Here’s Why You Should Be Drinking Dry Creek Valley Wines Especially on Tax Day.
Wines from California’s Dry Creek Valley are not assembly-line wines, mixed in a lab with a handful of this, a pinch of that and a fistful of wood chips to knit it all together. Good wines engage you. Great wines enthrall you. Dry Creek Valley winemakers know the difference.
Cabernets and zinfandels grown in the 32-square mile Dry Creek Valley are mostly broad-shouldered bruins, full of ripe, dark fruit and muscular tannins. The valley’s chardonnays and sauvignon blancs, racy with acidity and green apples and citrus, are thin-waisted supermodels.
Decant a bottle of Rockpile cabernet, which winemaker Clay Mauritson crafts from grapes grown high above the marine layer. Pair it with a grilled strip steak, maybe the one chef Michael Sidoni dry-ages at Charlie Palmer at the Jouele and serves with spring onions, wild mushrooms and bone-marrow breadcrumbs. Let the plush fruit and big-boned tannins bear-hug you.
Or pull the cork of a bottle of 2009 Mariner, a round, supple, feminine blend of classic Bordeaux grapes that winemaker Tim Bell fashions at Dry Creek Vineyard. Pour just an ounce into a deep glass. Swirl the bowl. Inhale deeply. You’ll be reminded of coastal fog, a craggy hillside, a fading sunset and a table for two.
These are wines that you can lean into. Whereever you are, these wines transport you 70 miles north of San Francisco and 20 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, which is a good enough reason to drink in the first place.