Our last stop in the Sierra foothills is Latcham Vineyards (www.latcham.com), also located in El Dorado county. The tasting room here is rustic and unassuming and the people working there always friendly and knowledgeable. Latcham Vineyards was founded by Frank Latcham in 1980. He is a delightful man in his 90’s and he still comes to the winery to chat with people and be a part of it all. That shows you a glimpse of the passion of winemaking. It gets in your blood and stays there.
The Latchams also own Granite Springs Winery (www.granitesprings.com), located not too far away and in El Dorado county as well, which we will not have time to stop at during this trip.
Some of the wines we tasted:
2006 Chardonnay – this was newly released and luscious. Barrel fermented in French oak barrels, there was lots of rich, buttery character as well as some apple and pear flavors.
2005 Cabernet Franc – also a new release – had already won a gold medal and was voted Best Cabernet Franc at the 2008 New World International Competition. Very rich and complex with a nice spiciness and some smoky character.
2006 Barbera – As a new release, this wine was a little tight and needs some time. But it is a huge wine with incredible fruit. I am expecting it to have great potential with a little aging.
Gold Rush Red – this blend has been a consistently good buy from Latcham. The blend tends to vary a little each time, but I have never tasted one I didn’t like. It is a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Black Muscat to round it out.
2006 Signature Select Syrah – our favorite this time at this winery. Lots of raspberry and black pepper with a following of spiciness. Very nice indeed.