Rediscover an Idaho Original: Sawtooth Vineyard

Sawtooth Winery, formerly known as Pintler Cellars, was founded in 1987 and started as a 15-acre vineyard in the heart of the Canyon County region of the Idaho’s Snake River Valley. The vineyards surrounding the winery were once rich pasture land owned by Charles Pintler. The Pintlers saw a the vineyard potential in the steep, south sloping hills, and set out to grow wine grapes.

Seven acres of European vinifera vines were planted in 1982, including Chenin Blanc, Riesling, and Semillon. In the following year, four additional acres were planted, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. In 1987, the first harvest of fruit was available for the winery.

Pintler Cellars joined Corus Estates & Vineyards in 1998, changing its name to Sawtooth Winery, and featuring a distinctive label that depicts the jagged Sawtooth mountains. Bill Murray, who boasts a long resume at some of the top wineries in California, is the current winemaker. Here’s the featured line-up:

2010 Sawtooth Chardonnay, $9.99
This 2010 Chardonnay marries crisp green apples with caramel and butter notes. A well-rounded palate leads to a fruit filled finish with well-integrated oak.

2012 Sawtooth Pinot Gris, $9.99
Opens with a vibrant nose filled with floral citrus and light mineral aromas. This bright Pinot Gris showcases pear and nectarine fruit flavors with a hint of orange. The finish is clean and lingers nicely.

2012 Sawtooth Cinsault Rosé, $12.99
Offers beautifully floral aromas of wildflower, clover and cherry blossoms. It’s a very fruit forward rosé with a rich mid-palate that’s filled with ripe strawberry flavors, balanced by bright citrus on the finish. A bold style that’s undeniably delicious.

2010 Sawtooth Skyline Red, $9.99
A blend of 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 14 percent Merlot, 11 percent Tempranillo, 7percent Petite Sirah, 4 percent Petite Verdot andthe final 4 percent a mix of Malbec, Syrah and Grenache. The resulting wine is filled with rich plum and cherry fruit, backed by earth and spice notes. The beautiful, long fruit finish is supported by a well-balanced, tannin structure.

2009 Sawtooth Cabernet, $13.99
This wine is filled with aromas of dark fruit, spice, vanilla and oak. It’s a fruit-forward, medium bodied wine with light tannins and ripe bing cherry fruit flavors that are nicely balanced by crisp acidity on the palate. The Cabernet is blended with 15 percent Petit Verdot and 5 percent Malbec.