Wines to Enjoy at Cottonwood - Truckee, CA (Lake Tahoe) Iconic Restaurant

The winter view from Cottonwood’s windows is Wonderland-like, the summer view helps you appreciate the great railroad industry that was so important to the growth of California, but most of all the ambiance and high service level make this Truckee iconic restaurant a favorite place to taste wines and pair them with good food.

Chris St. Martin is the wine expert there, and he assures that waitstaff is given the opportunity to taste and learn about wines so that diners will have a good wine experience.
Goose Ridge and
Tortoise Creek wines
A good way to begin experiencing Cottonwood’s wine list is with the Toad Hollow “Amplexus” Cremant Brut, a great dry sparkler, non vintage, that is a blend of Chardonnay, Mauzac and Chenin Blanc.  I like the tiny bubbles and long finish with a pleasurable mouthfeel.     12 percent alcohol.  $9/glass, $44/bottle.   Perfect with the house-made gnocchi.

The New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Mohua from Marlborough, features ripe peach and apricot flavors, with floral overtones.  It’s a round, smooth wine with a touch of acidity and a luscious mouthfeel.  12 percent alcohol.  $8/glass, $31/bottle.  
The 2010 Souverain Chardonnay from California’s North Coast is a classic, and the winemaker’s notes give some history and background:  “In 1944, Souverain founder J. Leland Stewart began making wine in California's North Coast. This Chardonnay follows his tradition, sourcing fruit from cool-climate sites in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, yielding a complex wine with bright tropical and stone fruit flavors.” 13.9 percent alcohol, $10/glass, $39/bottle.   If you like vegetables, be sure to try it with the carmelized brussel sprouts for a terrific pairing.

The 2010 Tortoise Creek Zinfandel from Lodi is a sustainably grown wine that offers a rich flavor profile. It is a blend of is a blend of 90% Zinfandel, 5% Tannat and 5% Petite Syrah with a spicy, cherry like bouquet.  I tasted sweet berries too, and a bit of black currant and plums.  The finish had some vanilla and toastiness.  14.5 percent alcohol.  $7/glass, $27 bottle.  It pairs well with Cottonwood’s malbec-braised shortribs.  Yum!
The 2008 Goose Ridge “G3” blend from  Washington State’s Columbia Valley delivers a nice dollop of tannin in a full-bodied inky red wine.  The blend is 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Merlot and 24% Syrah.  The fruit flavors include black cherry, plum, raspberry and dried berries, and a hint of cola and molasses too.  14.2 percent alcohol.  $9/glass, $35/bottle.

Cottonwood Restaurant is located at 10142 Rue Hilltop, Truckee, off Brockway Road, Old Highway 267.  Call for reservations at 530 587 5711.

This information first appeared in The Tahoe Weekly newspaper, where I write the Wine Time column, on March 14, 2013   


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