Domestic Selection: Cabernet Sauvignon, 1982, El Dorado, Boeger

More often than not, the Italian heritage of wine making crops up here and there in the background of our winemakers. Greg Boeger is the grandson of Anton Nichelini, a Swiss-Italian who founded a winery in Napa County in 1890. This origi­nal winery continues as a family op­eration today.

Greg cut his teeth in agriculture. Summer jobs at relatives farms and ranches, the family operation in Napa, a UC Davis MS in agricultur­al economics, and a two year stint as an agricultural statistician with the U.S.D.A., all contributed towards his decision to start a vineyard and winery of his own.

In 1972, Greg and Susan Boeger, in partnership with her parents, Dr. and Mrs. George Babbin, bought a 70 acre ranch which had been the site of a winery and vineyards in the late 1800’s. Though El Dorado county has a rich wine history, Boeger winery was the first modern – day winery to pioneer in this Sierra foothill region. These vineyards range from the 2300 to 3000 foot el­evation.

The modern building blends with the gold country atmosphere. Still standing and used today as their tast­ing room is the century-old stone wine cellar. An old dam, a rock-walled creek, and giant ancient fig trees surround the picnic area ad­joining the picturesque cellar.

Greg is winemaker, while his wife Susan is a marketing whiz. They have two children, Justin and Alexis. It is their hope that the children will eventually become involved in the winery and continue the family tra­dition.

Cabernet Sauvignon, this tradition­al grape of Bordeaux, France, shows a different face in Eldorado county, it seems. The cabernet wines I have had from this region seem to have a character of their own. Most of the time they are identifiable as caber­net, but they have an aromatic lus­ciousness to them that sometimes could be mistaken for a zinfandel. Rather interesting phenomenon. Greg’s ’82 cabernet is a classic ex­ample of this; you could mistake it for a rich zin.

The wine is dark purplish red, and nearly opaque. It has a berry aroma, with overtones of some pepper, which blends with the bouquet of the wood ageing that follows. The taste duplicates the nose very well. It has a distinct berry flavor, with lots of fruit. It is very full in body, and there is a robe of softness that fol­lows the fruitiness. The balance is perfect. An aromatic aspect exists in the taste. Serve at room temperature with roast beef, or after the meal with sharp cheddar cheese.


Cellaring Notes: Will complex for 3 to 5 years. Rather good now.

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