One of the Livermore wineries successfully making the move from “rookie” to “established” status is Dante Robere Vineyards. Now fully settled into their beautiful tasting room and building a respected library of award-winning vintages, this winery is showing that they have what it takes to take their place among the premier wineries of Livermore.
To be honest, a visit to Dante Robere was not on our tasting plan as we left the house. After enjoying a wonderful tasting at Eckert Estates Winery, we fully intended to head over to a wine club pickup party. Our path took us down Wetmore Road, and that meant driving past Sycamore Grove Park and, you guessed it, the Dante Robere tasting room. We looked at each other and silently agreed to a new plan. Dante Robere it was!
We entered and were immediately greeted by Bob Bossi, one of the owners. He’s the Robere of Dante Robere, get it? The tasting room was jumping, but there was a nice gap for us at the main tasting bar. Bob got us started with their 2016 Viognier, a unique and amazing treatment of this up and coming varietal. This is one of our favorite white wines, ready and waiting for a pool-side appearance at our house.
Next up was another one of our favorites, their 2015 Mourvedre. This is a wine that I would purchase just for its aroma. The warm layers of black cherry, plum, and coffee make the taste pretty special, too. Our inventory at home was getting thin on this go-to wine, so we put some on our “take home” list. The 2015 Barbera was full of fruit, with all sorts of berries competing for attention, leading to a subtle smoke finish. Perfect for a tri-tip on the BBQ.
Their 2015 Touriga is another staple in our wine cellar. We really enjoy the layered and restrained fruit, with umami notes throughout, leading to a surprising “bang” of tobacco and spice at the end. Some of this wine joined the Mourvedre on our list. We next tasted the 2015 Zinfandel. Not a typical, slap-your-face Zin, this has nuanced fruit and restrained pepper. A Zin in a three-piece suit! Their 2015 Estate Syrah was just released in November, so still a baby. Although it is still bit tight, it already has nice plum and black cherry notes. And some real potential in our cellar!
We concluded our tasting with two favorites. First, their 2015 Tempranillo, made with Livermore grapes, was full of fruit and chocolate, with an exciting “boom” on the finish. This one joined our take home list. That list was immediately augmented with some of their 2014 Petite Sirah, soft and perfectly balanced. An ideal reference for the Syrah grape.
Our take home list had reached an almost embarrassing length and the day was drawing to a close. We purchased our wine, thanked Bob and his team for another memorable experience, and headed home. Wine club parties are fun, but sometimes these impromptu tastings can be even more fun!
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?