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Five-line rhymes from Nantucket

A 2004 Sonoma/San Francisco travelogue; part 4

by Thor Iverson

15 August 2004 – Russian River Valley, California

Country Meadow Inn – A pretty B&B in a quiet setting outside the town of Windsor, a location ideal for exploring most of the northern half of Sonoma’s vignoble. The proprietress offers cookies, lemonade, and wine at the slightest provocation, and breakfast is very nice, coming in well-spaced courses. There are amenities (a pool, for instance) that we don’t even see, much less take advantage of, but we’d stay here again.

[vines in the Russian River Valley]

Time to water the RRV
Limerick Lane – Larry Stein meets us here just as their somewhat dark tasting room opens for the day. It’s nearly around the corner from our B&B, open earlier than most other area wineries, and thus seems a logical starting point for a day of tasting. The wines, however, are a little variable.

Limerick Lane 2003 Rosé “Sec” Collins Vineyard (Russian River Valley) – A 50/50 blend of zinfandel and syrah, which both the woman behind the counter and the web site proclaim as “Tavel-style.” I must have missed the zin in my previous Tavel experiences. Sarcasm aside, I can see points of congruity: peach flowers and a long, minerally core around which a reasonably light-styled wine is constructed. Simple but OK, as long as one doesn’t make demands.

Limerick Lane 2001 Zinfandel Collins Vineyard (Russian River Valley) – Sweet plum, blueberry, and red licorice that is neither over-oaked nor over-fruited; remarkable restraint, really. On the other hand, the fruit that is there has a zin liqueur quality to it, which will not please everyone. I kinda like it, as it doesn’t come with the alcoholic burn such wines usually present.

Limerick Lane 2001 Zinfandel Collins Vineyard “Old Vine” (Russian River Valley) – Blueberry, blackberry, plum and intense strawberry seed that turn to fat-bodied jam on a longish finish, but this time layered with an obvious spread of vanilla-scented toast. This will age better than the previous wine, and there’s “more” here, but it has less individuality.

Limerick Lane 2001 Syrah Collins Vineyard (Russian River Valley) – Leather and black plum marred by stemmy green tannins. Short and Kermit-hued.

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Copyright © Thor Iverson

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