Saturday, November 25, 2006

Steve Pimps Some Wine... (again!)


Are you twisted?

Ah... What better to do on a brisk Fall afternoon than taste wine? What the hell, it's Christmas and what better for Christmas than a fine bottle of Calaveras County wine. Mmmm.... Mmmm Good.

Started the morning at Twisted Oak linked above. Twisted is @$%!ing good!!! Started with the Tempranillo. A great Spanish wine grown here in the foothills. Awesome stuff. Bold yet drinkable. A very even tasting wine. Good stuff. I bought a couple of bottles. I recommend Twisted's Murgatroyd as well. Cool little winery with a lot of sass. Very cool to plug.

Next stop was Irish Vineyard. A tiny winery up the street from Twisted. They had some good whites and reds though were out of a lot. We bought a bottle of Chenin Blanc. I am not big on whites but I really liked this one. It was probably 40 degrees in the winery which probably made it extra special. I also bought the Apricot dessert wine. This white dessert wine had an unbelievable taste that'd go well with any fruity or non-chocolate dessert like a creme brulee or vanilla tort. Killer taste...

After this, we went up the road to Chatom. For some reason, they're always crowded. Must be the good wine and hospitality. I bought a couple cases of Gitano-Sangiovese for the holidays. It will get drunk fast!! I can't keep this stuff too long in my little cellar because you can have it with everything. I joined their club today and saved some big bucks. I also picked up 3 Zins, the Esmeralda Syrah and the Chardonnay. You cannot go wrong with a single purchase at this place. My other favorites are the cheaper Syrah and the Merlot. Always a fun and expensive stop.

We also went into town today and stopped at the Solomon tasting room in Downtown Murphys. We sampled all of the reds. I bought the Cloud 9 Composition. They had the 2000 available over the normal 2001 release this weekend. A combination of 5-6 grapes. Unbelievable taste and a steal for 32 bucks! Good stuff. They also make under their Garsa label, a Tempranillo that is quite outstanding. Calaveras County's climate is great for the Spanish wines.

Getting quite tipsy, we headed down to Zucca Mountain. They probably have the coolest tasting room in town. Murphys is an old "gold rush" town founded back in the mid to late 1800's. Most of the buildings are around 150 years old. Zucca's tasting room is located in the basement. A kind of quirky staircase leads you down into the cellar and if you are over 6 feet tall, DUCK!! Great host of wines here. They make a killer Barbera and a good Sangiovese. I was intrigued by their Tesoro, which was a blend of different reds made on the light side. Good stuff, but make this the first stop if you are in town to taste. Stumbling out could be hazardous to your health.

Our final stop of the day was Milliaire. If you are a Zin fan, stop here because there are 7 of them!! My favorite is the Ghiradeli Zin grown on 110 year old vines outside the town of Burson. Pretty heavy handed tastings too. It is fun to go through the whole rack. We're always keen on the Ghiradeli and they also make a good Syrah. What's disappointing is they offer 5 or 6 more reds that aren't on the tasting menu. I could have done without all of the Zins. A fun winery though, with lots of elbow room. A lot of the tasting rooms in Murphys are tight. The town seems to have exploded with almost 15 winerys. California's best kept secret tasting town is someday gonna explode.

It's all good though... I love coming up here.

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