As the vineyards start to show bits of green along their vines, our yearning for new winetasting experiences grows. What new wines are being poured in the tasting room? What have we missed? That was our motivation for our recent visit to the Omega Road Winery.
Omega Road Winery is a Livermore success story. In just a few years, their reputation (and customer base) has grown so much that they outgrew their first space and had to move to a MUCH larger space. On this warm, sunny spring day, we entered the tasting room to find happy tasters in every nook and cranny. The entryway had a number of tables and a tasting bar, but we were interested in checking out the second tasting room in back. After receiving warm greetings from both winemakers, we found some space at the long table running down the center of the tasting area. There were clusters of wine lovers scattered between the round tables along one wall and the long table in the middle, but there was plenty of room our our group. It was time for some wine!
Ken (the father in the father/daughter winemaking duo) told us that the flowers decorating each of the tables were from the progressive dinner held on Valentine’s Day. It was a nice extra touch! Ken started our tasting flight with their 2018 Aperire Sparkler aperitif. We learned that the name Asperire means “opening” and that the wine was meant to be an opening to a meal. The wine was neither sweet nor tart, with an interesting smoothness and body. Certainly a great way to get a meal or a tasting started.
Next was their 2018 “Gratia” Torrontes, made from Lodi fruit. The Torrontes grape is not widely used in the California wine business, but the Omega Road Torrontes might change that! We loved the dry, nuanced flavors, especially the notes reminiscent of warm baked pears and cinnamon. Their 2016 Syrah, blended with 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, was a whirlwind of flavors, running the gamut from tart to sweet with bright cherry, lemongrass and berry notes.
Our next taste was a hit with all of us, leading off our Take Home list: the 2018 Alicante Bouschet Rosé. We found notes of candied apple and white pepper in this incredible “welcome to our home” kind of wine. Their 2015 Petit Verdot, from Dry Creek fruit. This was bold, with tart cranberry notes leading to a spicy finish. A great wine for a BBQ! We compared it to their 2015 Petit Verdot from Livermore, which we found to be smooth, with great fruit up front and a gentle finish. Much more of a sipping wine!
As sometimes happens, we got talking with Alexandra (the daughter in the father/daughter duo) and ended up closing the place. We sheepishly purchased our list of Take Home wines and promised to leave and let them get home!
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?