6 Great Wine Lists

Where to go and what to buy off six great wine lists


The Best wine list in Sonoma Valley for unusual wines.

Address: 7871 River Rd, Forestville, CA 95436
Phone:(707) 887-3300
The Farmhouse has a Prix-fix menu, I’d opt for the $65 three savory one sweet course deal, adding $5 for the cheese course supplement. This is country cooking in an almost rustic sense, but there is always a base of precision and classic culinary preparation evident here. I’m indulging myself early with the lush burrata then opting for a pair, or quad depending on how you look at it, of lighter meats that will serve as perfect foils for the elegant and precise wines that pepper the menu.
Heirloom Tomato & Burrata Alla Panna
garden herb pistou, batard crisps
Karlona Farms Quail
grilled breast, confit of leg, roasted forest nameko mushrooms,
broken tomato vinaigrette, baby tatsoi
Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit
applewood smoked bacon wrapped loin,
roasted rack, confit of leg,
whole grain mustard cream sauce, Yukon potato
You could work with red wines right through this menu, or white wines too for that matter, but I might want a bit of white wine so a quick look through the Farmhouse's selection of half-bottles reveals two lovely choices.
2009 Kartäuserhof Alte Reben Spätlese Trocken Ruwer Germany $52
2011 Arnot Roberts Ribolla Gialla Vare Vineyard Napa Valley $42
Of course sometimes a half bottle just won’t get the job done, in which case there are two lovely and unusual whites here, the precise, crisp and mineral driven Assyrtiko from Sigalas and the old vines Albarino from Do Ferreiro that is not only a great value but really a benchmark among Albarinos
2011 Do Ferreiro Albarino Cepar Vellas Rias Baixas $75
2012 Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini $45
And now on to the reds, of which there are many but few jumped out as the stunningly good values i was hoping for with one glaring exception. Like it or not this is the wine you need to order next time you are at the Farmhouse.
Yes it’s a bit over our budget, but it’s one of the world’s finest expressions of Syrah at barely above retail pricing. If you really don’t want to order the Alemand explain to your server what is wrong with you and then quietly leave via the backdoor. No one will be the wiser. If you’re too stuborn to either leave or order the Allemand there are several lovely options onthe list. wines of elegance and finesse that will pair wonderfully with the food, though the Pergole Torte is in fact quite powerful, and too young, it is a bit of a steal so grab that if you can!
2006 Ghislaine Barthod Chambolle Musigny $114
2008 Podere le Boncie Chianti Classico Le Trame $79

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  • Snooth User: zinfandel1
    Hand of Snooth
    154660 995

    Impressive article. I can use this for my next trip to the west coast. I would like to see more articles like this.

    Sep 09, 2013 at 1:12 PM

  • Just a "small" question: Why did you not mention the Shenandoah Valley (Amador County), just a hop & a skip from Napa and Sonoma??? However, if your intent is to inform persons about good wine regions, etc, why give so much space to Napa and Sonoma that EVERYONE already knows about??? [Personally, I literally grew up with Napa wines in the 50's & 60's. . .However, when they began reading their press clippings, I moved to the Sonoma vintners. . .And, when THEY became a bit too big for their britches, I left them and "discovered" the Amador wineries in the 80's and 90's and I still exploring their fine wines. . .easily the equal of the Napas and Sonomas; and, without the traffic jams; the "elitism;" and, the general commercialism that prevails in Napa; Sonoma; and, now the Central Coast (by virtue of "Sideways"). . .

    And, I find a "friendliness" that is the way it USED to be in Napa and Sonoma! [And, in case, anyone wonders, I have NO ties to any of the wineries in Amador other than I REALLY enjoy the wines; and, like the people I encounter there. . .And, I like to share a "good thing" <smile>

    Sep 09, 2013 at 3:45 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 204,065

    This is not an article about wine regions, it's an article about wine lists. If you want to share restaurant wine lists that are really outstanding in Amador county, we'd love to add them to the list of restaurants in Napa, Sonoma, Seattle, and the Willamatte Valley that were included in the article.

    Thanks Zinfandel 1. I'll try and keep them coming. And frankly can't wait for my next visits to some of these places!

    Sep 09, 2013 at 5:10 PM

  • Snooth User: Richard Foxall
    Hand of Snooth
    262583 2,876

    Well, GdP, we cannot wait for your next visit out this way, either!

    Someone will always be disappointed that their fave wine region was left out. Amador is not such a small hop, skip and jump and, keeping in mind that Snooth has a national and international readership, proximity to a city with an airport is one of many considerations that also goes into these articles, I'm sure. One could also make the argument that the Santa Cruz Mountains (Ridge, Rhys, Villa Mount Eden, plus Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos and Village Inn in Woodside) deserve mention, or Monterey/Santa Lucia Highlands, if it's wine country you want.

    As someone who grew up here and traipsed to Napa as a kid behind his wine-enthusiast parents, I agree things have changed. But this is where people go and that's the focus of the article. That said, I've had dinners with winemakers and assistants from Napa wineries, and still have pleasant visits to tasting rooms--you just have to seek out the independents like Smith Madrone, Bell, Chappellet, and the like. As for Sonoma, yes, it's getting more corporatized, but not so much that I'd tell people to stay away. Nope, I'd help them find a good place for a meal and a glass of wine!

    That said, I'm going to be in Napa for a conference on Columbus Day weekend, so I will definitely put this article's recommendations to work.

    Sep 09, 2013 at 7:55 PM

  • Snooth User: Jeff Nott
    589275 9

    One of the most impressive wine lists I have ever come across is at Café Riacci in Palo Alto, CA. When last I was there, I asked for a particular bottle on their list. The server then asked "What year would you like?" I asked " What do you have?" Her response "Every year between 1997 and 2010". Apparently this is the same for most of the wines they carry and it is an extensive list. And the food is fantastic!

    Sep 09, 2013 at 8:50 PM

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