Uncorked Tahoe City: Tastes by the Glass, and Great Bottles for Dinner

Uncorked Tahoe City in the Cobblestone Center is the newest venture of Kali Kopley and partners Debbie and Marc Metcalf. We know that Kali has one of the best palates around. Mark and Debbie bring experience and enthusiasm of wine afficianados to Uncorked.

You’ll enjoy yourself in this revitalized wine bar/wine shop. Originally opened as Corkscrews in 2009, the new d├ęcor is warm and welcoming, the noise level is under control, and the selections are great.

Since Zinfandel is a favorite of Mark and Debbie, they have stocked some wonderful Zins. “It is more difficult to make a Zinfandel than anything else,” explained Marc Metcalf. “Zinfandel as a variety is hard to grow. When a winemaker produces a Zin that is varietally correct, it is a spectacular wine.”

A favorite is 2008 Mauritson Rockpile Zin, a single vineyard “hallmark” varietal. A Grand Opening event recently featured Clay Mauritson, third-generation winemaker, who noted why this is such a special wine.

“Our Family’s Rockpile Ridge Vineyard is located at nearly 1,200 ft elevation in the Rockpile appellation, Sonoma County. We pick the blocks at different times, and ferment these separately to insure the integrity and uniqueness of the individual blocks. Working with nine amazingly distinct blocks is a winemaking dream come true, and is what makes our Rockpile Ridge Zinfandel so spectacular. 2008 was an interesting year to say the least. In fact, if we never have another year like it, it will be too soon. One of the worst frosts that we have seen in 40 years, gusting winds during bloom, an uncharacteristically hot September, and we ended up with about 50% of our normal production. Even so, the quality is as good as ever, but there is just not very much of it!” 15.5% alcohol, $36/bottle. (PHOTO: left to right, Clay Mauritson, Debbie and Marc Metcalf)

The wine bar will host a number of winemakers throughout the year, but their daily wine-by-the-glass menu encourages stopping in any day. It changes daily, but here’s what I tasted:

Two offerings by Fort Ross, which draws its fruit from a necklace of small mountain vineyards on the Sonoma coast. The 2006 Fort Ross Pinotage has classic plum on the palate, with a beautiful dark ruby hue and a concentration of bright, bold and luscious flavors. Grapes come from Fort Ross proprietary clones, MM1 and MM3, that were developed from bud wood imported from one of the most select Pinotage vineyards in South Africa. 14.1% alcohol, $12 the glass, $30 the bottle.

The 2007 Fort Ross Pinot Noir is a deep garnet in color, and this is prelude to a full body with aromas of dark fruit and black tea, and taste of black cherry, raspberry, earthy mushroom, and even some hints of sage. 91 points- Wine Spectator. 14.5% alcohol, $12 the glass, $29 the bottle.

The 2008 Voss Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, has aroma of lemon peel and white flower, taste of grapefruit, honey and a hint of spice and mineral. 11.5% alcohol, $9 the glass, $21 the bottle.

The 2009 Frostwatch Kismet White Blend, Bennett Valley-Sonoma, is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, leaning this year heavily on Sauvignon Blanc. It has bright and refreshing flavors of passion fruit, nectarine, fig and lemon, and a rich texture. 90 points- Wine Spectator. 14.3% alcohol. $10 the glass, $21 the bottle.

Uncorked Tahoe City is located in the Cobblestone Mall at 475 North Lake Blvd., Suite 151, Tahoe City, CA. Open daily noon to 8 p.m. Telephone 530.581.1106

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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 October 2010.

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

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