Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Big White House Winery and John Evan Cellars – Livermore Valley

This summer I have been re-visiting wineries and taking photographs of the Livermore Valley in order create a new video. It amazes me how much this wine country has grown over the past decade. It seems that as soon as I think I’ve been to them all another one pops up!

When people ask me what wineries I recommend visiting in the Livermore Valley I always tell them that two of my favorites are Steven-Kent Winery and McGrail Vineyards for they (in my opinion) make the best Cabernet using Livermore Valley grapes. But now, there is a third winery I have to add to that list which is Big White House Winery which I visited for the first time on Saturday August 21st.

The tasting room at the end of Greenville Road on the east side of the valley hosts two labels at our winery: Big White House Winery and John Evan Cellars. But, contrary to what you might expect the tasting room isn’t in Big White House, in fact it looks like a simple wooden shack! The name “Big White House” comes from the name of the home of John the Elder who started the winery in 1992 as a home winemaker at… the Big White House at 585 South L Street, Livermore, CA‎.

Although the winery makes a Chardonnay, a Rousanne, a sparkling wine and a desert wine made from Rousanne I was only interested in tasting their wines made from native grapes of the Livermore Valley, particularly their Cabernet. 

So, I only tasted the 2006 and the 2007 Big White House Clark Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon both of which were absolutely spectacular! In the nose and on the palate there are layers of cassis, blackberry, mocha and a little spice. They both have a luxurious full mouth-feel, soft tannins and a lingering finish. Both retail for $28 a bottle and I brought one of each home. If you visit the Big White House Winery, be sure to tell them you read about them here!