Malbec is always graceful and full of strawberries, but seldom does one find the density and depth that derive from the unique properties of this renowned site, the “Diamond of Lake County”.
|2019 Tannat, Clarksburg|
I was trained on winemaking techniques by the great Patrick Ducournau in Madiran, a small appellation in southwest France in sight of the Pyrenees which specializes in Tannat. He invented the technique of micro-oxygenation to tame the tannins of this extraordinary grape, which can have three times the tannin of Cabernet Sauvignon. His hunch that the wine was starved for oxygen proved correct, and the technique is similar to conching of chocolate, which the Aztecs discovered converts cocoa into chocolate.
|2019 Tempranillo, Lake County|
Ibo Tejada is a sort of buddha – fun to be around. His deep roots in the culture of his native Spain inform his choices as a man of the Earth. It requires great attention to detail to grow grapes of this quality organically, and he is committed to fine-tuning his few acres nestled in a mountain glen. He employs no herbicides or pesticides, and his vines’ deep roots and the living soil he nurtures allow him to avoid irrigation. He is also a skilled contractor who built a 15-room ranch house for his crew. Naturally, he grows the grape of his native Rioja.
|2019 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley|
I have a hard time getting my French gurus to take Zinfandel seriously. They don’t judge wine by the fruity aromatics, which abound in many California Zins. They want the wine to behave itself in the mouth. Because Zinfandel ripens unevenly, with green berries and raisins on the same cluster, its texture is brash and grainy.