by Fred McMillin
for August 4, 1997
Tame Those Tannins
The Rest of the Story: One of those newer, smoother Petites is made in El Dorado County by Charles Mitchell. Now, you are excused if you've not heard of his winery. It was founded only three years ago and produces less than 10,000 cases a year. As for the quality of the wines, Charles submitted nine wines the first time he entered a tasting competition. All but one won a medal, including two golds! If my panel's reaction is any guide, his '95 Petite will win its share, too. With tamed tannins, it pairs happily with nearly any meat you barbecue.
1995 Petite Sirah, El Dorado County
Charles Mitchell Vineyards
8221 Stoney Creek Road, Somerset
Postscript: Amador County is no stranger to the grape. In 1890, the county had more wineries than Sonoma and Napa combined.
||About the Writer
Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.
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