• SumoMe

 

There are many reasons families develop world-class vineyards and wines. In the case of Cache Creek Vineyards in California’s scenic Lake County – an increasingly heralded wine region due north of Napa Valley – the raison d’etre is to honor one’s father. That’s what Don Van Pelt (son of Bill Van Pelt, who bought the land originally) currently does as manager of the vineyards, in his commitment to growing exceptional grapes and making world class, estate grown, wines while preserving the integrity of the land and a balance of nature. Our tasting panel recently sampled a selection of their current releases.


Winery: Cache Creek

Grape(s): Chardonnay

Region: Lake County

Year: 2008

Price: 20-25

Review:

Aromatics of peach, apple, vanilla, and walnut greet the senses. A sip unfurls flavors of apple and pear accented by toasty oak and creme brulee. A round, rich wine, it’s for those enjoy more vanilla flavors in their Chardonnays.

Rating: 89

Character: lush fruit, full-bodied, light acidity

Winery: Cache Creek

Grape(s): Petite Sirah

Region: Lake County

Year: 2006

Price: 25-30

Review:

Notes of currants, cherries, bramble fruit, dark chocolate, and earth rise from a glass. A sip reveals flavors of currant, cherry, and blackberry rounded out by suggestions of earth, spice, chocolate, and oak. A rich, more robust wine with plentiful tannins, it’s ideal for pairing with hearty meals. Fans of Petite Sirah without an abundance of peppery and gamy flavors will enjoy this bottle.

Rating: 90

Character: dark fruit, robust mouthfeel, rich tannins

Winery: Cache Creek

Grape(s): Chardonnay

Region: Lake County

Year: 2009

Price: 20-25

Review:

A bouquet of apple, tropical fruits, and vanilla rise from a glass. Flavors of apple, pineapple, mango, and creamy vanilla drift across the palate with each sip. A rich, fairly round wine, with a good dose of vanilla, it a classic example of a California Chardonnay.

Rating: 88

Character: lush fruit, round mouthfeel, balanced acidity

Winery: Cache Creek

Grape(s): Chardonnay

Region: Lake County

Special Designation: Reserve

Year: 2009

Price: 25-30

Review:

Aromas of apple, pear, and vanilla can be discovered on the nose.

Those same flavors emerge on the palate with hints of minerals and barrel spices. A rich, somewhat creamy wine, it’s for fans of lush, drinkable Chardonnays.

Rating: 90

Character: lush fruit, supple mouthfeel, balanced acidity

 

Winery: Cache Creek

Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Lake County

Year: 2006

Price: 30-35

Review:

Lovely aromas of blackberries and currants meld with notes of dark-chocolate, oak, anise, and vanilla on the nose. Flavors of blackberry and currant are accented by suggestions of oak, vanilla, licorice, and leather on the palate. Nicely structured and packed with dark fruit, it’s a wine best enjoyed with food or aged for the next several years.

Rating: 90

Character: dark fruit, full mouthfeel, dusty tannins