Wednesday, July 30, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Wineaux: Enjoying the wines from our own back yard

SusanLeonardiWineauxW

By
From page A7 | April 18, 2013 |

Although I frequently rhapsodize about a French, Italian or Oregonian beauty, you know if you read this column regularly that I’m also a big fan of our local wines. I just picked up my third case of Simas Family Vineyards ’09 Capay Red, for example, and last night I savored a glass of the Simas Marsanne with my asparagus and pea shoot fettuccine. Wines that make me smile — as do so many of our backyard (well, close enough) offerings — proliferate. (Lucky for us!)

Last year, I wrote about the relatively new Clarksburg Wine Company and their very interesting chenin blancs. I’m happy to report that this year’s releases, the 2011s, are equally interesting and delightful. Last year, I preferred the straight chenin blanc to the chenin blanc-viognier (85 percent-15 percent) blend but this year I found the former just a little sweet for my taste. The blend is also described by the winemaker as “off-dry” but I think I’d put it on the drier side of “off-dry” or say it’s “dry but lushly fruity.”

Both wines taste of tropical fruit, melon and pear and have crisp citrus finishes. The blend has more mineral and spice notes, another plus for me. With their 12.5 percent alcohol, both are eminently food-friendly, pairing beautifully with spring vegetables, fish and appetizers of all sorts. Both retail for $16 and with their heavy glass bottles and elegant labels would make a lovely gift to introduce someone to the fine wines of our county.

My favorite of the three Clarksburg chenin releases is, as it was last year, the VS — Vouvray style. A very limited-production wine (only 66 cases), it’s made with hand-picked grapes from 35-year-old vines and barrel-aged on lees for nine months. Only 11 percent alcohol, it’s flinty, mineral-driven (more so than the 2010, I think) and nicely acidic. You won’t be surprised to know that it’s also more expensive ($24), but what a fine, complex effort for lovers of dry Vouvray! You can buy all these wines at the Clarksburg Wine Company tasting room at the Old Sugar Mill.

I don’t have a great memory for wine, but my sense is that all three of these are quite different from their 2010 incarnations — a sign that winemakers Andy Gaudy and Stacy Clark don’t over-manipulate, respecting both the terroir and the grape itself.

Also quite new, also local — even more so since the winery’s in Davis itself — the new-release Sundstrom Hill 2012 Viognier is a worthy successor to the fine 2011. Lush with tropical fruit, it finishes, like its predecessor, crisper and more citrusy than most California viogniers. It’s $17 at the winery.

Last year I shrugged off the well-made but way-too-big-for-me (more than 16 percent alcohol) Sundstrom Hill reds. On my last visit — which I made to listen to the wonderful Thursday afternoon music as well as to taste the viognier — Chip Sundstrom suggested that I’d be happily surprised by two of their new reds — a petit syrah and a zin-petit syrah blend. He was right.

Much lower in alcohol (13.8 and 14.3, respectively) than last year’s zins, these wines are also more food-friendly. The petit syrah ($20) has delicious dark fruit and hints of cedar and woods. Chip calls it “light-bodied,” I’d say “medium-bodied”; no matter, it will pair nicely with spring and summer dishes. I’d recommend chilling it in the refrigerator for half an hour before serving — generally a good practice for dinner reds during the seasons when our room temperatures tend to hover above 70 degrees rather than the more-desirable mid-60s.

The red blend is surprisingly dry for a California zin and nicely tannic. Bolder and bigger than the petit syrah, it would be happy with a barbecued steak in addition to spring lamb or pork. It’s $19 at the winery (2744 Del Rio Place), which you really should visit both to taste the wines and to support our local musicians who play there every other Thursday (5 to 7 p.m.) and the first Saturday of the month (1 to 5 p.m.). On Thursday, April 25, Meg Hojak and Brandon May will play, and Saturday, May 4, features the Knockouts.

Another local tidbit: You’ll want to mark your calendar for the semiannual tasting and new release party (for the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2010 Barbera) at Putah Creek Winery, also on Saturday, May 4, from 3 to 6 p.m. As always, there will be food, music and art (including the wonderful, award-winning Emma Luna ceramics) as well as wine. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

You can taste and compare a slate of local wines at the upcoming Belfry fundraiser, which will take place Sunday, May 19, at Monticello (630 G. St) from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. They’ll be offering nine wines — three varietals from three local wineries. Guests can taste all wines from one or more wineries or taste three of the same varietal — or all of the above: $5 for one taste, $25 for six; $35 for nine; or $100 for unlimited tasting and a ride home. A $20 donation will be requested for admission, music, good company and small bites.

The Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal campus ministry for UC Davis, offers all manner of support for UCD students and is the residential program site for eight post-college volunteers who serve in local community service agencies.

Think globally, drink locally.

— Reach Susan Leonardi at vinosusana@gmail.com. Comment on this column at www.davisenterprise.com

Comments

comments

Susan Leonardi

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Family enterprise builds a home for music

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Health premiums rose significantly in 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Mosquito districts sprays tonight

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Bob Dunning: Poll dancing, direct from Las Vegas

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

     
    Davis native named a Schweitzer Fellow

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Biggest book sale to date opens Friday at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Share your love of nature with young wetlands visitors

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Tasting event benefits Yolo Land Trust

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

     
    Movies in the Park return this fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Tee off for Davis’ continued prosperity

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

     
    Center for Families hosts Summer Carnival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Vintage car show planned this fall

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    DHS Class of ’94 set 20th reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Tips, techniques will give you a green thumb

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Grief support focuses on journaling

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    How the Bockler wasp got its name

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Kiwanis golf tournament supports local agencies

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Drop off school supplies at Edward Jones offices

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    UC Davis alumnus hopes to bring amateur radio to Nepal

    By Rachel Uda | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Yolo County CASA seeks volunteer child advocates

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Recycle old paint cans for free

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Not sure which direction to go

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Gravel mining affects us all

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Violence as entertainment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Shocked at vampires story

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Paul Krugman: Corporate artful dodgers

    By Paul Krugman | From Page: A6

     
    Nicholas Kristof: The world’s coolest places

    By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Fiona Buck pushes the limits in para-athletics

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    A’s rally to win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Morse homers but Giants lose 6th straight

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Nightmare on Ballpark Drive for River Cats

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Schaub settles in as Raiders starting QB

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Molten art on display at Davis Arts Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Brady earns top honors at State Fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Smither releases new CD Saturday at The Palms

    By Kate Laddish | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    RootStock kicks off ‘Día de Albariño’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Folk musicians will jam in the Arboretum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    YoloArts to host a state of change exhibit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    UCD professor Andy Jones named Davis’ new poet laureate

    By Rachel Uda | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Calvin D. Rourke

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6