As the Taste of Route 116 was coming to an end for us, we had time for just one more winery. The answer was clear: we needed to visit Jigar Wines.
After our fun tasting at Harvest Moon Winery, we drove a short distance to Jigar Wines. Located on First Street at the edge of the picturesque town of Forestville, the Jigar Wines tasting room has an entrance covered by a portico perched atop formal white columns, with potted plants all around. Once inside, the tasting room greeted us with a broad dog-legged tasting bar surrounded by wine bottles and art on every wall. As usual, the room was buzzing with happy wine tasters, some of whom were discussing the case sales that were described on the chalkboard sign beside the bar.
We were quickly greeted by wine guide Gabby, who got us started with their 2018 Tollini Vineyard Rosé of Grenache. The melon and orange zest notes cleared out any cobwebs left from previous stops along our day. We next tasted their 2018 Tollini Vineyard Grenache, which was bright and layered with blackberries and currants. The 2015 Russian River Vineyard Pinot Noir was a big hit with both of us, heading up our Take Home list. No funk, just straight Pinot fruit leading to a lingering, dusty finish. A great Pinot Noir for pairing with food. It compared nicely with their 2015 Peters Vineyard Pinot Noir, although we loved the Peters Vineyard’s aromas and caramel notes.
Gabby then poured their 2016 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. We labeled this “a Cab with a Pinot attitude” and moved it to the Take Home list beside the Russian River Vineyard Pinot Noir. Their 2015 North Coast Raja Cuvée was a fun layering of dark fruit and tobacco, with a dry finish. We wrapped up our flight with their 2016 Graham Family Pinot Noir. A winner of Double Golds at the Harvest Festival, this was a fine representation of the Russian River Pinot style with finely balanced fruit and tannin.
Since it was a wine club appreciation day, we talked with Gabby a bit about their club. The Jigar wine club comes in three levels, depending on the number of bottles in each semi-annual shipment. The Karma Club packs 3 bottles per release and earns a 15% discount. The Bliss Club has 6 bottles twice a year and gets you 20% off, and the Euphoria Club has an even dozen bottles per package and offers a 25% discount. All levels are free to join and include free tastings and tours for up to 6 people per visit, priority access to limited production, reserve, and library wines, plus VIP access to events and club outings. There is even a newsletter to keep all of the members up to date on Jigar Wines news.
We were well past the closing time for Taste of Route 116, so we purchased our wines, thanked Gabby, and set off toward 101 for that leisurely drive home. Another great Taste event in the book!
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?