It’s always a privilege to tour the Pine Lodge, showcase of the Hellman-Ehrman Estate at Sugar Pine Point State Park, and even more so to sit on the historic front porch sipping good wines from Tahoe Ridge Winery and hearing the wisdom of Mark Twain presented by McAvoy Layne.
You can do this, too, on Aug. 30, when the Sierra State Parks Foundation hosts its next Evening of Wine and Wisdom. This is a fundraiser for the Foundation (and local state parks in turn) and is well worth your time and money. Bring your wine palate, too, and enjoy the wines.
Tahoe Ridge Winery, located in Minden, Nev., was the wine host in June, and they poured a selection of wonderfully crafted wines.
I started with a taste of the 2009 Reserve Zinfandel, California. This classic Zinfandel is made from California grapes, and delivers everything you’d expect: flavors of strawberry jam, cherries, a hint of cinnamon, a touch of cedar, and earthy tones of tobacco and leather. You’ll want to sit on the porch when you drink this, as alcohol is at 17.2 percent. At the winery, cost is $46 for the bottle for the 2008 vintage. Those of us at Pine Lodge got a sneak peak at this newest vintage of the Reserve Zinfandel.
The 2011 Sauvignon Blanc also is made from California grapes. A citrusy aroma leads to flavors of green apple, lime and tangerine. 15.2 percent alcohol. $22 for the bottle for the 2008 vintage.
The 2010 Reserve Chardonnay featured flavors of ripe apple and peach, a classic California Chardonnay profile. Again, we got a sneak peak at the newest vintage of the Reserve Chardonnay. 13 percent alcohol. $29 for bottle for the 2009 vintage.
The 2008 Reserve Petit Verdot also is a sit-while-you-sip wine. Although Petit Verdot is best known as a blending grape with other red Bordeaux varietals, it is flavorful on its own. This wine exhibits classic flavor of dense dark fruit, like black plum. 17.2 percent alcohol. $31 for bottle, available only at the Bistro associated with the winery.
Tahoe Ridge wines are made in Nevada. Wines made from selected grapes sourced primarily in California include Merlot, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, Semillon and Muscat Blanc. Wines made from Nevada grapes include Frontenac and La Crosse.
Tahoe Ridge Winery Bistro & Marketplace is located at 1644 Highway 395 in Minden. For details, call (775) 783-1566. Sugar Pine Point State Park lies along the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, about 10miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89.
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