Wine Festival at Tahoe's Squaw Village showcases Affordable and Varied Wines

There is always something to do at the Village at Squaw Valley, and a favorite wine tasting opportunity is the Art, Wine & Music Festival held each year during the summer.  The date changes, but the fun and good wines are always there.  Wine tasting stations are scattered throughout the Village in a number of tents so you can enjoy music at many points, and look at art while you taste wines.  Here are a few that I enjoyed.

Reynolds Family Winery
2009 Chardonnay
Reynolds Family Winery poured its 2009 Chardonnay, Napa Valley.  The aroma is of apricot and caramel and there is a bit of effervescence to this wine.  These tiny bubbles reveal taste of lemon custard, honeydew and tangerine.  14.5 per cent alcohol.  $29 the bottle.

Rod Moniz
Of the wines featured by Moniz Family Wines, I enjoyed the 2010 “Cuvee Olivia”, which winemaker owner Rod Moniz named after his daughter.  (There is also Cuvee Alexandra.)  The grapes for this wine are from Sonoma County and it is a Bordeaux style blend of 50 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 19 percent malbec, 14 percent Cabernet Franc, 10 percent Petit Verdot and 7 percent Merlot.  Really yummy, a lively wine with taste of dark berry fruit and hint of spice and vanilla.  It has balanced acidity, a solid structure, and soft tannins.  13.9 per cent alcohol.  $18 the bottle.

Mary Tye pours
for Clarksburg Wine Co.
The Clarksburg Wine Company presented its 2011 Chenin Blanc that has a touch of Viognier to add to smoothness.   Chenin Blanc is, for the most part, an under-appreciated wine in America.  It is wildly popular in South Africa, and truly delicious.  Here are the winemaker’s notes: “ a medley of fruits and floral scents. Impressions of ripe pear, apple, and white nectarine intermingle with jasmine and apple blossom. On the palate this wine displays a rich, round mouth feel with a burst of fresh, crisp acidity and slate. Tastes of peach, nectarine, melon, and spice abound. As the wine finishes, a hint of Asian pear and lime will linger during the long crisp finish.”   12.5 percent alcohol.  $16 the bottle.

White Hart’s 2011 Pinot Noir, Central Coast, is a great tasting and well-priced Pinot Noir.  Michael Filice, Proprietor & Winegrower, believes in making wines that are not over-extracted, over-oaked, or over-handled.  14.5 per cent alcohol.  $24 the bottle.

The 2012 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc from Round Pond winery is 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc.  It has delicate and yet vibrant aroma of white peach, apricot, citrus and a taste of  honeydew melon, lemon and kiwi.  This Sauvignon Blanc is fresh and bright, and is a true reflection of the winery’s focus on purity of fruit and their terroir.  14.5 per cent alcohol.  $24 the bottle.

Uncorked at Squaw works hard with the event organizers to suggest wineries that are varied, and to assure that the wines are affordable and yet tasty.  Visit this wine shop next time you are at Squaw, and put the festival on your watch-list for next year.

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

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