Serena and I took off for a scooter ride this afternoon just to prove to ourselves that it is indeed Sunday. You have to make a little time to play. We stopped in at a couple places that are on the east side of 101 near HBG. It's an area I don't get to very often simply due to traffic patterns, I guess.
Mutt Lynch was our first stop. I'd seen their cute labels around but always shy away from critter labels... Dogs are critters, right? After a charming tasting, I'd say they deliver bang for the buck. Solid wines that won't break the bank. We walked off with a couple bottles of the un-oaked chard at $14. If you are a dog person, this is a great stop. As a cat person, even I got a kick out of their latest dog toy (goes out with wine club shipments) the iBone. I'm lame and didn't get a picture. Seeing an iphone themed squeak toy was a first for me, however.
Merriam was our second stop. This is a fairly new facility and the estate vineyards are young. They also buy fruit from RRV and DCV. We liked their all stainless Chardonnay but also they had Merlot that was very restrained and supple. I don't buy a lot of Merlot but probably for different reasons than most folks. I don't want it to be big and jammy. You don't often see Merlot from the Russian River Valley but I'd say that these wines make a good case for Merlot grown in slightly cooler climate. The Windacre 01 and 05 were both quite tasty and I could see them as a nice accompaniment to many meals so we snagged some bottles of Merlot along with their all steel Chard.
Considering we just jumped on the scoot for short ride through the vineyards, I'd say we did pretty well.