Ceja to finish the afternoon.

I'm going to admit I am biased here. We know the Cejas socially. They are good people and I love their wine. I sipped on a bit of their amazing Sauvignon Blanc (before switching to water) while we sat in the shade on the patio and chatted with friends to end the afternoon. A great end to a great weekend.

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