Tahoe love

tahoe fishin 8-09.jpgLast minute travel to Lake Tahoe. No time to plan the wine program. Will have to rely upon the fetching wench to quench the thirst of masses (including tBoW). She turns in a stellar performance in the wine department and in the boggle pit and makes a very strong case why Navarro Vineyards and Winery of Mendocino belongs in the constellation of Under-the-Radar stars along with Tablas Creek of Paso Robles.
canayli vermentino.jpg2007 Canayli Vermentino di Gallura $18: Torrontes-like given the oily texture, fruity flavors. Somewhat rich. Slight bitterness. Very good choice for the just-flew-in from-LA arrival wine. 13.5%
la-borde-de-vieille2-300x178.jpg2007 Parteaguas La Borde Vieille $50 (?): Refreshing lime with all the acid backbone. A wine made by Hugo d’Costa from Guadaloupe Valley in Baja Mexico. Check out previous tBoW posts on the slowly advancing wine scene in Baja. This wine is made in Guadaloupe at d’Costa’s Paralelo or Casa Piedra winery with juice from the winemaker’s French vineyards. That’s right. He ships the Old World juice to the New World. Not surprisingly, it tastes French. 13.5%
domainefonsaintegrisdegris07.jpg2008 Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris $11: Epic pink Corbieres gumbo yaya blend of 60% Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir; 5% Syrah; 10% Mourvèdre; 15% Carignan; and 10% Cinsault. Red luminescence on a cool summer evening in the world class alpine resort Lake Tahoe. Beautiful color. Firm and masculine. Balanced. Very nice and easily the most heroic wine of this trip and super value. 13%
espritblanc05_label.jpg2005 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel $30: Best value at $69 on the wine list. Sure there are restaurants all over The City with better wine lists and better values. However, they may not have a better wine in terms of pure vine to vine comps. And it is tough to find a better setting than a table on the dock at Westshore Cafe with a sun setting in ultra slow motion over the lake. The label says honey and peaches. The blend is 70% Rousanne, 25% Grenache Blanc and 5% Picpoul. We taste the flinty, mineral and smoke Grenache Blanc. Peaches come around in a bit which is just fine since we may never leave this setting and just hang in the endless twilight for another couple hours. 14.5%
carossanebrose.jpg2007 Cascina Ca Rossa Nebbiolo di Roero Rosato $19: This is pink Piemonte 100% Nebbiolo wine, probably young vines, bottled quickly for equally fresh consumption. A bit flabby without much character or spine. It is plummy with some tannin so maybe plum skins. 13.5%
navarroPN07.jpg2007 Navarro Mendocino Pinot Noir $23: The winery’s “entry level” bottle. Why do we not own more Navarro wines? Blackberry flavors. New world all the way with the plummy yummy while and not in the overripe style. It has to be the northern climate. You need a case of this wine. From their Summer Sampler. 13.8%
2007 Navarro Navarrouge $14: Now here is an interesting blend of “Mendocino natives”: Valdigui√©, Syrah, Zinfandel, Carignan, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Petite Sirah, Grenache, and Cinsaut. This is meant to capture the best ready-to-drink qualities from Southwestern France. Think Languedoc, Montpelier, St. Chinian, Fagueres. Straightforward, no apologies Dago Red. Soft, nice but just enough acid to keep it bright and fruity. Navarro’s companion to Tablas Creek’s excellent Rhone style Cote de Tablas. Loved it. 13.9%
2007 Navarro Chardonnay $25: The piece de resistance, show stopper, surprise winner. Out of the pack, from nowhere. Having just trashed Chardonnay as pretty much a varietal holding little interest for tBoW along comes this wine we would never pick as California Chardonnay. No oak. No bananas or pineapple/mango/papaya. How about minerals and stone berries [ed. what are stone berries?], creaminess, starwberries, cheescake and, yes, some pineapple. North of Sonoma is a winery making awfully good wines THAT WE LIKE at very fair prices. 13.6%
westshore sunset.jpgThe sun hangs high every day at the beach. Chairs face the lake so we can watch mountains which never go anywhere. Like us. Boggle skirmishes become battles as the lake laps on the sandy shore of our very tiny, very quiet inlet. The day is endless. The sun never goes down…until it finally fades to orange and pink. Warm breezes become cool relief. We watch the boats tied up on the blue, then blue black, then black lake. Dock lights make it all look like some long summer party.
Turn in and do it again tomorrow. We once spent three weeks in August up here and the third was absolutely timeless.

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