2003 Indian Springs Barbera

Venturing into yet another corner of Nevada County and the Sierra Foothills, I came across Indian Springs Vineyards.  Again, another small producer with unknown (to me) distribution depth. Discovered them on a recent visit to Nevada City, California where they have a tasting room; their winery is a few miles to the west in Penn Valley.

I found this offering to be quite acceptable, showing many of the typical characteristics. The color leans toward a dusky strawberry; I remember reading somewhere that Barbera does brown slightly with age and this is an ’03. Strawberry, cherry, and currant come thru on the nose and continues to the palate with an additional touch of toast. The medium tannin finish brings lingering plum and slight smokiness. The alcohol is at 14.5% and the price point at the tasting room was $19.

2004 Solune Sierra Foothills Cabernet

Tucked away in the Sierra Foothills between Colfax and Grass Valley California you will discover a real gem, Solune Wine Growers (http://www.solunewinery.com/). There is truth behind the cliche “good things come from small packages”.

If you are a fan of those monster Cabs from Napa, save a few dollars and stop by Solune while this one is still available (going fast, small volume). At $21 this one is worth much more. The color is deep raspberry; the nose bursting with black currant, leather, earth, and a touch of mint. The palate is a wonderful collection of black fruits, leather, slight oak, and the bell pepper common to classic Cab. The finish is long with mild tannins, vanilla, leather, and smoke. As Jacques says, “A votre sante` !”

2005 Nevada City Zinfandel

Yet another post for a nice product from this winery in the Sierra Foothills.  Their Zin is a blend of 84% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 4% Syrah, and 2% Mourvedre.  The color is deep blackberry with legs that go on and on (14.7% alcohol).  The nose is blackberry, raspberry, black pepper, and a touch of clove. All that continues on to the palate with some medium heat.  The finish is medium and decent.  Not my most favorite Zin, but for the price point ($16 or so) it is worth a try.

2005 Nevada City Tempranillo

Actually 97% Temp and 3% Sangiovese, this one was awarded Double Gold and Best of Class at the 2008 New World International Wine Competition. Quite a feather in the cap of this small winery in the Sierra Foothills with limited distribution. The price point is around $19; I picked up a few on a recent visit to their tasting room.

The nose exudes black cherry and tobacco. The dark fruit and tobacco continue on the palate with the addition of leather and earthiness. The finish is medium with the tobacco lasting thru to the end. As with most Temps, this pairs well with meats off the BBQ yet even works well on its own.