Friday, July 10, 2009

California 2009 – Granite Springs and Latcham Wineries

First, for those who have been anxiously awaiting the information in this ongoing California wine travel blog, I apologize that the time between blogs has been long.  It has been a hectic time at the winery but I am back in the saddle(or at the computer) again.

On to a couple more of my favorite places in the El Dorado county section of the Sierra Foothills.  Granite Springs and Latcham Wineries are both owned by the Latcham family.  I had commented in my 2008 California blog about how excited we had been to actually meet the founder, Frank Latcham, and what a treat it was to talk to this bright and interesting gentleman.  Sadly, we discovered that Frank passed away this past November.  He was getting close to 90 years old.  How fortunate we were to have met him.

We happened to hit these 2 wineries during their big summer sale.  There were some great bargains to be had.

Here are some of the wines that stood out for us at Granite Springs

2007 Non-Oak Chardonnay – everyone who knows me is aware that I am not a fan of non-oak chardonnay.  Most are pretty non-descript.  But this one was quite nice.  There was some distinctive apple, citrus and even some fig character to it.  Easy and simple wine but a great buy at $10.00 on sale   Regular price is $16.00

2007 Sauvignon Blanc – very pleasant spicy aroma promised a little more than the flavor gave.  But a good, bright summer wine for $10.00 on sale.  Regular price is $16.00

NV Sierra Reserve Red – this blend of Merlot, Cab. Franc and Cab. Sauv. with 2% Black Muscat, is always a hit.  It has a touch of sweetness.  Great pizza-spaghetti wine.  On sale for $10.00.  Regular price is $12.50

2006 Estate Zinfandel – wonderful fruit, a little spicy with lots of berries and plum. Complex, round and rich.   $35.00

2006 Syrah – this is actually a blend of Granite Springs and Latcham fruit with a classy new label.  Very nice pepper and plum character with a long finish.  Very varietal.  Best of both vineyards.  On sale for $20.00.  Regular price is $25.00

2004 Cabernet Sauvignon – a lot going for it.  Complex wine with a cigar box aroma and cassis with a bit of anise in the flavor.  Still quite tannic for a 2004.  I think they are trying to move this one out at a $10.00 sale price.  Regular price is $25.00

2006 Black Muscat – if you have never tasted Black Muscat, you have missed something truly special.  This grape makes outstanding dessert wine.  This one is a great choice to try – beautiful color, rich and balanced with excellent fruit, truly varietal.  Being sold as futures for $17.00.  This means the wine has not yet been released and you can order some ahead of release for a reduced cost.  The release price is listed at $25.00.

On to Latcham Vineyards selections :

2006 barrel fermented Chardonnay – this wine was fermented in French oak barrels.  Lots of nice fruit, lychees, figs, and pear, balanced with buttery flavors and the right amount of oak.  On sale for $15.00.  Regular price $20.00

NV Gold Rush White – in the past, I have liked this wine quite well.  It is a nice blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, with some residual sweetness.  This particular batch was a little sweeter than I would have liked it to be but is a very popular seller for the winery.  On sale for $10.00.  Regular price $12.50.

2006 Special Reserve Zinfandel – big wine!  This wine was made from old clone Zinfandel and aged in American oak.  Great spicy character with some chocolate and cherry and a long, long finish.  $35.00

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon – some nice black cherry, cassis and a touch of vanilla.  Very varietal with a rich, full body.  Great finish.  On sale for $20.00.  Regular price $25.00.

2005 Petite Sirah – Always a favorite of ours at Latcham.  They really make great Petite Sirah.  And this one is no exception.  This Petite Sirah was newly released and has so much complexity.  There were lots of dark fruits and berries as well as a touch of spice.  There is a nice velvety finish with good tannin.  On sale for $20.00.  Regular price is $25.00.

2006 Estate Cabernet Franc – nice example of Cabernet Franc.  The varietal character exhibited a slight earthiness, some cassis and pepper.  This was a little smoky on the finish.  On sale for $20.00.  Regular price $25.00.

NV Gold Rush Red – nice blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and some Black Muscat.  A little sweetness makes this an easygoing wine for lots of foods.  On sale for $10.00.  Regular price is $12.50.

Next:  A stop at Vino Noceto

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