Located in Amador county, these two wineries are owned by Leon and Shirley Sobon and family. The tasting room staff in both places consists of some of the friendliest and nicest people you will encounter. This is a testament to the enjoyment of working for people like the Sobons, and the fact that these folks love interacting with the visitors and talking about the wine. We never miss stopping to see them and taste the latest offerings.
Here are some of the wines we tasted at our first stop, Sobon Wines www.sobonwine.com:
2008 ReZerve® Rose’ – This was a delightful, fresh and fruity dry rose’. The aroma of fresh cherries really stood out. Perfect summer wine. $11.00
2008 Viognier – this vintage has the classic flowery peach character I like in Viognier. Add to that a touch of spiciness and you have a well-rounded, complex wine. $16.00
2008 Roussanne - Always a consistent producer of varietal Roussane wine, Sobon has come up with another nice one. The honey and vanilla aromas are lovely. A hint of mineral with bright fruit and a touch of peach rounds this one out. Limited supply. I am always happy to get my hands on some of this wine. $16.00
2007 Zinfandel “Cougar Hill” – this vineyard was planted in 1928 and was named for a mountain lion that has been seen in the vineyard. This vintage was a little lighter in style than previous ones. There was a nice touch of licorice and chocolate in the nose and a good dose of blackberry in the finish. $18.00
2007 Zinfandel “Rocky Top” – another old vineyard, planted in 1923, and considered a very shy producer. The floral and jammy raspberry character of this wine set it apart from the “Cougar Hill”. Nice velvety finish. It always fascinates me how wines from the same grape, made by the same winemaker, can be so different when the only actual difference is the location where the grapes are grown. New Release, short supply. $17.00
2006 ReZerve® Zinfandel – This was a very interesting wine. Cocoa and blackberry really came through in the nose followed by a distinctly plum and berry finish. Old vine zin from two vineyards. Luscious and rich. $24.00
Now, onto the wines at Shenandoah Vineyards, website same as above.
2008 Sauvignon Blanc – This crisp, refreshing wine was just the ticket on a hot day. The fresh and clean floral character was perfectly balanced. $11.00
2007 Zinfandel Special Reserve – always consistent in style. This is a lighter style zin with all the blackberry, blueberry and cherry character you come to expect from a zinfandel. Very food friendly. A real bargain at $11.00 a bottle.
2006 ReZerve® Zinfandel 30th Anniversary Blend – What a blockbuster! Beautiful wine with lots of blackberry pie and a hint of gingerbread. This wine is rich and complex and lingers on and on. It is only available directly from the winery. $28.00
2007 ReZerve® Paul’s Vineyard Zinfandel – This zinfandel comes from son, Paul’s, vineyard, and it is always obvious that Paul must take very special care of this particularly outstanding vineyard. We have tasted every vintage of this wine since it first came out and they have been consistently wonderful. The 2007 is no exception. Full bodied and rich with lingering berry, chocolate, a little smoky, and a bit of spice. $24.00
2006 ReZerve® Barbera – medium bodied with distinct black cherry aromas and some plum and cocoa in the finish. Nice food wine. Recommendations include seafood-tomato preparations and barbecued meat. $24.00
2007 ReZerve® 30th Anniversary BZP Port – this port was made from Barbera, Zinfandel, and Petite Syrah varietals. It is probably the closest to true Port that I have tasted from a winery in the states. It is a huge wine, rich and complex, like drinking liquid berry pie. Luscious. $18.00 for 500 ml. bottle.
Next: Granite Springs and Latcham