More gems discovered in El Dorado County

Tasting Notes

An annual visit with good friends Scott and Laurie in El Dorado County always includes a full day of wine tasting, and this year was no exception. There is always something new to discover here.  We were among a lively crowd at Sentivo Vineyards, where we sipped a delightful sparkling wine during our previous visit, and found more to enjoy on our return trip.  Additionally, it was a pleasure to make our way to two wineries not previously explored, E16 Winery and Elements 79 Vineyards.

These are among my favorite wines tasted:

E16 Winery 2014 Grenache Blanc; Fair Play, El Dorado, California:  Inviting tropical fruit on the nose wafts from the glass.  Juicy pineapple, sweet orange, guava and Honeydew melon meld with a sprinkling of herbs.  Smooth as silk, and the acidity level is a perfect complement to the lovely fruit, keeping the wine well balanced all the way through. Vibrant from first sip, through the long, satisfying last one. SRP:  $32

E16 Winery 2014 Escolle Vineyard Pinot Noir; Santa Lucia Highlands, California:  This expressive, provocative Pinot Noir leaves no question what is in this glass!   Cherry, forest floor, red raspberry, cranberry, tobacco leaf, savory spices and nicely integrated oak meld in harmony.  Precisely balanced with brisk acidity and refined tannins, and the finish simply goes on forever; extraordinary.  SRP:  $42

E16 Winery “Firefall” 2016 Vivere; Fairplay, El Dorado County, California:  Stone fruit aromas engage the senses with this elegant dry white wine, a blend of 50% Grenache Blanc and 50% Viognier.  Vivid layers of white peaches, sweet nectarines, honeysuckle, subtle spice, and lemon curd unwind gracefully on the palate. Well-structured and satin smooth, and the finish is bright and lingering.  SRP:  $35

Elements 79 Vineyards 2015 Rare Earth Red Blend; Fair Play, El Dorado County, California:  Here is a snappy dry red, a blend of 50% Petite Syrah and 50% Viognier.  Floral aromas greet the nose, and delectable layers of blackberry, boysenberry, black pepper spice, peach skin, and baking spices interlace, coating the mouth.  Full bodied, succulent and nicely balanced with a spicy finish.

Elements 79 Vineyards Petite Sirah; Fair Play, El Dorado County, California:  This deeply hued Petite Sirah displays dark fruit on the nose.  Full bodied and juicy on the palate, with boysenberry, blackberry, blueberry jam, nutmeg and subtle cinnamon spice flavors interlacing with hints of toasted coconut.  Lovely mouthfeel and good balance of tannins, acids and lush fruit.  The finish is richly fruited, and long.  SRP:

Sentivo Vineyards & Winery 2013 Reserve Syrah; Fair Play, El Dorado, California: Spicy, ripe berry aromatics set the stage for this complex Syrah.  Rich and round on the palate, as concentrated boysenberry, black plum, licorice, blackberry, roasted meat, and a touch of earthiness intertwine.  A firm backbone of tannins, dense fruit and refreshing acids are in fine balance.  Still youthful, suggest decanting if you open now, or hold for years of enjoyment ahead.    SRP:  $56

Sentivo Vineyards & Winery 2013 Estate Petite Sirah; Fair Play, El Dorado County, California: A well balanced and succulent Petite Sirah, with layers of blackberries, spiced plum preserves, black licorice, plump blueberries and creamy toffee entwining on the palate.  It displays a velvety smooth texture, with firm supporting tannins. The luscious, concentrated finish is lifted by a bright pop of orange zest.  SRP:

Sentivo Vineyards & Winery 2015 Primitivo; El Dorado County, California:  Resplendent with deep fruit and violets on the nose, here’s a compelling Primitivo. Juicy loganberries, red plums, and cranberry sauce underscored by spice box notes and well integrated oak richly fill the mouth.  Smoothly textured with vibrant acidity that carries the wine to a satisfying and memorable finish. Food pairing:  SRP:  $38