Wine Buzz: Foothills producers win praise

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 - 5:58 pm
Last Modified: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013 - 7:26 pm

The San Francisco Chronicle has released its Top 100 Wines of 2013, a list culled by the esteemed Jon Bonne, and a round of cheers must be going around the Sierra foothills. A number of greater Sacramento-area producers – and wineries that sourced their grapes from the area – made the cut.

Rhone-style wines from region showed especially strong, including grenache, viognier, grenache blanc and a blend of grenache, mourvedre and syrah from Holly’s Hill Vineyards in El Dorado County. Skinner Vineyards of Somerset landed on the list both for its viognier and a grenache, included in the “top value” category.

Lodi, however, was completely shut out from the list. While it’s tough to compete with the big dogs from Napa, Sonoma – and even the increasingly acclaimed and elegant Rhone-style wines of the Sierra foothills – we’d offer the following producers as considerations for next year’s list: the classically styled zinfandel from Lucas Winery, garnacha from Bokisch Vineyards and Uvaggio’s vermentino.

Nevertheless, congratulations to the following wines for being named among the Chronicle’s Top 100 Wines of 2013:

2011 Forlorn Hope San Hercumer delle Frecce Amador County Barbera

2011 Turley Wine Cellars Judge Bell Amador County Zinfandel

2011 Skinner El Dorado Viognier

2011 Four Fields El Dorado Grenache

2010 Holly's Hill Petit Patriarche El Dorado Red

Top values:

2012 Forlorn Hope Que Saudade Verdelho ($24) (Sierra Foothills grapes)

2012 Holly’s Hill Estate Grenache Blanc ($22)

2011 Skinner El Dorado Grenache ($26)

Update on Easton:

Last week’s column focused on Amador’s Easton Wines landing a spot on Wine Spectator’s “100 Outstanding Value Wines of 2013.”

Winemaker and proprietor Bill Easton wrote in to say the 2011 Easton Zinfandel Amador County is basically sold out. The winery’s (10801 Dickson Road, Plymouth; 209-245-4277) sales focus is now on the 2012 vintage of the Easton Zinfandel Amador County. Given the track record for this wine, better grab some while you can.


Call The Bee’s Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253. On Twitter @chris_macias.

Read more articles by Chris Macias



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