Tempting the Hangman of El Dorado County

“I’ll FINALLY end with the Skinner Vineyards 2010 Eighteen Sixty-One, a blend of Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Counoise. What I like about Skinner’s wines is their purity, how the flavors pop on your palate, and how elegant and polished they are. Grenache seems to love El Dorado County, and may ultimately be the variety that distinguishes it. Here it gives beautiful aromatics, the underlying pretty red aromas that are accentuate the savoriness of the Mourvèdre and make the wine ethereally powerful and pretty. It’s medium-bodied, and it’s wonderfully complex (throw in lavender and forest floor and Mourvèdre’s exotic spiciness), and it improved in the glass every ten minutes. A lot going on here, and the price tag is a mere $30. If this were Pinot Noir, it would be $60. And it’s every bit as elegant and beautiful.”

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