4 Wintry Wines
Element 79 2016 Estate Alloy Blend
PURCHASE: Element 79 Vineyards, 7350 Fairplay Road, Somerset, 916-337-2718, element79vineyards.com
TASTING NOTES: This exceptional red blend—consisting of 41% Zinfandel, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, and 9% Petite Sirah—is aged for 19 months in 37% new French and American oak, resulting in a delectable wine with earthy aromas, a juicy, pomegranate palate, balanced acid, and silky long tannins.
Pair with beef bourguignon or coq au vin.
Miraflores NV Angelica
PURCHASE: Miraflores Winery, 2120 Four Springs Trail, Placerville, 530-647-8505, mirafloreswinery.com
TASTING NOTES: Made from *Mission grapes and freshly distilled brandy, this wine—that’s been barreled for 11 years—continues to develop complexity and richness as it ages. Smooth and rich with notes of coffee liqueur, almond, fig, and a long caramel finish, it’s a perfect wine to enjoy fireside or around the holiday table.
Pair with pecan-pumpkin pie
*The Mission varietal—originally brought to the New World by Spanish missionaries for the production of altar wine—was the most widely planted variety in California at the turn of the 20th century. It still exists in small, old plantings throughout the state (less than 500 acres nationwide).
Oakstone 2017 Reserve Petite Sirah
PURCHASE: Oakstone Winery, 6470 Irish Acres Road, Fair Play, 530-620-5303, oakstone-winery.com
TASTING NOTES: An award-winning single vineyard designate from the winery’s estate “Geoff & Katy” vineyard, this beautiful, full-bodied Petite Sirah is redolent with dark fruit, big tannins, a rich mouthfeel, and a long-lasting finish.
Pair with braised or grilled lamb.
Sierra Vista 2017 Cabernet Franc
PURCHASE: Sierra Vista Vineyards & Winery, 4560 Cabernet Way, Placerville, 530-622-7221, sierravistawinery.com
TASTING NOTES: Crafted from new world fruit with an old world influence, this Cabernet Franc features flavors of plum, blackberry, chocolate, and spice, resulting in the perfect balance between fruit, acid, and tannins. It’s perfect alongside cold days, warm meals, and good company.
Pair with an herb-crusted rack of lamb.
Compiled by Megan Wiskus