Nestled in the rolling hills of Gold Country right outside of Placerville, California wine has a friend in the ‘Sierra Style’ of farming grape and creating wine. Findleton Estate Winery creates a full quiver of wines from white to red to apples. That’s not a typo, apples.
You’ll have your choice of 20 labels, many award winners, to choose from. The tasting room is nestled in an adobe building with straw sticking out of the walls. The grounds could use a little TLC but inside you’ll find a comfortable tasting room with a marvelous poured concrete tabletop allowing the wine host to single-handedly serve up to 30 people.
Our wine host Eldon was gregarious, knowledgeable and loves one of our favorite bands. After mentioning the group he ran in the back room and cranked The Mavericks volume just short of concert volume. We had a Mex-Tex rock ‘n roll tasting.
He also introduced us to a new form of aereation called the Aussie Aeration: Shaken, Not Stirred. After opening a bottle he partly reinserted the cork and shook the horizontal bottle back and forth. We could taste the difference (in some cases.)
Winemaker Carrie Golden along with owner Tom Findleton have created a full line up of great tasting wines. Tom’s wife Pam Findleton is a painter and all the bottles are graced with one of her paintings. It makes for an eclectic collection.
Here’s what we tasted in a two-hour thoughtful, joke filled, music infused, wine sloshed tasting:
2022 White Wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Roussane, Marsanne & Viognier) $24 ✰+
2022 Grenache Rose $29 ✰+
2016 Grenache $26 ✰+
2017 Mourvedre $26 ✰+
2018 Picasso Red (Pinot Noir & Mourvedre) $24 ✰+
2018 Sangiovese $26 ✰+
2017 GSM Rhone Island Red Blend $26 ✰+
2016 Fin Zin Zinfandel $26 ✰+
2021 Midnight Merlot $29 ✰+
2017 Alicante Bouschet $29 ✰+
2017 Petite Sirah $29 ✰+
2018 Petite Sirah $29 ✰++ (91pts)
2020 Willi’s Syrah $29 ✰++ (92pts)
They create 2,500 cases years and sometimes run out of favorite wines. One of the special wines of Gold Country, Barbera, was unavailable for tasting. Of the wine we tasted, we gave two of their wines 90+ points. All the wine we tasted were ✰+, a feat we rarely experience, especially since we tasted 13 wines. That’s quite a portfolio of vino.
Some notes on our wine ranking system.
Bill & Erin Hodge write about California Wine, the estates & winemakers producing them and educational information about Vino. Living in California Wine Country provides a front row seat to the places you want to visit the most here in the Golden State.
– -✰ means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰ means -Not liking it too much
✰ means -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰+ + means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+ with a slash, it means we disagree.