As much as I’ve tasted wine, even California wine, I have to admit that I’ve not tasted all that much from Lake County. I recently had the chance to taste samples from the region and I must say – I was impressed. I am not sure if all wineries produce wines as good as those I tasted, but I must say – they are worth exploring.
Lake County Wines and The Region
The region is located about 2 1/2 hours away from San Francisco, and about an 1 3/4 hours from Sonoma. The area is marked by a high elevation (1300 feet). This means more concentrated sunlight, big shifts in temperature, and poor soil – all qualities that can yield a better quality wine grape.
Because of the altitude, there are fewer pests in the area, this is one of the reasons this winemaking region uses one of the lowest amounts of pesticides.
Winemakers in the region are also pretty forward thinking, 70% have participated in the Code of Sustainable Wine Grape Practices Self Assessment.
Lake County Wines
2016 Chacewater Sauvignon Blanc ($18)
A varietally correct Sauvignon Blanc made from organically grown grapes that would make a perfect BBQ wine. It was clean and refreshing. It had herbal tones that screamed out Summer. Its citrus notes were not overbearing, they were elegant and gentle and rounded off towards the end of the sip. Very easy to drink without being boring.
2013 Langtry Estate Petite Sirah ($40)
This was one of my favorites out of the bunch. The wine was juicy and full of notes of black fruits like ripe cherries with a touch of spice. On the mouth, the wine was velvety and decadent. We did have to let this wine breathe a little as it was a bit aggressive on the first sip, but after just a few minutes it yielded perfectly to drinking. Get it while you can.
2014 Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon ($30)
Simply lovely. The mouthfeel on this Cab was delectable. There were notes of cherries and raspberries with touches of coffee and vanilla. There was great minerality as well. This wine could age nicely as well, so it would make for a wonderful present for someone who has the patience to store this lovely bottle in a cellar.
2013 Six Sigma Ranch Tempranillo ($48)
I love Spanish wine and seeing Spanish varietals being used in the US just makes me giddy with excitement. While the style was quite different than those Tempranillos you’d get in Spain, there were some notes that were similar; tobacco, vanilla and a little funk and brine. It drank quite well (after a few minutes to let it breathe), but could also age. If you can get your hands on it, grab two bottles – one to enjoy today, another to cellar.