Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Taste of Gold from El Dorado Wineries

I’d heard in the past about the wonderful Gourmet Food and Wine Tasting fundraiser for Lake Tahoe Community College, but I can now say with assurance: put the Taste of Gold event on your calendar for next year. Held on campus in South Lake Tahoe, this event featured 10 El Dorado/Sierra Foothill wineries and 8 wonderful restaurants who prepared tastes that paired well with the wines.

Laurie Dishman of
Mount Aukum Winery
Mount Aukum winery served its 2007 Apogee. This is an El Dorado Rhone varietals blend of 40% syrah, 30% petite syrah, 20% cabernet franc, and 10% merlot. Blends are becoming more popular in all categories and regions of wine, and winemaker Michel Prodhon has recently been “Club Apogee” giving blending seminars for the trade and for consumers. This wine is the outcome of such a seminar and is a robust red with plum flavor predominating. Truly yummy. 14.8 per cent alcohol, $30/bottle. www.mountaukum.com

Jim Brown of
Sierra Oaks Esates
SIerra Oaks makes its 2006 Petite Sirah in a Burgundian style. This Petite has a unique and interesting floral nose. I enjoyed the licorice flavor, which is a nice complement to this rich fruity Petite. It has a nice roundness in the mid palate, giving the impression of sweetness. The finish is smooth. 13.6 per cent alcohol, $21/bottle. www.sierraoaksestates.com

Connie Varvais and her husband,
Holly's Hill Vineyards
Holly’s Hill Vineyards served a refreshing 2011 Viognier, perfect for a summer evening. Despite the difficulty in pronouncing this varietal (vee-ohn-yay), it is a delightful Rhone grape that in this instance brought to mind a fruit-cocktail flavor. “Imagine a bowl of peaches, pears and grapes all tossed with a lilac and lavender dressing,” said tasting room manager Connie Varvais. This wine is crisp, not sugary, and nicely mouth-filling. 13.6 per cent alcohol, $20/bottle. www.hollyshill.com

Nello Olivo of
Nello Olivo Winery
Nello Olivo Winery poured a 2007 Toscanello, one of many Italian wines in which they specialize. This red blend is 60% sangiovese, 20% cabernet, and 20% merlot. Marco Cappelli is the well-known winemaker. A full bodied wine with aromas of dark cherry, blueberry, cigar box & eucalyptus, it has a long and friendly finish that features a variety of acidity levels and a good tannic structure. If you can resist drinking it right away, it will age well for 6 to 10 years. 14.5 per cent alcohol, $50/bottle. www.nelloolivo.com

Other El Dorado wineries pouring were Colibri Ridge Winery, Crystal Basin Cellars, Grace Patriot Wines, Lava Cap, Madroña Vineyards, and Perry Creek Winery. It’s a great and easy day trip from Tahoe to taste the wonderful wines of El Dorado county.
Lava Cap
Crystal Basin

All proceeds from this event benefit Lake Tahoe Community College Foundation, which supports scholarships and College programs. Find out more at www.ltcc-edu/foundation and get on the notification list for next year’s event!

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