The San Francisco Chronicle recently 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 - along with wineries which sourced their grapes from the area - made the cut.
Rhone-style wines from the Sierra Foothills 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, which was included in the “top value” category. (Skinner winemaker Chris Pittenger is pictured above).
Lodi, however, was completely shut out from the list. While its tough to compete with the big dogs from Napa, Sonoma - and even the increasingly acclaimed and elegant Rhone styled 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, garancha from Bokisch Vineyards and Uvaggio’s vermentino - a white Italian grape that thrives in warmer environs such as Lodi.
Nevertheless, congratulations to the following wines for being named among the SF Chronicle’s Top 100 Wines of 2013:
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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
2012 Forlorn Hope Que Saudade Verdelho ($24) (Sierra Foothills grapes)
2012 Holly's Hill Estate Grenache Blanc ($22)
2011 Skinner El Dorado Grenache ($26)