We had an awesome day Monday! Drove up to the Old Mission Peninsula to visit 2 Lads and Bowers Harbor Wineries. Due to a long lunch and needing to get back home to cook dinner, we didn't have much time to vineyard hop, but had a great time at these two fantastic, small production properties.
First to 2 Lads Winery on the Northeast side of the Peninsula.We met with Stacey who guided us through the available wines... four wines were left to sample: their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cab Franc Rose, and Cab Franc. Their others were sold out for the season. These selections were exceptional representations of the winery. My personal favorite was the Chardonnay: crisp, fruity, great citrus, and very clean finish. The Pinot was very approachable and easy to drink with ripe fruit and subtle spice. The Rose, raspberry forward and sweet with a dry finish. And the Cab Franc, deep berries and juicy tannins give their most robust wine (that we tried) a great ending to the tour. We enjoyed the amazing view of East Bay through the panoramic windows of the property while swapping wine stories with Stacey. I purchased a bottle of the 2009 Chardonnay, and can't wait to enjoy the bottle with Erica. I'll have a full review of it soon. Awesome job, 2 Lads, and thank you for the hospitality!
Next off to Bowers Harbor. I was here about five years ago on a Club Managers event with two very good friends of mine. Yesterday, we were hosted by Justin, who was a great guide for the tasting. He showed us an awesome selection of wines including their "Bubs" (honoring their youngest dog) Sweet Sparkler, semi-dry Riesling, Unwooded Chardonnay, BH Red Blend, Pinot Noir, Cab Franc - Erica Vineyard (I especially liked this name), and 2896 Langley Vineyard Blend. All excellent samples of this quality small production vineyard. The Bubs was so good, I had to have a bottle... just a hint of yeast, but definitely sweet bubbles. The Riesling was a good balance of sweet citrus and dry acid, something Erica would definitely had appreciated... I should have bought her a bottle... whoops. The Chardonnay was a great summer refreshment, accompaniment to fruit, or a great cocktail wine, but would easily hold up to a great fish or chicken dish. Their Bowers Harbor Red was very soft... Justin called it a tailgating wine... all my mother, sister, and I could compare that to was memories of the Wheatland Music Festival in Remus, Michigan, passing a bottle of Boone's Farm Melon Ball "wine." I hope we didn't offend him. It was a great beginners wine. Lots of fruit and soft tannins. The Pinot was also soft, but had a very nice "round" appeal with tart cherry, ripe red fruit, and balanced acid and tannins... I bought a bottle of that as well. The Cab Franc was a robust wine, with pleanty of big juice and deep plum and cocoa... could use a little bit of aging. Their 2896 Langley (the label is named after their address) was definately the biggest wine of the day. Rich with dark berries and deep cherry, it had some tannic bite, and could use a little time in the cellar. The Merlot in it made it round, however, and when decanted, I bet would be a perfect pairing to lamb chops or an 8oz New York Strip. A central theme with Bowers Harbor is the involvement of the family dogs in the experience; each dog has a wine, and the dogs greet guests on the property. To add to the theme, they sell dog collars in the store... yep, had to buy one for Oliver. Thank you very much, Bowers, for a great tasting!