It is exceptionally rare to visit a winery and have EVERY wine you taste be outstanding, but that is exactly what happened the week before Christmas at Gold Hill Vineyard . I had hoped to choose my absolute fav of 2017 and write about it, but that became impossible after visiting Gold Hill (and Fenton Heriott, which I will talk about in a later post).
Gold Hill is a definite must see if you go wine tasting in the California wine county! The grounds are absolutely beautiful, and many brides-to-be choose this scenic locale for their weddings. They are dog friendly (on a leash, of course), with a nice deck overlooking the grounds for enjoying a nice glass of wine or beer while Fido sun bathes. This month the deck is under construction, but should be operational again once it is warm enough to sit outside.
Several incredible wines stand out in my mind and taste buds from this experience. The top of the line white choice was the 2015 Reserve Chardonnay, which was aged 12-18 months in oak and had a nice, light straw color. It managed to be both sweet and crisp, with Jonathan apple flavors, jasmine, honeysuckle, and just a "tad" of ginger. I recommend it highly with a nice Thai meal or white pasta.
The "stars" of this tasting show were the reds which rival anything I have had in Napa or Sonoma. If I wrote about all of them, this post would go on forever so I will feature just a few. I am a huge fan of blends, and Gold Hill has two that are just world class. The 2014 Meriticious Red is a Bordeaux blend of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, and Merlot that won a double gold at the 2017 Amador County fair. WOW WOW WOW - this is an incredible wine and we are so lucky to have scored some of it before it sells out. It has a rich, jammy black raspberry flavor with a rich, long finish full of plum, rhubarb, and rich cherry flavors. The deep garnet color is exceptional, and the nose full of red berry notes that hint of the wonderful wine to come.
The Rhone blend, called simply the NV5311, is a blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Mourvedre and is equally yummy. I tasted rich pomegranate, persimmon, grape jelly and structured tannins with a snappy black pepper finish. This wine is rich and dark in color with great clarity. We gifted this one to some friends for Christmas who told us they loved it as much as we did.
And one more wine in the same class as the blends as far as quality and drinkability is the 2012 Cab Franc. The nose on this wine was highly fragrant with plum and current notes and just the barest hint of white pepper. It is big for a Cab Franc, with lots of forward fruit and rich jammy flavors. A "zing" at the end was not unpleasant, but rather gave it a unique signature that we really liked.
All in all, we are very pleased to live in El Dorado County as the wines are simply getting better all the time. Gold Hill is aptly named, as these great wines are a TRUE treasure.
(Photo from www.goldhillvineyard.com)