• SumoMe

As we continue our survey of California Bordeaux, Lake County comes into focus this week. The region is under appreciated for the Bordeaux varieties it produces, as areas like Sonoma and Napa are much more prevalent in the public eye. Yet, there are some excellent examples of top-quality wines, as well as top notch values, to be enjoy from the county. Explore the region a bit and you might just be surprised by what you find. Here are a few fine discoveries we made:

 

Hawk & House Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Lake County

Price: 60-65

Review:

Aromas of cherries, blackberries, and currants meld with notes of chocolate, pepper, and cedar on the nose. A sip reveals flavors of black cherry, blueberry, and cassis accented by suggestions of spice, dark chocolate, and toasty oak. A rich, lush Cab, fans of supple red will enjoy this wine.

Rating: 92

Hawk & House Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot

Region: Lake County

Price: 60-65

Review:

Aromatics of cherries and bramble fruit come together with oak and sweet spice on the nose. Flavors of blueberry, plum, and black cherry meld with notes of clove and oak on the palate. A smooth, elegant red, it’s well suited for fans of plush, layered Cabs. 1,150 cases produced.

Rating: 90

Hawk & House Vineyards 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Lake County

Price: 60-65

Review:

A bouquet of black cherries, cassis, plums, and oak rise up from a glass. Plum, boysenberry, and cherry flavors mingle with notes of dusty oak on the palate. A laid back Cab, with soft tannins, fans of easygoing reds should try this wine. 430 cases produced.

Rating: 89

Moore Family Winery 2009 Malbec

Grape(s): Malbec

Region: Lake County

Price: 15-20

Review:

Aromas of blueberries, boysenberries, and ripe cherries mingle with notes of toffee, cocoa, and oak on the nose. A sip reveals flavors of blueberry and blackberry with accents of earth, dark chocolate, and vanilla bean. A smooth Malbec, with rich dark fruit flavors, fans of supple reds should give this bottle a try, especially at its price. 250 cases produced.

Rating: 90

Moore Family Winery 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Lake County

Price: 15-20

Review:

A bouquet of plums, boysenberries, blackberries, and cocoa rises up from a glass. Flavors of plum and blackberry meld with suggestions of dark chocolate, truffle salt, and spice on the palate. A Cab with supple tannins, fans of dark, rich reds will enjoy this bottle. Just 204 cases produced.

Rating: 89

Shannon Ridge “High Elevation” 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Grape(s): 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Region: Lake County

Price: 15-20

Review:

Aromas of citrus fruits and gooseberries, along with a hint of grass, greets the senses. The palate deliverers flavors lemon, grapefruit, and tart pineapple accented by suggestions of grass and minerals. A welcoming acidity and bright fruit make this a very approachable wine, fans of crisp whites with a slightly round mouthfeel will enjoy this bottle.

Rating: 90

Shannon Ridge “High Elevation” 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah

Region: Lake County

Price: 20-25

Review:

A bouquet of red berries, pepper, and toasty oak greets the senses. Flavors of raspberry and cherry emerge on the palate accented by notes of leather, spice, and oak. A rich, supple red, it’s well-suited for fans of fans of heartier Cabs. 14,850 cases produced.

Rating: 89

Shannon Ridge “Home Ranch” 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petite Sirah

Region: Lake County

Price: 25-30

Review:

Aromatics of currants, blackberries, and cherries come together with hints of sweet spice, cedar, and vanilla on the nose. With a sip, flavors of cherry, blackberry, and cassis drift across the palate with accents of vanilla, clove, and anise. A nicely layered red with plush tannins, fans of rich, elegant Cabs will enjoy this wine. 946 cases produced.

Rating: 90

Vigilance 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Grape(s): 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Region: Lake County

Price: 15-20

Review:

A bouquet of citrus fruits, melon, and hints of bell pepper greet the senses. Flavors of honey dew, grapefruit, and lemon come together on the palate. A crisp white with a fairly round mouthfeel, fans of bright, approachable Sauvignon Blancs should try this bottle. 18,000 cases produced.

Rating: 88

Vigilance 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

Grape(s): 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petite Sirah, 4% Syrah

Region: Lake County

Price: 20-25

Review:

Aromas of currants, blackberries, and cherry mingle with hints of leather, vanilla, and spice on the nose. Flavors of cherry, blackberry, and currants are accented by suggestions of oak, leather, and dusty earth. A fairly bright, hearty Cab with supple tannins, if you’re not a fans of “fruit bombs,” this is a bottle to try.

Rating: 89