Its rustic building, which still evokes the feel of a traditional mountain lodge despite many different uses over the years, dates back to the days when Lake Tahoe mainly was accessible by steamship and train. It was initially built in 1927 as the Sandy Beach Resort! Spindleshanks wine list is contemporary and extensive and updated for adventurous and traditional wine consumers. All wines are served in Riedel crystal glasses, which enhances their aroma and flavor.
|Steve Marks pours the Juliusspital|
Proprietor Steve Marks offers a series of wine flights that are both well priced and palate-expanding. I decided on Flight # 2, which cost $11.00, and then added some tastes from other parts of the great wine list.
Flight # 2 included 3 whites: a Silvaner, Pinot Gris, and Gewurstraminer.
The 2011 Juliusspital Silvaner is a dry (“trocken”) German wine with a clean taste, minerally finish, and yet creamy mouthfeel. It has aroma and taste of pear and mandarin oranges with a bit of spice. Steve Marks told a bit of its history as a Hospice Wine: Juliusspital dates back to the 16th century, when the Catholic bishop of Würzburg set up a hospital to look after the sick and endowed it with property and also a vineyard. The profit from the winery is used to support the hospital even today. 13 percent alcohol.
The 2011 Cooper Mountain Pinot Gris from Oregon’s Willamette Valley was a minerally Pinot Gris with taste of peaches, pear, apricot, and a mouth-filling flavor and a finishing “ping”. Absolutely delicious. It was stainless steel fermented, and rich and balanced. 2011 has been noted as one of the finest vintages the Willamette Valley has seen. 13 percent alcohol.
The 2009 Nevada City Gewurztraminer, with fruit from Sonoma County, is perfumy, flowery and spicy on the nose, nicely balanced and with a crisp acidity. It has a hint of sweetness that makes it good as an aperitif as well as food pairing. 14.1% alcohol.
|Monte Oton Garnacha|
Spindleshanks American Bistro and Wine Bar is located at 6873 North Lake Blvd.,Tahoe Vista, CA 96148. Reservations at 530.546.2191. www.spindleshankstahoe.com
This information first appeared in The Tahoe Weekly newspaper, where I write the Wine Time column, on June 27, 2013