Teddy Roosevelt famously said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” That sentiment seems to be reflected as “Taste humbly and pour a great wine” when you visit the White Crane Winery. A small white building, hardly bigger than a two-car garage, sits at the end of a gravel drive. The modest trappings give little hint that within the walls are poured some awesome wines.
White Crane Winery
5405 Greenville Road
Livermore CA 94550
Friday through Sunday. Noon to 4:30pm
$5 tasting fee
We moved on to the White Crane labeled wines. The 2006 Merlot was a big hit. Made from Carneros grapes, this is a fruit-forward Merlot that’s very smooth and drinkable right now. I thought of blackberries hiding in the finish. We bought a bottle to somehow cram in the wine fridge.
We enjoyed the 2006 Petite Syrah, with a leathery nose and hints of cherry. Lots of fruit in this one! Then Nick poured a 2009 Pinot Noir that was not on the tasting menu. This was a surprise on a number of fronts. First, I didn’t remember a Pinot Noir coming out of White Crane before. Second, wow, this is a punchy Pinot! A great addition to the wine list. One came home with us, just aching to find a spot in the wine fridge.
Nick also brought out a Claret for us to try. This blend of cab, syrah, merlot and petite syrah was very smooth, nearly floating across the tongue. I’m not usually a big fan of Clarets, but this one was a big hit with all four of us.
Then, on to the PORTS! We started with the 2006 Chardonnay Port. This was very pleasant, with a light and fruity approach, then that wonderful port finish. Yum.
We wrapped up with the Vintage Port. This is a blend of Portuguese grapes that come together to create a nearly effervescent mouth feel. Nice fruit and and great finish. Only wish I had room left on my Port shelf. Maybe next visit? I love the ports but seem to accumulate them faster than I can drink them. The winter cold season should turn that trend around.
We had a quick barrel taste before we left. We’ve purchased futures from Nick before, and really benefited from the great pricing and the sense of anticipation.
Then we were off. A quick belly rub for Bacchus, the winery dog, and we headed off to our next winery.
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?