Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nottingham Cellars - award-winning wines in Livermore

While they are relative new to Livermore Valley, Nottingham Cellars has made the wine industry sit up and take notice.  This year Nottingham Cellars entered six wines in the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and took home awards for each wine, 6 for 6.   This was followed up with 8 awards for 8 wines at the 2011 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, 4 for 4 at the San Francisco International Wine Competition and 7 awards for 9 wines at the Best of the Bay awards!  Winemaker Collin Cranor, at 25 years of age has 26 wine awards!

As an “urban” winery, you will not see large vineyards surrounding an expansive tasting room at Nottingham Cellars.  Instead the winemaker concentrates on producing wine from grapes from grower partners in the valley.  Collin selects the grapes that most closely resemble his style from a selection of the best sites around Livermore Valley.  Currently Collin is sourcing grapes from fourteen vineyards in the area.  Collin states, “I am out looking for the best fruit sources, using the best barrels and spending countless hours doing my due diligence to create wines that you will enjoy.  The fact that these wines have been so well received and scored well by judges and critics alike is simply a by-product for the countless hours in the cellar and vineyards.”

The Nottingham Cellars 2009 Viognier is the first Viognier from this winery.  On the nose you detect the tropical fruit and floral characteristics distinctive with this varietal.  On the palate you will enjoy the flavors of peach, pear and even a touch of mango.  The price is $18.

Nottingham makes two award-winning Chardonnays.  The 2009 Chardonnay from Livermore Valley is a none-oaked Chardonnay, fermented and aged in stainless steel.  It has a brisk acidity and great minerality, delivering flavors of apple and pear.  This is a great summer wine for only $18.

The 2009 Reserve Chardonnay comes from the same vineyards in Livermore, but has been ages on oak.  This gives it a very balanced body with a warmness of butter and toast plus vanilla, apple, pear and figs.  This is a fully bodied Chardonnay that will pair well with foods.  The price is $24.

The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon from Livermore Valley has won several awards and depicts the high quality you expect from a Livermore Valley Cab.  It has aromas and flavors of dark fruit, including black cherry, blackberry and black raspberry and touch of coffee and cocoa.  It has a good hint of a variety of spices including clove and cinnamon.  The finish is long and tasty.  The price is $27

The Nottingham Cellars 2009 Petite Sirah shows you why Petite Sirah is the Livermore Valley grape.  The fruit is from the high quality Casa De Vinas vineyard in Livermore.  It starts with a dark inky color followed with the aromas and flavors of dark fruit, black cherry, chocolate, and rich ripe tannins.  The flavors continue on forever.  The price is $28.

This year Collin started the Wine Education Series (WET), held on the second Saturday of every month.  These are 25 minute discussions with the winemaker covering such subjects as pairing, varietal history, specific varietals and more.  The WET is free to club members and only $10 for non-members.  It is a great opportunity to learn directly from the winemaker.

The tasting room, located at 2245C South Vasco Road across from Lawrence Livermore Labs, is in an industrial office park where you will spy their flags out front as you drive along Vasco.  They are open Friday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Stop by to taste this bit of Livermore.  Parking is easy so stop by for some award-winning wines.

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