It was a roasting-hot Fathers’ Day in Murphys and we had just completed a fun tasting at Gossamer Cellars. Our enthusiasm for wine tasting was still quite high, but our appetite for walking great distances in the triple-digit temperatures was low. Great news: one of our favorite tasting rooms was mere feet away. Mineral Wines, it was meant to be!
Although Mineral Wines has a great new patio with plenty of tables and chairs, the weather made the indoor tasting room much more appealing. We entered to strains of the Moody Blue’s first album on the sound system, no doubt anticipating their concert that night at Ironstone Winery. We chose a comfortable spot along the tasting bar and readied ourselves for another great experience.
Tasting at Mineral Wines is a fun combination of lovely flavors and intriguing sights. Every nook and cranny of the tasting room has some reference to minerals: a display case of museum-quality reference minerals, framed mineral illustrations that are the basis for the wine labels, why, even the walls are polished stone! So much to take in before we’ve even tasted a drop of wine.
We started our tasting with two new wines from owner/winemake Brett Keller: Vino Del Oro and Sweet Vee. The Vino Del Oro was a dry, crisp Rhone-style blend, with lively fruit notes dancing across the tongue. The Sweet Vee was slightly sweet (of course) and pure decadence in a glass. From there we moved onto the more traditional Mineral tasting list. First, the 2014 Merlot was fruit forward, light yet assertive. This wine jumped on our “take home” list after one sip.
We next tasted their 2014 Cabernet Franc, which was a shining example of the Cab Franc varietal, full of fruit and character. Again, a bottle joined our take home list. Their 2014 Zinfandel was another favorite, with restrained tannins, gentle spice and moderate alcohol levels. We finished up with a lovely 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon; a gentle Cab with a ghost of a finish.
Our tasting complete, we purchased our somewhat excessive selection of wine and set off to further celebrate Fathers’ Day.
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?