Tuesday, the Carneros Wine Alliance held their annual spring barrel tasting at Cuvaison. Sixteen wineries poured barrel samples of Carneros Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and in celebration of the AVA’s 30th anniversary, library wines were made available for tasting as well.

The event gave invited media and trade an opportunity to get a first taste of the still in barrel 2014 vintage and compare it to the current release. It was also an opportunity to taste compare different vineyards or blocks before they are blended into the final release, and taste what the winemakers are working with.

ZD Wines, for example, offered a chance to taste two adjacent blocks of Chardonnay with the cardinal difference being the vine age, one planted in 1981, and the other replanted in 2005. The difference was striking with the old vines offering a fuller and more complex, but less acidic wine.

Participating wineries included: Bouchaine Vineyards, Ca’ Momi winery, Carneros Hills Winery, Ceja Vineyards, Clos du Val, Cuvaison, Domaine Carneros, Donum, Etude, Hyde, Nicholson Ranch, Poseidon Vineyards, Saintsbury, Schug Carneros Estate Winery, Truchard, and ZD.

See more pictures from the event.

By Kim Johannsen