If you haven’t heard of Davis Family Vineyards and are into wine, just give it time, you will! The winery is headed up by the passionate and energetic Guy Davis, who handles all aspects of the wine, from the vineyard to the bottle, and he’s obviously doing many things right as his wines continue to take top awards at regional wine competitions.
The winery is located in California’s Russian River Valley, and the family owns some very old parcels of Zinfandel that were planted back in 1896. They also have some younger hillside vineyards planted to Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay and they purchase some Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from friends. I’ve had the chance to taste a few of the wines, and I am convinced that the prices are more than fair considering the quality of the wines……….not cheap, but not ridiculously expensive.
Here’s the lineup of wines we will try:
1. Chardonnay Russian River Valley – Just 530 cases of this wine were made, and it was a Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Fruit comes from the highly acclaimed Dutton Ranch vineyard, and the wine is wonderfully balanced and complex with notes of flowers, spiced and baked apple and pear, citrus and mineral.
Regular Price: $39.99
Tasting Price: $31.99
2. Cuvée Luke White Blend Sierra Foothills – This 431 case production, 94 point rated (Wine Enthusiast) Rhone blend is a superb value in fresh, aromatic white wine. The blend is 49% Roussanne, 37% Marsanne and 14% Viognier, and the wine just pours out of the glass with intoxicating notes of apricot, nectarine, white peach and flowers. Yum!
Regular Price: $27.99
Tasting Price: $22.39
3. Riesling Santa Lucia Highlands – This is bone dry Riesling made with fruit from a 30 year old plantation of Riesling. Highly aromatic with notes of peach, apple, slatey minerality and wildflowers, it reminds me very much of a high quality German or Alsatian Riesling. It is one of the best domestically produced Rieslings we have ever tried.
Regular Price: $23.99
Tasting Price: $19.19
4. Pinot Noir “Soul Patch” Russian River Valley – This is one of those wines that sort of defies description. It is a barrel selection from Guy’s estate vineyard and only about 800 cases were produced. It combines power with elegance to create a wine with a gorgeously ripe nose of raspberry, cherry and strawberry along with exotic spice, mineral and black tea notes. Seamless and smooth on the palate, it is a classic rendition of California Pinot Noir.
Regular Price: $49.99
Tasting Price: $39.99
5. Syrah Russian River Valley – Guy only makes 467 cases of his Syrah, all with fruit from his estate vineyards, and it is one helluva’ wine. It has all ready gained two “Best of Class Awards” at highly respected wine competitions in California and one sniff and taste will tell you why. It is a big, gutsy wine with lovely notes of peppery blueberry and blackberry enhanced by violet and sun baked herbs. Long, savory and relatively smooth, this one is good now and will stay in top form for at least another six years.
Regular Price: $43.99
Tasting Price: $35.19
6. Zinfandel Russian River Valley – Just under 300 cases of this wine are made and the vines are 112 years old – that’s why so little is made. This Zinfandel has the perfect character – juicy red raspberry flavors mixed with smoky plum and that great old vine spice. It is ripe but never over-ripe and fullbodied and lush but not heavy and sappy. Simply delicious!
Regular Price: $33.99
Tasting Price: $27.19