When studying the history of California Wine, Livermore Valley pops up again and again. From the opening of the region’s first winery in 1880s, to the Chardonnay pioneering of Wente Vineyards, to Concannon’s work with Cabernet clones and Petite Sirah promotion. California wine, as a whole, owes a whole lot to Livermore Valley.
When I was first getting into wine, I drank a bunch of Concannon’s $10 Petite Sirahs and Cabernets. As I moved along in my wine journeys, I didn’t think as much more about Livermore Valley. But this west-east valley, which sits 35 inland from the San Francisco Bay, is home to some 4,000 acres of diverse grape varieties.
I recently tasted through a group of Livermore Valley offerings and found some interesting bottles. Several of the wines boasted hefty new American oak signatures, more so than I find in tastings of other California regions. But the richer wines (especially the Petite Sirah from Vasco Urbano) seem able to absorb it well.
These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. Read the rest of this entry »