I failed again. On my most recent trip to CA, I swung by Murphys up in Calaveras County for a day, specifically to visit with El Jefe who had invited any wine blog folks who were arriving early for the Wine Blogger Conference to come on over and explore the town. Last year I tried to meet the owner of Chatom Vineyards and failed. She and my mother in law were high school classmates and I’ve been trying to meet her since I found that out. Sadly, I missed her again this year! But being the winos we are Thea and I of course decided to taste through the line up and see what Chatom had to offer this year!
2006 Semillon: $16. Flowers, lemon, perfume, honey, pepper, lime, lemon, tart, dry.
2006 Sauvignon Blanc: $16. Lime, peach, spice, melon, pear, honey, flowers, honeysuckle.
2007 Chardonnay: $18. Stone fruit pear, cream, lime, lemon, orange, spice, nice structure.
2005 Gitano Sangiovese: $18. Strawberry, smoke, cracked pepper, red fruit, berries, raspberries, light, fruity.
2004 She Wines Red: $12. Deep re fruit, pepper, vanilla, raspberry, strawberry. Simple.
2005 Zinfandel: $19. Black currant, berry, pepper, spice, brown sugar, dry, redder in the mouth.
2005 Merlot: $20. Spiced plum, pepper, cranberry, pomegranate, vanilla, red fruit, spice, pepper, tart red fruit. One of my favorites, I bought a bottle, but sadly, it cooked in the car and that was the end of that. I’ve never had that happen before, even on super hot days, so honestly, it took me by surprise.
2005 Syrah: $23. Smoked meat, bacon, capfire, smoke, chocolate, dark, tannic.
2004 Esmerelda Syrah: $34. Raspberry, black cherry, dark chocolate, tart cherry, ripe red berries, cream, blackberry, nice round fruit, chocolate coffee beans. One of my perennial favorites, I still have some in my basement!
2005 Cabernet Sauvignon: $26. Black fruit, blackberries, black cherry, vanilla, black currants, tannic.
2004 Vintage Port: $28. Raisins, sweet, dark fruit, blackberry syrup, thick.
Overall, I have to say that the price points and quality of the wines coming out of the Calaveras area surprises me. They’ve somehow managed to get quality up but keep prices way down. I only bought the one bottle since I just can’t keep up with the wine in my basement at the moment, which in hindsight seems to have been a good decision given that the weather cooked the bottle I did buy. I’ll be back again in the future as I continue my quest to meet the owner!