Hovey is located on Main Street in Murphys, California in the Sierra Foothills. Hovey and its founder, Chuck Hovey, was one of the original winemakers and tasting rooms in Murphys. I had never visited nor tasted their wines until a recent meeting with one of the managing partners, Rick Lowell. Having not interviewed with a winery for nine weeks (Covid-19), I sat down with Rick, what a delightful experience. While most winery personnel are ecstatic about their wines, Rick was both excited and realistic about the wine especially with the current state of the economy. We tasted many wines and wanted to highlight two in particular that caught my fancy.
Hovey C2 White Blend
The 2018 Hovey C2 is their white blend which changes year to year. This year they used 50% Albarino, 40% Viognier and 10% Chardonnay. This is one refreshing dry patio wine on a warm summer afternoon or evening. The C2 is their acknowledgement of Albert Michelson, the 1907 Nobel award winning physicist measuring the speed of light (if you remember Einstein’s equation E=MC2). So much going on in the mouth with this wine. The result is a refreshing, dry white that goes down easy on a hot summer afternoon. On the eyes a light straw yellow in color. The viscosity is heavy with one twirl and it slows down immediately. On the nose an assortment of tropical fruits of pineapple, mango and honeydew. On the palate, the Viognier comes thru with a Golden Delicious apple and a slight tartness of lemon. A mouthful taste and finish. This would go so well with any fresh white fish, scampi or shrimp. The light and crisp wine comes in at 13.7 percent alcohol and only 247 cases were produced. The wine goes for $22.
2017 Tempranillo, Rolleri Vineyard
The Rolleri Vineyard is located on the Murphys Grade Road, just outside Angels Camp on the way to Murphys. Having had some wine which Rolleri personally made (that was top notch), I was anticipating some unique and flavorful wines. The vineyard is on a south facing hillside and the grapes picked up some of the earthiness of the location. On the eyes, a lighter than normal Tempranillo appeared in the glass. But that “negative thought” exited as soon as the nose entered the glass. Here wafted aromas of dark cherries, dark fruit, coffee and a slight smell of cocoa. On the palate, this Tempranillo moved you across the continent over the Atlantic and put you in the high plains of Spain sipping a humble earth infused Tempranillo grape. One difference was this Tempranillo possessed smooth and rounded tannins to make this fruit come through on the finish. The earthiness and fruit danced together like one did as a child with their shadow. The wine is 14.8 alcohol and 299 cased were produced. We paired this with a taco salad, but any BBQ food would suffice to make a great pairing. This wine is offered at $30.
Next time you are walking Main Street in Murphys, stop by Hovey and taste and bring home a bottle or two of each of these wines. You will not be disappointed.