(guest post emailed to blog@starkinsider.com. You can too!)

Today was a Livermore wine day with visits to Retzlaff and Fenestra.  First stop at Retzlaff to pick up futures we’d barrel tasted and purchased last year. Surprisingly the parking lot was relatively empty when we arrived, but that was “fixed” shortly after with a dozen or more cars arriving.  There were 212 cases of the 2007 Merlot produced which was aged in oak for 1 year.  It is well balanced with a medium body which should go very well with lamb, pork and beef.  As with all Retzlaff release parties, the food presented was excellent.

Next stop was 4 miles down the road at Fenesta.  The parking lot full as was the tasting room.  After a few samples we had to wonder exactly why as only the Viognier was to my tastes really good.  Perhaps the price point of most bottles (they produce 21 different varieties) being under $20 is the draw that brings the crowd.  Their Sweet Viognier ($14.00 / 10th) and Port ($30.00) were the best tastes of the entire selection.

Perhaps it was just a bad day for this “taster…”