Had the lovely opportunity to drive through a (fairly new) wine-producing area–even though the first plantings went in in the late 70’s. For several decades, the wine produced was contracted out to bottlers in Napa and Sonoma counties, and only as those contracts dried up in the late 80’s did the local wine-making economy of Tehama County take off. Now there are a couple dozen small labels clustered around the community of Manton, most up around the 2000-3000 ft level in the North-East corner of Tehama County. I kinda grew up in Manton, and my parents still live there, so over the past several years I have taken great pleasure in tasting almost all of their offerings. Quality is what you would expect from a burgeoning wine locale–lots of fairly ripe stuff, and finesse somewhat lacking. There are some bright spots: Shasta Daisy makes some interesting Pinot Noir up at the 3000 ft level, and Mt Tehama Winery makes very solid Syrah down the hill a bit. This Indian Peak I had tasted once before–and grabbed a bottle today to re-visit.
This is a quite dreadful wine. Dark garnet with definite brick showing. Fairly heavy crystalization under the cork–neither terrible things, but a 2010?!? Nose shows a smattering of fruit and mustiness with some crushed-bug and milk-chocolate and a touch of alcohol.
Upon tasting, there just is absolutely NOTHING there. You remember Kool-Aide in the small powder packages as a kid? The stuff the directions said to add 3 cups of sugar to? Well, the neighbor’s kids’ mom always added the full amount, but your mom never did. Remember how thin and watery it was–with just a *hint* of Kool-aide? That is this wine. Totally lacking of any fruit or ANYTHING upon entry. Just thin nothingness immediately moving into harsh drying acid and tannin. That’s it. That is all there is. Watery nothingness. Drying and hollow. 15% Merlot and a smattering of the other 3 usual BDX suspects. Small-winery crimes are resplendent in this bottle, and I would definitely recommend moving into the *debatably simpler* offerings such as Syrah and Zin before plonking down a 25$ price-point for an ‘almost flagship’ BDX blend. I hate to be hard on new wineries and AVA’s, but this wine has serious flaws. Just flat-out NOT a well-made wine. Age will not do it justice. And just like Julia’s Diner, it is gone already.
2010 INDIAN PEAK VINEYARDS Cabernet Sauvignon Manton Valley Tehama Co 13.2