Spring has sprung, and tasting rooms are opening their doors a bit longer now. There are many opportunities to taste the fine wines of the Sierra foothills, and some of the most interesting opportunities are less than an hour away. The wineries of Nevada County beckon, and we were primed for more tastes by attending the Flavor of Nevada County event last fall. Here are some of the yummy discoveries.
I’ve always enjoyed the wines produced by Avanguardia, as winemaker Rob Chrisman so deftly blends over twenty Italian, Russian, and French varietals along with cross-varietals created by the University of California, all grown in his estate vineyards..
The Avanguardia 2012 Rosata “Cara Mia” is a Rose vinified in the style of Provence. Rob makes his Rosata from Sangiovese and other red varieties, vinified as if they were white wines. The small amount of residual sugar in this Rosata leaves a dry impression on the palate. 12.7 per cent alcohol, $16/bottle. Visit Avanguardia at their tasting room at 13028 Jones Bar Road, Nevada City, CA. Call 530 274 8200 for hours. www.avanguardiawines.com
|Sierra Knolls Primitivo|
Sierra Knolls Winery presents a 2011 Primitivo that is definitely worth tasting. It has a bold rich flavor, and opens with bright notes of cherry and blackberry. I like the taste of toasted almond and dark chocolate on the close. This Primitivo is 13.4 percent alcohol. $24/bottle. The Sierra Knolls Vineyard & Winery Tasting Room is open by appointment only on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-5pm. at 19635 Kingswood Court, Grass Valley, or at their new and conveniently located tasting room "Bear River Wine Tasting" at 10024 Linnet Lane, Auburn. Call 530 269-2327 for updates on hours www.sierraknollswinery.com
|Mrs Lucchesi pours at|
Flavor Nevada County event
Lucchesi Winery produces its wines from its lovely southwest-facing estate vineyards in Grass Valley. The beautiful views of the Sierra Nevada mountains enhance the taste of the wines when you enjoy the hospitality of their tasting room at the winery at 19698 View Forever Lane, which is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday, or weekends by appointments. Or go to the downtown tasting room at 128 Mill Street, Grass Valley.
|Luchessi produces |
white wines too...
I enjoy all the Lucchesi wines. You might want to try the Lucchesi Masque is a blended red wine made from Sierra Foothill grapes. It has fruity aromas of cherry creme brulee, mocha, and a hint of tobacco with a soft, fruity medium body and a jammy, nut accented finish. 14.8 percent alcohol, $12/bottle. www.lucchesivineyards.com
|Smith Vineyards Christina's Blush|
(on the left)
Smith Vineyards produced a 2012 merlot dessert wine “Christina’s Blush” that was delicious. It is light and fruity with aromas of rhubarb and strawberry with bright flavors of cherry leading to a fresh, clean finish. 13.5 percent alcohol, $16/bottle. Try it at their tasting room at 142 Mill Street, Grass Valley. 530 273 7032. www.smithvineyard.com
This review was published in my May 2014 Wine Time column for The Tahoe Weekly