At the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Calaveras county, the gold-seeking 49ers were responsible for introducing wine making techniques and bringing grape cuttings from the old country. Steve and Liz Millier, who own Black Sheep winery in Calaveras county, have made an exclusive 2008 Cinsault that by all accounts is quite enjoyable to the palate.
Ken Zinns, a wine aficionado and assistant winemaker for 2 bay area wineries, attended 2010’s Rhone Rangers and wrote the following:
“Black Sheep 2008 Cinsualt, Dusty Lane, California. Medium-light color, wild berry on the nose, lighter-bodied, fruit-forward, and with lower acidity, this doesn’t aim for anything complex, but it’s a pleasantly smooth and tasty wine.”
History from their website:Black Sheep Winery arrived in Murphys with the 1984 harvest.
Our founders Janis and David Olson crushed their first Zinfandel, with assistance from current owner and winemaker, Steve Millier. The wine was styled in a big, bold way like nobody else could do. That's what makes us Black Sheep; we're different from the rest of the flock.
In 2007 David and Janis decided to retire and ride their bicycles into the sunset, they decided to turn over the Black Sheep legacy to their good friends Steve and Liz Millier. We are very familiar with the Black Sheep style, and are excited to carry on the tradition.
Steve Millier has had a very distinguished career for over 30 years. He began his journey at the David Bruce Winery in 1975, and has continued to make award winning wines at Stevenot, Ironstone and Milliaire.
Over the years we have expanded our offerings to include Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz.
“Our Cinsault is similar to Merlot, but much more elegant,” said Liz Millier, owner of Black Sheep Winery. “It is incredibly smooth with deep, dark fruit and a whisper of spice in the finish.”
Double Gold - San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
Silver - Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Tasting
Appellation: Sierra Foothills
Aroma: Plum, wild berry, spicy zing, slight muskiness
Alcohol content: 14.5%
Cases produced: 200