Hello all. Cathy reporting from our state’s capital! We’re on a 4 day wine tasting adventure. Susie and Erin were so gracious enough to let us stay at their house and give us our first taste of Todd Taylor Zinfandel last night with some bbq chicken. Today we decided we needed to try more, so we were off to the Old Sugar Mill (www.oldsugarmill.com). If you haven’t been there I suggest you go. The Sugar Mill, is exactly that, an old sugar mill that has been renovated inside and is now the home to 6 wineries. Many of the wineries actually do all of their processing there. When we walked in we immediately fell in love with the building. If I lived here I would most likely get married there. It’s beautiful. Anyways, back to the wine…first stop Todd Taylor (www.toddtaylorwines.com). We actually met Todd and his lovely wife. Her first words were “if you like whites, you’re in the wrong place.” (they don’t produce any whites.) We knew we were in the right place! We first tried the 2006 Bell Road Sangiovese. Very fruity and spicy. Easy to drink. I ended up buying 2 bottles of it ($25). We also tried their 2005 “Lehrer Vineyards” Syrah and 2006 Zinfandel. Both were enjoyable. Last we had 2 different Cabs: 2006 Cabernet Sauv “Lockwood Oaks” San Antonio Valley and 2006 Cabernet Sauv “Hearst” San Antonio Valley. Both wines are from grapes in Monterey county just different clusters. I preferred the Lockwood Oaks as it was smoother. Susie joined their wine club.
Next we went next door to Heringer Estates. We tried a bunch of wines here but one of the ones I liked was the 2006 PInot Noir. I’m not usually a Pinot fan but this one had lots of cherry flavor and was also very easy to drink. I imagine it would be good slightly chilled on a hot summer day (hmmm…like today!). But my favorite was their 2006 Teroldego. I’d never had a Teroldego wine before. This one has a nice deep color with a bold fruity flavor. I got a bottle of it ($35). Beth like the 2006 Syrah. Her notes say: blueberry, dark cherry, smooth w/good finish, hint of pepper $27. She gottle a bottle of it. We also liked the 2004 Petite Sirah: complex flavors with light feel $21. They boasted about their Petit Sirah port which of course they made us try. I’m not a huge port drinker. It was good. Just not as great as they made it out to be. But that’s my taste. Susie and Beth may disagree.
Next up: Revolution Wines (www.revolution-wines.com). The team at Revolution got their inspiration from Jaffurs in SB. They weren’t sure if wine tasting in a big warehouse would work but after visiting Jaffurs they came home and got busy. Now they have one in downtown Sac and at the Sugar Mill. They’re moving to a bigger place next year. All of the reds we had here were pretty good. Nothing that stood out too much but the price point was a lot lower ($15-22). Definitely a decent bottle #2 wine.
Last stop was Carvalho wines (www.carvalhofamilywines.com). Now the Carvalho’s actually own the Old Sugar Mill. So we spoke a lot about that. Their family is still producing wine in Portugal and has been for over 100 years. My favorite was the 2004 Tempranillo ($18). It was smooth and slightly fruity. BUT, we got to try the 1998 Tinta Madeira port ($28) This was over the top. It tastes like honey and caramel and when she said she freezes it over plain vanilla ice cream we were all sold. I got a bottle for my mom. I hope she’ll share it with me!
We may make a trip back in late September for the Crush festival. They’ll be crushing grapes and having wine obstacle courses (local fireman vs. police) as a fund raiser. Mrs. Carvalho said she was in charge and of course would be responsible for hosing them off and drying them down when they were done. We asked if she needed volunteers and she does. So we’ll be back! Tomorrow we’ll be in Napa. Sigining off.