Incline Spirits Hosts CG DiArie

How did I miss this great wine shop before now? I’m talking about Incline Spirits on Country Club Drive near Austin’s in Incline Village.

But never mind, I got there via a prompt from Chaim and Elisheva Gur-Arieh, owners of C. G. DiAirie Vineyard & Winery, Mt. Aukum, El Dorado County, California. I have great admiration for their wines, and the story of how food-scientist Chaim moved from such innovations as Cap’n Crunch and Power Bars to winemaking is one of the stories you’ll see in my forthcoming book.

They were pouring their wonderful 2006 Primitivo, Estate Grown on 2-acre Block 4 in their Shenandoah Valley vineyard. The new vintage (2008) is now available at a slightly higher price, but the 2006 has all that you’d want in Primitivo, closely related to Zinfandel: floral fruity aroma, such as raspberry, Marion berry, black cherry, plum, blackberry. Also some peach aromas and flavors. This splendid array of aromas carries through to the palate. Nicely structured, complex, good balance and acidity. Long finish of black cherry, mocha and spice. More information at 14.6% alcohol, $21.99/bottle at Incline Spirits.

Three years ago, Aimee Miller and husband Will Brigham created Incline Spirits from an empty office space in what’s since become a lively incline Village destination. Aimee loved wine more than the computer engineering field, and she was encouraged by Will, owner of 6 restaurants over several years.

C. G. DiArie was invited to pour at Incline Spirits because both Aimee and Will love wines from California’s Sierra Foothills. In addition to DiArie’s wines, you’ll find wines from Lava Cap, Twisted Oak and Boeger in the shop as well as other small production, small vintage wines.

“We specialize in hard to find wine, and we like to sponsor guest tastings,” Aimee said. “ We look hard to find wines that have scored over 90 points in various wine industry magazines, and yet are under $30 per bottle.”

The wine offerings changes somewhat seasonally, but both Aimee and Will and general manager Michael Tassone have clear favorites.

Aimee’s choice for the months ahead: a Gary Farrell 2006 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California. “It’s a beautiful bottle, fruit forward, well balanced, complex, and it is drinking really well.” 14.2% alcohol, $48.49/bottle.

Michael’s choice is a 2006 Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon. “It has delicious fruit and is well balanced,” Michael said. “I’d serve it with tenderloin steak topped by bleu cheese and wrapped in bacon.” Michael background includes 13 years as a wine tour guide.

Will’s choice for summer: a 2006 Cowan Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir, Goldeneye/Duckhorn. “The fruit for this wine is grown in the Anderson Valley, and it has a perfect balance, with strawberry and raspberry tones and a dry finish. You can drink it by itself, or with a meal.” 14.5% alcohol, $84.99/bottle.

For winter, Will would walk you to the round rack in the center of the wine cellar and encourage you to try something new. “The wine I’d recommend is not for the faint of heart,” he said. “It’s like a cabernet sauvignon on steroids and is absolutely perfect for cold nights, gamey meats and fatty meats.” This is the Roagna Borolo, a wine that is 100% Nebbiolo. It is big, heavy and tannic. 13.5% alcohol. $59.99/bottle.

Incline Spirits is located at 120 Country Club Drive, # 25, Incline Village, NV 89451. Open 7 days a week, from 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday-Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Their on-premise tavern license means that you can take a bottle of wine outside, pop the cork, order in food, and dine al fresco. 775 831 9292.

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© 2010 Barbara Keck

For more information on dining and the wide range of activities around Lake Tahoe, see the online version of
The Tahoe Weekly. This article appeared in my column "It's Grape" in September 2010.

Watch for my forthcoming book: " Wineries of the Sierra and Its Foothills". Publication date early Summer 2011, The Wine Appreciation Guild Publishing Division

>>Send an email to Barbara (at) if you want to be put on the notification list when it is published...

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