Tasty wines by the bottle, tap at Moody’s


2011 Slingshot Cabernet Sauvignon paired with the pizza  ·

Moody’s Bistro is practically an institution in Truckee, always jammed with diners and music lovers. It has a busy bar, as well as dining room, and you’ll find many interesting wines by the glass, served from a bottle or on tap, as well as full bottles.

JJ Morgan, the owner and wine director, chooses his wines both for affordability and uniqueness. “I want to offer my customers a nice selection of wines that can’t be found in the supermarket, and I like to find wines from many appellations,” he says.

One of the white wines on tap is the Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc 2001, a blend of four Rhone varietals: Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. Fruit from eight vineyards in Paso Robles is selected for this blend, and it has a rich mouthfeel and crisp acidity. The aroma is both floral and fruity, with taste of peach, lemon and a creamy texture. 13.3 percent alcohol. The wines-on-tap list changes, and prices range from $8 to $13 per glass.

The 2011 Slingshot Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, is crafted by winemaker James Stewart, well known for his high-end Cabernets. I got a kick out of the label, which cited the wine as “irreverently made in Napa Valley.” Its ripe aroma of berries, currants and dried herb with oak is classic, and the mouthfeel shows a tannic and medium-body. Flavor of berries, dark cherries, currants and herbs follow on, with a bit of astringency in the long finish. 14.5 percent alcohol. $12 by the glass.

My personal favorite in this tasting was the 2012 Luli Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands. I might be looking on the Internet to acquire a few bottles; it is that good. Luli Wines are made by the famous Pisoni family, who partners in this brand with Master Sommelier Sara Floyd. It is a fruit-driven wine, with typical Santa Lucia Highlands flavor of juicy dark cherries, cola, sweet spices and mint. The aroma is vibrant, and the finish is long with firm tannins. 14.7 percent alcohol $14 for the glass.

The Turley 2012 White Zinfandel, Napa is a bright, dry rose. Aroma of orange blossom and raspberry lead to a refreshing light wine. 11.4 percent alcohol $12 by the glass.

We ended the tasting with Decoy’s 2011 Merlot, Sonoma County. Winemaking notes cite “aromas of strawberry compote, plum and cherry wood, supported by hints of clove and cinnamon from the well-integrated oak. The red fruit continues on the palate with layers of fresh strawberry and raspberry. Bright acid lengthens the finish, which concludes with soft, mature tannins.” Decoy is a secondary label of Duckhorn. 13.5 percent alcohol $15 for the glass.

Moody’s Bistro is located at 10007 Bridge St., Truckee. For more information, visit moodysbistro.com or call (530) 587-8688.

Search past columns at winebiznews.blogspot.com, or contact Barbara at barbarakeck.winenewswriter@gmail.com.

Barbara Keck

Barbara started writing for newspapers when she was 14 and continues to write, most recently the “Wineries of the Sierra Foothills” book published by Range of Light Media, parent company of The Tahoe Weekly. Barbara wrote the wine column for the Weekly for many years, and contributes occasional tidbits on tourism and entertainment topics. A long marketing consulting career that included extensive international travel led her to conclude that Lake Tahoe is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Almost 20 years of enjoying the seasons on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe has confirmed her belief.