Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tahoe City Wine Walk Introduces Hundreds of Consumer to Sierra Foothills and other Wines

The 8th Annual Tahoe City Wine Walk presented tourists and locals a chance to taste wines from regional California wine producers as they sashayed the streets of downtown Tahoe City on a nice summer day. This fundraiser for the Tahoe City Downtown Association attracts great wineries and hundreds of wine lovers.

Julie Holeva, hostess at Tahoe
Mountain Brewing Company, pours
Main Street Chardonnay 2011
I started my tasting tour at Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company, where they poured a 2011 Chardonnay, Main Street Winery, St Helena, CA with grapes sourced from Santa Barbara County. The result is a wine with aroma of pear and tropical fruit, and taste of melon, lemon and apple, a hint of toasted almonds. It’s a nicely balanced and creamy wine, with a bit of spice. 13.5 percent alcohol. It’s on the wine list at Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company for $6 the glass.

Rosemary Bluhm of CG di Arie pours
for winelover Brian Aebi
A favorite area winery of mine is CG di Arie, based in El Dorado County. From its tasting location in front of Barifot, I sampled di Arie’s 2009 Sierra Legend, a red blend that won Double Gold in the 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. This blend (35% Syrah, 25% Primitivo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc) features grapes from the Shenandoah Valley of California. It has an aroma of berries and chocolate, with flavor of fruit, and some savory and smoky notes too. Well balanced and with a structured acidity, this is a food friendly wine perfect for summer meals! 14.3 percent alcohol. $35/bottle.

Bill Manson of Cielo
pours for Bill Youndt

Cielo Estate of El Dorado County, poured wine at the North Tahoe Arts Center. The yummy 2011 Magnifique, El Dorado, is a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. Wine Director Bill Manson was on hand to discuss this wine, which features flavors of red fruits such as black cherry, currant and cassis. It is smooth, silky, and has a lingering finish. 13.9 per cent alcohol.

Mount Aukum, El Dorado County, chose Blue Stone Jewelry as its pouring venue. I tasted the 2007 Syrah from the Fair Play AVA, and enjoyed this full-bodied wine. The flavor is classic Syrah: very berry and firm spices with smoky tannins. 15.7 percent alcohol. $35/bottle. Buy at Blue Stone Jewelry in Truckee or go to

Hatcher Sauvignon Blanc
featured at Uncorked
As you might expect, Uncorked in the Cobblestone Mall, Tahoe City, had many of these wines on hand for tasting and sale. Their feature was Hatcher’s 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Sierra Foothills. A nice citrusy nose of grapefruit, and flavor of lime and green apple. The medium acidity makes this a great summer wine! 14.3 percent alcohol. $18/bottle.
Bogle Merlot at
Alpenglow Sports
Bogle’s 2011 Merlot is a crowd-pleaser, and widely available. Alpenglow Sports hosted this winery, and lines were long to sample this well-known wine. Cherry cola is the dominant flavor, with currant and fig mingling with a pleasant herbal nature. It has a smooth and lovely mouthfeel. 13.5 per cent alcohol. Internet prices as low as $10/bottle! Now, that’s a sweet spot for the summer!

This information first appeared in The Tahoe Weekly newspaper, where I write the Wine Timecolumn, on July 3, 2013

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