Can you learn anything about a wine before it’s bottled, while it’s aging in oak barrels?
Yes and no.
When a wine is young, its aroma and flavor spectrum tends to present itself in “parts.” You’ll typically smell a lot of oak-influenced aromas, and you’ll taste mostly in-your-face fruit flavors.
What you won’t experience — what you’ll only be able to imagine… or hope for — is what the wine will taste like when it has had time to meld. That happens only with time.
Still, tasting barrel samples can be a lot of fun, which is why individual wineries or groups of wineries host barrel tasting events — events like the Anderson Valley Barrel Tasting Weekend, which will be held for the second time July 26-27 in California’s Mendocino County.
According to a press release, attendees will “enjoy unprecedented access to winery cellars, taste yet-to-be-released wines, explore the area, discover new wineries, and enjoy a beautiful summer weekend in Mendocino’s Pinot Noir country.”
The variety mentioned in the release — Pinot Noir — is the reason the event is being held in the summer. Most barrel tasting events are staged in the spring, but Pinot Noir is a variety that needs more time to settle down following fermentation. In order to provide a fairly accurate “picture” of the wines, local vintners, most of whom make Pinot Noir, wisely decided to delay their barrel tasting event by a few months.
Wineries will offer barrel tasting from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and guests will receive a wrist band, which grants access both days, and a special logo glass.
To purchase tickets, click here.