Sunday, June 5, 2011

D’Argenzio Winery

A Tasting Room That Should Be On Everyone’s Vino Map,
Planned or Not

Not sure what I was doing in this part of Santa Rosa on Saturday’s afternoon yesterday.  Running boring errands, as I remember.  But, my day irreversibly blossomed, flavorably, as soon as I walked into D’Argenzio’s scene of a tasting Room.  A scene, truly.  Felt like I was on a street in the old country.  I was a tourist.  Curious, wondering, eager.  After being greeted by congenial hostesses Kelsea and Carmen, the pouring unfolded.  Kelsea started me off with the 2010 Tocai Friulano, Mendocino County.  Never tasted this grape type before.  Crisp citrus blanket complemented by tropical subtleties; Incredible palate presence, gravity, finish.  Next, SB.  2010, Russian River Valley.  Bright, playful, gently rich.  This is where owner/winemaker Mr. Raymond Anthony D’Argenzio himself joined me for some sipping.  He took me on a wild wine ride that other hosts will have more than a run in trumping.
  While tasting with Mr. D’Argenzio, he showed me around the complex, which stays coherently consistent in character, recreating a scene from Italy.  Bucolic, illustrative, encompassing.  He told me the story of his family, how the tasting Room had been there 16 years.  And, how the frequency of events has earned his label a distinguished eminence on Sonoma County’s wine stage.  Two you may want to check out: 1) Wine Down Thursday; every Thursday evening. 4-8p, and, the can’t-miss, 2) the Rootstock Festival on July 16.  I’m definitely there, 7/16.  Equipment, pen&paper, glass, all.

Back to wine.  Raymond poured me three Pinots, a Zin, a gorgeous Sangiovese (my favorite, SOLD OUT!), an ’05 Sonoma County Cab, ’06 Petite Sirah.  Took a bottle of the colossal cloud of a Cabernet, along with a gifted 375mL of 2007 D’Amorone; a dessert wine with 2% RS, blend of Cab, Zin, and Petite Sirah (THANKS!).  Afterwords, I just walked around, taking pictures, reassuming my tourist role.  Glad I was over in this part of town, on a boring errand mission.  Wasn’t anywhere near boredom’s state while in Mr. D’Argenzio’s tasting Room, with his animated and eclectic wine portfolio.

He also told me that he has a tasting Room down in Southern California, at 1204 West Burbank Boulevard, in Burbank as well as how he wishes this area, right off Cleveland Avenue, be deemed “Santa Rosa’s urban winery district.” And that’s quite the possibility with all that’s developing just within skipping distance from his front door.  It’s unexpected, refreshing, to be honest.  Go visit, and you’ll see what I mean. 

Another random discovery, one that’ll always be on my wine map, list of recommended spots.  I guess what resonated most forwardly, besides the wines, was the structure’s impression, visual tonality.  I wasn’t in Santa Rosa.  I was somewhere else.  I was someone else.  Visiting.  Naive.  Learning wine, again, for the first time.  No other tasting Room, SoCo, Napa, or elsewhere, has stamped such on my Self.  Thankful to Raymond, his two adorable counterparts Kelsea and Carmen, for a memorably remolded, melodic, afternoon.
[6/5/2011, Sunday]

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