California Cascade

Cascade foothills goodness à la California in the Manton Valley AVA. This is where the southern reaches of the Cascade range tip-toe down into California to meet the northern reaches of the Sierras. There used to be 12 or 15 wineries in this little loop of roads, but recent fires and economic issues have reduced it to probably five or six.

This one–one of the originals dating from the late 70s–chugs onward in tiny hand fashioned manner: small estate vineyard grapes, all hand produced, tiny tiny production, *maybe* 500/cs/yr, Alain Teutschmann has the red volcanic ridiculously rocky hilsides at almost 3000 ft all figured out, and the wines show it.

This wine doesn’t show its 10 years of age at all, tertiary barely creeping in, everything bright, fruit a nutty extravagance, tannins roiling the whole mouth feel, sharp bright nose, and all in a 13-2 package. It has another decade to go, easy.

The producers in this area toil on in near obscurity–driven by the love of the micro-climate–and this wine is well under $20. I have told him he needs to triple his prices but the fact of the matter is: the relevance of this area in the grand scheme of California wine production doesn’t support the blingy price tag. Which is sad, as the quality outshines a vast number of Sierra Foothills offerings I sample.

2009 MT. TEHAMA WINERY Syrah Manton Valley AVA Tehama County California 13.2

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