California’s Mendocino County is roughly 100 miles north of San Francisco and just above Sonoma County. Its climate and terrain make it a perfect place to grow distinct wines. Yorkville Cellars is focused on Bordeaux varietals. In fact one of their claims to fame is that they’re the only winery known to grow all eight of the main Bordeaux cultivars. I recently tasted through some of their current wines and there is a lot to like. Yorkville Cellars estate vineyards have been certified by the Certified Organic Farmers dating back to 1986, making them leaders in organics. Here are my thoughts on the wines you should seek out.
Yorkville Cellars 2014 Sauvignon Blanc ($19)
This offering is predominately Sauvignon Blanc (91 percent), with some Semillon (9 percent) blended in. Some of the vines are more than 30 years old. Just fewer than 1,200 cases were produced. Bits of citrus and yellow melon aromas leap from the nose. The palate is stuffed with round, fleshy yellow fruit. Peach, apricot and mango all play a role. An undercurrent of lemon curd is present as well. The long, crisp finish is marked by firm acidity. This Sauvignon Blanc has a really lovely mouthfeel.
Yorkville Cellars 2013 Vin D’une Nuit Rosé ($22)
This vintage of Rosé was produced entirely from Malbec. In fact, this offering marked their first time producing Rosé from Malbec. Oodles of watermelon aromas fill the welcoming nose. The palate is loaded with juicy, red fruit flavors and bits of spice. Red cherry and pomegranate are of note. Cranberry and a bit of black cherry emerge on the finish, along with crème fraiche, white pepper and more red fruit flavors. This is a crisp, fruity and refreshing wine; it screams summer.
Yorkville Cellars 2013 Eleanor of Aquitaine ($28)
This wine is a classic blend of Semillon (70 percent) and Sauvignon Blanc (30 percent). Blending took place after separate lots were aged over five months in French oak. White flower aromas dominate the lovely and restrained nose. Lemon ice, orchard and tone fruit flavors are all in play on the layered palate. Tropical fruit flavors such as papaya and mango fill the long, somewhat lusty finish.
Yorkville Cellars 2013 Amber Folly ($28)
This inaugural release of an orange wine is produced entirely from Semillon. The rich hue comes from sitting on the skins for 10 days and an overall production style that has a lot in common with the way red wines are made. Anjou pear, lychee fruit and apple aromas practically explode from the nose here. The palate is studded with tons of pleasing fruit flavors and spice notes. There is a combination of firmness and a creamy edge to the long finish which goes on and on that impresses. Lots of spice notes and continued fruit are all part of that impressive close.
Yorkville Cellars 2012 Richard the Lion-Heart ($44)
This wine is a blend of Merlot (50 percent), Malbec (35 percent), Cabernet Sauvignon (9 percent), Petit Verdot (3 percent), Carménère (2 percent) and Cabernet Franc (1 percent). Toast, red cherry and a hint of fresh cream are all present on the nose here. Raspberry, cherry, red plum and bits of savory herbs such as sage and thyme dominate the full-flavored and cohesive palate. Leather, chicory and a dusting of cocoa are all present on the finish. This is a seamless Bordeaux-inspired blend. Every varietal comes together to form a unified core. Nothing outshines the rest; they work together to form a gorgeous and delicious wine.
Yorkville Cellars 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon ($32)
This wine was produced from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (75 percent) and Merlot (25 percent). Cherry aromas tinged with bits of raspberry are abundant on the beautiful nose. The somewhat fruit-forward palate is absolutely layered with elegant fruit flavors. Tons of mineral notes are present as well, and they offer a beautiful counterpoint. Leather, cherry, raspberry, black tea and earth are all part of the solid finish. This is a fine example of Cabernet Sauvignon that rides the line with tons of new world fruit wrapped up in old world intent. The bottom line: it’s delicious and hard to put down.
These wines from Yorkville Cellars are simply awesome in many ways. They represent really good values for the respective prices. There is a purity of fruit throughout the wines that is one of several connective tissues between them. Each of them also has an excellent, somewhat weighty mouthfeel with tremendous texture. There is also good varietal typicity on display throughout the varietal wines and a lovely cohesiveness in the blends. All in all, this is an impressive collection of wines. Run to the store or their website and grab some Yorkville Cellars Wines. Your mouth will thank you.