Monday, August 18, 2014

PANNING FOR GOLD - Tanner Vineyards & Pres. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant & Tanner Vineyards

Furthering my birthday adventure in Mark Twain/Gold Rush country in the Sierra mountain foothills, I learned that there may not be gold nuggets in them there hills anymore, but growing grapes seems to have created a new mother lode.  Like mining for gold, however, there's no guarantee that you will strike it rich.

Armed with an adventurous wine tasting spirit, we (brother Bob, sister-in-law Nguyen and Richard)  headed for the charming town of Murphys a few miles away from Angels Camp where we were staying.  But, before we had our first sip or wine, we had to check out the town's "Ulysses S. Grant slept here"...

...hotel dating back prior to 1856.

The dining room and bar have been updated,

 but the hotel has preserved the Grant Presidential suite under glass (well, actually behind glass) for tourist like us to see.

Pres. Grant's piano
After our brief tour of the hotel, it was time for a bit of wine tasting.  

As old and preserved as the town's hotel was, that's how modern and sleek Tanner's tasting room is.

The Tanners have been part of the community since the 1800s and Annie Tanner, one of the owners of the vineyard, was our "barista."

She welcomed us with a smile as she poured our flight ($5) and explained that basically the Tanners are a farming family and sell 75% of the grapes they grow... but in 2004, decided to bottle a limited amount of their own estate wines - about 1,000 cases.

Our first taste was a 2011Vermentino ($20) - a crisp, white wine that I liked a lot.  Match with seafood or sip by the pool on a hot day and you'll be glad you did.

Next was their 2011 Viognier (on a summer sale for $15), a white wine that I love as much as a good chardonnay, and this viognier was very good, with scents of honeysuckle and a rich, ripe fruit finish.  Bring on the cheese and salami.

I'm not a big rose fan, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the 2011 Doux Rose ($15) and its creme brulee finish.  I guess I shouldn't be, creme brulee is one of my favorite desserts evah.

We switched to reds and started with the 2009 Syrah ($26) - a really nice wine with rich fruit flavors.

The 2010 Angelo's Red ($28) showcases Tanner's estate grown Carignane grapes and is a lovely red table wine named for their great-grandfather Angelo Sciacaluga, the first official winemaker in Calaveras County.

On the high end of the Tanner wines price list were the 2009 Petite Sirah ($35) and the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($45).  The Sirah was a full-bodied wine with wonderful berry aromas  The Cabernet had a long lasting soft tannin finished.  Neither wine will disappoint. 

Yes, there is gold in them there hills.  Grape gold.

435 Main Street
Murphys, California  95247


1 comment:

judy kahn said...

loved reading abt your latest adventure... don't know much about california wine but sounded deelish...