The long and rainy spring had finally retreated, allowing a warm, sunny day to signal the onset of summer. It was time to put the top down on the car and get some winetasting going. Dante Robere was at the top of our list!
Dante Robere has been a favorite of ours for many years. We first met Dan and Bob when they were pouring their wine at Eagle Ridge. A few years ago, their tasting room opened, directly across from Sycamore Grove Park. We discover some improvement or enhancement to their facility with nearly every visit. This visit continued that streak, with a bevy of umbrella tables installed on the green space between the primary parking lot and the tasting room.
We entered the tasting room to find it hosting several groups of tasters. The expansive, square tasting bar gave everyone plenty of space, leaving quite a bit of space from which to choose for our tasting. We chose our spot along the side bar and met wine guide Katherine. She quickly determined that we were “regulars” and brought us up to date on their more recent wine releases. Within minutes we determined that nearly everything we were about to taste would be new to us.
The new releases were wonderful! We struggled to choose our favorites, and flirted with the idea of just buying one of everything. Some of our many favorites include their 2018 Rosé of Zinandel, with aromas of lavender and hints of watermelon dancing across the tongue. Their 2016 Grenache tasted like a “big beautiful hello” to both of us.
An amazing 2016 Zinfandel jumped to the top of our list, with just the right amount of pepper (from one barrel of juice from Dan’s back yard) layered over clean fruit and restrained tannins. Their latest Two Cellar Rats red blend just begged to be paired with a pizza, light and bright, with a gentle, food-friendly finish. The big winner for us, though, was their 2016 Syrah, aged in Hungarian oak barrels. The peppercorn and dark cherry notes made us both smile and immediately revise our Take Home list.
Before we left, we took a quick stroll around the trellised outdoor patio. The Dante Robere staff was preparing for “Friday Night Wine” from 5:00 to 8:00. This promised to be a fun event, with Rustic Roadhouse offering wood fired pizzas, sliders, fries and Rustic Irish Nachos, paired with live music by Chaz n’ Ed and Dante Robere wine.
With our Take Home list finally curated (it was not easy), we thanked Katherine and Dan, purchased our wine, and set off into the warm, sunny, summer day. The wine tasting season was on!
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?