Monday, August 30, 2010

Wines I'm Drinking: Yorkville Cellars

On a short trip north towards Mendocino recently, I stopped in at Yorkville Cellars, in Yorkville, a little town on Highway 128, the road that connects Cloverdale and Boonville with the Pacific coast south of Mendocino. I had driven past the place before, but never stopped. What caught my eye this time were the patches of vines along the road marked "Petit Verdot" and "Carmenere." I wasn't aware that anyone in the area was growing Carmènére and was hoping to try the wine, but it was already sold out and production is so small that it usually goes only to club members. According to the friendly man in the tasting room, there are only 50 acres planted in all of California.

I tasted a crisp Sauvignon Blanc; an interesting Semillon with waxy scents and hints of anise both on the nose and the palate; a bright pink, strawberry-scented Cabernet Franc rosé; a Merlot; and a Cabernet. Most of the wines appear to be made from organically grown estate grapes. This winery is interesting for its complete range of the Bordeaux grapes, including the obscure ones--like Carmènére. Is there another winery in California that bottles Petit Verdot, Malbec, Carmènére, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon? I doubt it.

I liked the 2007 Yorkville Highlands Semillon best. I picked up a bottle, although at $20 it seemed pricey after all the excellent inexpensive wine I consumed in France, Italy, and Spain over the summer (generally in the $4-8 range)--but nearly all California wine seems overpriced, so that's not a special criticism aimed at Yorkville. It was a very pleasant visit. For more information, see the Yorkville Cellars Website or drop by the tasting room (707) 894-9177. The drive from Cloverdale to Mendocino on Highway 128 is a very pretty one.

1 comment:

  1. Colin, Thanks very much for the write-up regarding your visit to Yorkville Cellars. Glad you enjoyed your visit and found wines suited to your taste.
    Founder & Proprietor
    Yorkville Cellars


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