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Mendocino Grapes + Nevada Winemaker = Great Wine

We arrived early in Las Vegas for the IFWTWA Conference in order to make a return visit to Pahrump Valley Winery. If you are traveling to Las Vegas be sure to plan a trip to Pahrump where you will discover two wineries with ambiance and a delight to visit. (The second recently opened winery is Sanders Family Winery.)

We discovered a wine produced with grapes from a vineyard in Mendocino County’s AVA Mendocino Ridge. Mariah Vineyards is in the first noncontiguous AVA. To reach the vineyards one must travel up a mountain curving around and around until suddenly a home and acres of vineyards are seen. If one is fortunate enough to visit the vineyards, one can see the focus of Mariah Vineyards is on the vineyards although they do produce some of their own wine.

We discovered that Pahrump Valley Winery had sourced Syrah grapes  from Mariah Vineyards. Pahrump Valley Winery’s owner and winemaker, Gretchen Loken, produced the 2008 Loken Syrah Mendocino Ridge with these Mendocino grapes and I thought the wine was awesome. Note: Gretchen noted that this particular wine is one you either love it or not.

The aroma was intense with leather notes and the taste was full bodied with leather notes and leather on the finish. That’s right, leather – if you are not sure about leather notes on a wine, this is one you should try. Other nuances of the wine included perfume, spices, dark berry fruit and tannins. The wine would pair well with grilled beef.

I never thought I would enjoy a wine with significant leather notes in it but I thought this wine was great!

Cheers! Kathy

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