The Sonoma County town of Geyserville has more good wine being produced in and near it than most folks would think possible. There are so many wineries in the Alexander Valley that it works out to about one winery for every ten people who live in Geyserville. Visiting a winery's tasting room is great, if the winery has one. Many of the wine producers in the Geyserville area are such small boutiques that they don't have tasting rooms. That's where Locals comes in.
Locals Tasting Room represents a collective of eleven Geyserville area wineries, and offers tastes of 75 different wines produced by them. Most of the wines on the tasting menu are sourced from Alexander Valley grapes.
The room is nice and large, with plenty of elbow room at the tasting bar. The staff is quite friendly and they know their stuff, too. Any questions I had about the wines or the wineries were answered right away.
Choosing a reasonable number of wines to taste is the hard part. To guide you in the right direction, Locals likes to pour varietal flights. When you line up six or seven Zinfandels, or a handful of Chardonnays, you can get a good idea of how each wine differs from the others. Or just jump around the menu and find specific wines that appeal to you. That's what I did. With so many reds on the menu, I went with seven of the most likely looking candidates for my taste.
Atrea Old Soul Red 2005 - A Rhone-style blend of 46% Zinfandel, 34% Syrah, 11% Petite Sirah and 9% Malbec, this rocks. A complex wine, there's plenty of juicy fruit but there's also pepper, and some sort of sweet notes that peek from around the corner.
Eris Ross Carignane 2006 - An old vine red from Lodi, this was medium-bodied and quite smooth.
Ramazotti Raffinto 2005 - A Super Tuscan style of 60% Sangiovese, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 7% Syrah and 5% Cabernet Franc - whew! - which shows lavender on the nose and plum on the palate. They say it has won a number of awards.
Laurel Glen ZaZin 2007 - Old Vine Lodi with currant and blackberry on the nose, currant and plums on the taste buds.
Dark Horse Treborce 2007 - This Zinfandel had an odd nose, with nice texture and flavors of plums and leather, a very earthy taste.
Peterson Sangiovese 2006 - This Dry Creek Valley entry is 100% Sangiovese. I found the nose and taste to be a bit lightweight, but it's pleasant nonetheless. Should make for a nice pasta wine.
RH Wines Rowdy Red - This is a non-vintge blend that's got a really nice toasty vanilla nose and spicy notes on the palate. It's from Windsor, a little south of Geyservlle. A lively red that will pair well with a lot.