Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dinner In 5 Minutes

Looking for a fast and fantastic wine and food pairing? Think shrimp scampi with wine, garlic and parsley with a California Sauvignon Blanc. We chose a 2005 from Karly Wines. The vineyards are located in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley and were first planted by Lawrence (Buck) Cobb and wife Karly in 1981.

Karly’s location on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada mountains yields wines different in character from California’s coastal valleys. In the summer afternoons, Karly’s rolling, 110 acre woodland & canyon-side terrain catches the cool southwesterly breezes from distant San Francisco Bay via the Sacramento River delta. In late winter and spring, the canyons drain frosty morning air. This hot-cold treatment preserve the acidity while the grape sugars are developing.

The soils eroded by glacial streams from the great Sierra granite monolith are mineral rich dominated by iron, manganese and occasional minute flecks of gold. (The Gold Rush started here in 1848.) The soil texture is silt to rocky gravel peppered with stones varying from cobbles to boulders, making water drainage excellent.

All these unique factors combine to impart berry, spice and earthy flavors in the red wines, and citrus, pear and tropical fruit flavors in the white wines .

This vintage was filtered, heat stabilized, cold stabilized, and dry with a small carbon dioxide spritz. It was grassy enough to tell that it is a Sauvignon Blanc, but not like those from Marlborough, NZ. It was crisp,tart and loaded with ripe, red Grapefruit juiciness.

In the Karly vineyards, Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Grenache, Orange Muscat and Petite Sirah are dry-farmed, head-trained and spur-pruned to yield about four tons to the acre. Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah are scheduled to be converted to a four-wire "Wye" divided cordon trellis, which will improve the quality through canopy light exposure and these varieties are drip irrigated.

So, buy that cooked shrimp, peel some garlic, set the table and get lots of water boiling because dinner will be ready in 5 minutes. Has anyone seen my wine glass?