I stopped by Woodenhead’s tasting room the other day in part because I have long admired Nikolai Stez’s delicate way with pinot noir and in part because I have been passing the River Road location nearly every Saturday for a couple of years on my way to and from dance class. But the main reason for this visit was French Colombard, the Woodenhead 2009 Russian River Valley French Colombard ($18), to be exact.

Woodenhead's Nik Stez is one of a small handful of winemakers retrieving French Colombard from the compost heap of history and crafting an engaging, refreshing and delicious quaffer.

It is the second vintage Woodenhead has released and it is quite possibly the single best still oyster wine I’ve tasted. Ever. On first sip, it’s all bright citrus, followed by subtle green fruit–think firm-ripe kiwi and Pippin apples–and a delightful minerality with a subtle but unmistakable suggestion of the sea, a cool brininess, say, or a mingling of sea spray and fog. I would be happy to drink this wine daily.

Woodenhead produced just 395 cases of the wine in 2009 but there may be more of the 2010 vintage. Fingers crossed.

Oysters on ice, at the recent gala benefit for the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation.

Once people, especially oyster lovers, discover this wine, it’s going to fly off the shelf. You heard it here first.

Woodenhead’s tasting room is located at 5700 River Rd. in Santa Rosa. It is open Thursday through Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It has a great view and there are several picnic tables, should you want to linger (with a bagful of oysters, perhaps).

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