|Ironstone, Baiocchi and Spellbound:|
Wines to Cheer ANYONE up!
What a twist of fate! To be recuperating from an operation and not to be able to enjoy the wines that friends sent as get-well wishes … agonizing. But I am back in the tasting mode again, and I thought I’d share some information about the wines that arrived. It’s impossible not to make friends with winemakers because they are such a friendly lot, and I thank them all for wishing me well.
Ironstone Reserve Estate Grown 2012 Sierra Foothills Chardonnay is an elegant Chardonnay with concentrated flavors of tropical fruit, and a nuance of vanilla and ripe apple. It is creamy and almost butterscotch on the finish, a flavor enhanced during 12 months in storage in Ironstone’s underground caverns carved from solid rock. Grapes are sourced from Ironstone’s mountain vineyards at Hay Station Ranch in the Sierra Foothills, and the estate grown grapes used in this wine come from prime Chardonnay clusters that are hand selected for their outstanding quality. 14.5 percent alcohol. $19.99 the bottle. http://www.ironstonevineyards.com
Baiocchi Neophyte 2013 was born in Fair Play, El Dorado County, and is a delightful rose made from Grenache and Mouvedre. Frankly, I hate to share this with anyone, because it is so delicious and drinkable. It has an aroma of strawberry blossom and dried herb, and taste of strawberry and sweet pink grapefruit. It’s a perfect summer wine. 14.3 percent alcohol. www.baiocchiwines.com
Spellbound Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 California is a nicely balanced Cabernet created by Rob Mondavi Jr., who is a fourth generation Napa Valley Winemaker. Rob notes that it has ”bold dark fruit flavors with a slight hint of oak and spice. Cedar and tobacco aromas complement integrated lively tannins.” I first tasted it at a Presidio Bank event, and the bank sent a bottle to me. This 2012 Spellbound has an intensity of flavors and a lush texture. “It’s one of our shining stars,” Rob says. 13.5 percent alcohol. $15.99 the bottle. www.spellboundwines.com
Hawks View 2012 La Baleine “The Whale”. This scrumptious red wine is a blend of 70 % grapes from the Double Canyon Vineyards in Horse Heaven Hills, Washington State, 25% California Syrah from Garys’ Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, and 5% Oregon Pinot Gris from the estate vineyards of Hawks’ View in the Chehalem Mountains of the Willamette Valley, Oregon. So many 2012 wines from the West Coast are good, as moderate weather meant good crops with peak grape ripeness and a well-calanced chemistry. Adding the Pinot Gris was the winemaker’s inspiration and A. J. Kemp took a chance that resulted in a really tasty wine. There are yummy notes of violet and fig, framed by cedar and peppercorn. 14.7 percent alcohol. $50 the bottle. www.hawksviewcellars.com
This appeared as a Wine Time column in The Tahoe Weekly in June 2014