San Domenico Alumni Tasting


2018 Rodney Strong Petaluma Gap Chardonnay

The winter rainy season was much drier than normal, however 2018 will be remembered for its cool summer temperatures and lack of heat spikes. Daily highs in Sonoma County in July and August peaked around 85F, but the weather cooled and mist hung in the air, delaying the decision to pick several weeks past when we started picking the previous vintage. Large yields also meant longer hang time and complex flavors, as we waited for the sugars to accumulate in the berries. We picked our vineyard in the Petaluma Gap on October 10 and 11.

Our Blue Wing Chardonnay has aromas of pineapple, golden apple and hay. On the palate this wine is bursting with honey crisp apple, fresh minerality and a creamy mouth feel, ending with a smooth, butterscotch finish. The extremely low yielding vineyard led to a wonderful concentration of flavor in the finished wine. We regularly stirred the lees during the 13 months of French Oak barrel aging to add richness and texture. The remaining portion was cold fermented in stainless steel where malolactic fermentation brought additional character to the wine. Enjoy this with an Asian salad, spicy seafood pasta or lemon garlic chicken.

Davis Bynum Russian River Valley 2017 Pinot Noir

The local record for precipitation was set during the winter and spring of 20162017 as waves of showers swept over northern California, eventually ending with 60+ inches of rain for the season, twice what we normally get. Consequently, flowering was irregular, but the crop set well, with lower yields than average. The summer was warm to hot, with sunny days in the Russian River Valley punctuated by heat spikes, and elevated nighttime temperatures leading up to harvest.

With our inaugural vintage of this bottling, we blended warmer climate Russian River Pinot Noir with that grown in a cooler area to make a wine with tension between the rich fruit and lush mouthfeel of the north and central Russian River vineyards, against the bright fruit and racy acidity from the south and western vineyards. Blending was completed in the late spring, after the wines fermented and subsequently aged separately for about 8 months. Half of the blend was fermented with native yeast. We like our Pinot Noir to have a sense of place, terroir, and we feel this shows the best of the Russian River Valley.

2017 Rowen Red Blend

Early winter showers with a fair amount of rainfall were followed by a warm, dry spring in 2017. Alternating overcast days and heat waves continued through spring and summer, with a warm July and August. Cool mornings in mid to late August helped to preserve acidity while warm daytime temperatures led to perfectly ripe fruit with harvest starting September 28 and ending October 7.

The 2017 ROWEN Red Blend is a lush and elegant wine consisting of wonderful high elevation, mountain fruit. The wine has aromas of dark cherries, blackberries and sweet toasted oak from the co-fermented Viognier. On the palate, the wine is balanced and structured from the Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of juicy cassis, light ?oral and sweet vanilla. Co-fermenting the Syrah with the Viognier is a classic Northern Rhone technique which adds an exotic ?oral element to the ?nished wine as well as a rounder mouthfeel. Enjoy this wine now with sharp cheeses and charcuterie, grilled filet mignon, cocoa-dusted chocolate torte or cellar for enjoyment for years to come.

Winemaking Notes

Food pairings


The Vineyards







Cellar & Fermentation:

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