Yorkville Cellars offers a delicious look at Mendocino County

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.

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Downton Abbey Wine Collection

Fans of the hit PBS show “Downton Abbey” can now enjoy wines similar to those poured by Mr. Carson for Lord and Lady Grantham. The Downton Abbey Wine Collection features two blends from the Bordeaux region of France: a “Blanc” white wine and a “Claret” red wine. Downton Abbey Blanc is a light and crisp white blend, while Downton Abbey Claret is medium-bodied red with bright fruit and a silky finish. We tried both of them and were impressed, particularly when you consider the reasonable price of $14.99 per 750-ml bottle.

Both blends use the same vines, soil and region used to produce the wines from the Downton Era and are made by the Grands Vins de Bordeaux, a family-owned winery with more than 130 years of winemaking experience in the prized Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux, France. The wines are available in select stores and also at Wine.com and DowntonAbbeyWine.com.

If you know someone who is a fan of this excellent period drama, then the Downton Abbey Wine Collection will make for a very memorable gift. “Downton Abbey” returns to PBS for Season 4 in January 2014 so the timing is perfect for a gift this holiday season.

Downton Abbey Wines


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