After a couple of days touring Paso Robles, it was back on highway 101 and a five-hour drive northbound to my next destination, Anderson Valley in Mendocino County. At Hopland, I left highway 101 for highway 128 and a torturous drive over the mountains (thank God it wasn’t raining) to the valley. At the head of the valley I ran into the tiny Yorkville Highlands appellation and stopped at the first winery of the day. After which I followed 128 which meanders through the valley and stopped at the small town (about four blocks long) of Boonsville for a couple of tasting rooms.
Yorkville Cellars: First winery of the day in Yorkville Highlands, they bottled all six of the Bordeaux blend varietals individually from estate fruit.
2013 Malbec. Dark red, crushed strawberry on the nose, bright fruit, leather notes on the finish with good balance.
2013 Petite Verdot. Inky black in color with a big nose of black licorice, tight and silky with firm tannin at the end.
2013 Carmenere. Don’t see much of this grape bottled on its own, dark purple, juicy and silky with green vegetable on the fruit, balanced tannin and acid.
Meyers Family Cellars: Right up the road from Yorkville Cellars, family owned winery founded by Silver Oak Winery.
2014 Chardonnay. Light gold with toast, honey on the moderate fruit with melon notes and nice balance.
2012 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark red with a pretty nose of leather and pencil shavings, tight and dusty with graphite on the finish.
2012 “Spitfire” Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon. American oak, dark red, closed nose of dried plums, concentrated with a dusty , moderate to long finish.
Foursight Wines: Tasting room in the town of Boonville, husband and wife team making very some very nice small production wines.
2012 Pinot Noir Charles Vineyard. Light red, slightly cloudy, warm cooked spicy fruit on the nose, bitter licorice on the firm finish.
2012 “Clone 05” Pinot Noir Charles Vineyard. Clear medium red, barnyard, earth on the nose, bright dark berry fruit, dried mushroom on the moderate to long finish.
2013 “Paraboll” Pinot Noir. Light brick, wood and forest floor on the nose, gorgeous fruit, mushroom, cola and a balanced, long finish.
Lazy Creek Vineyards: up a long road off the main highway, owned by Ferano-Carano.
2013 “Lazy Day” Pinot Noir. Clear light red, red leather on the nose, bright, tart cola notes on the finish, astringent.
2012 Estate Pinot Noir. Clear, medium purple, warm dark berry fruit on the nose, tight and tart.
2013 “Middleridge Ranch” Pinot Noir. Medium purple, cooked black fruit on the nose, tart and toasty.