Shame on me for not posting this one last week as part of my other Livermore adventures. It was the last stop of the day, and the palate was getting a tad weary. But L.V.C. is a winery worth looking for and one I am definitely looking forward to going back to soon.
L.V.C. stands for Livermore Valley Cellars. The funny part is that to find it, one has to drive through an enclave of burgeoning track homes. It is somewhat odd to be driving through construction of brand new single-family homes and then quite suddenly stumble upon cluster of older shacks, barely standing, with kids running around, setting up a lemonade stand, a dog or two, and some seemingly-abandoned trash.
But step inside the tasting room and prepare to be surprised. As a limited production winery, the offerings are limited but engaging. Mostly producing Zinfandel, L.V.C. has an interesting offering of French varietals and blends that… well, let’s just say are quite intriguing. It is obvious they have their tongue firmly planted in cheek and for that I am grateful. Again, I regret my tired palate in these notes. It certainly does not due justice to the quality of the wines and the fact that I want to go back when there is a Petite Sirah being poured:
2001 Livermore – "Not a varietal, but a concept." A white Bordeaux blend of 60% Semillon and 40% Sauvignon. $14.50
2003 Chardonnay, Sblendorio Vineyard – Clean, clear apple toned, so akin to a French Cider or beer as to be misleading, but for me, in a good way. Not too hot, very little (if any) malo. Just crisp fruit and engaging flavors. $14.00
2004 Syrahnade, Syrah Rosé – 88% Syrah, 12% Chardonnay. Lovely, clean offering despite the odd blend. I am becoming more of a fan of the rosé but to have the Syrah grape and Chardonnay grape come together like this could seem scary — it isn’t! $12.00
1999 Alicante Bouschet, Lodi, "Profundo" – Immediate chocolate qualities but flavors that seemed harsh and tinny. Sold out.
2000 Arcanum – A Bordeaux blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon from Thatcher Bay and 48% Merlot from One Oak Vineyard. $23.50
2002 Syrah – Medium color, nice fruity nose. Not huge or chewy or too inky. Very balanced fruit that is easy to drink — and easy to drink a lot of. Cherry and dark plum, some faint whisper of roasted meat and a finish that shows a touch of floral qualities. Sold out.
2002 Livermore Zinfandel – Medium color. This is like a Zinfandel on training wheels, but not in a bad way. For those folks who find Zinfandel too overwhelming a wine due to overt spice or fruit, this would be a great starter. It has all the classic zinfandel flavors and tastes, but simply in a more subtle, almost repressed style. $13.95
2002 Sblendorio Zinfandel – Medium ruby color and a medium-bodied zinfandel. Berry tones that were not overt but simple and easy to drink. Hints of spice on the end. $16.00
2003 Left Behind Zinfandel – "The next Big Ass Zin." Syrah-like nose with bacon and soy sauce. 1/4% residual sugar. 60% DeMayo Zinfandel, 12% Kestrel Ridge, 12% Sblendorio, 12% Syrah, and 4% Chardonnay. Faint, sweet entry from that hint of residual sugar, but blossoms with roasted meat and barbecue sauce. Integrated dark fruit and brown sugar. $17.00
L.V.C. ~ 1508 Wetmore Road ~ Livermore ~ CA ~ 94550 ~ 925-454-9463