Past Meeting Notes

LENNE Estate Winery from 

Oregon presented by Eric Bruce.

 

Eric Bruce (pictured left of his dad SDWG Director of Programs Brad Bruce) is the Hospitality and Sales Manager at Lenné Estate in Yamhill, Oregon. Founded in 2000 by Steve and Karen Lutz and named after Karen’s father Lenny. Lenné Estate is family-owned and operates from a comfortable rustic tasting room nestled in the heart of their 20-acre vineyard. Lenné is situated on exceptionally rocky marine-sedimentary soil, and their wines are produced exclusively from estate-grown fruit. Their annual production is approximately 1800 cases, chiefly of Pinot Noir with a smaller lot of Chardonnay. The vineyard is in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, at the northern end of the Willamette Valley. Notable neighbors include Willakenzie and Ken Wright Cellars.

 

Eric joined Lenné in 2017 as the first full-time employee. Eric and Steve collaborate on tasting room operations, and Eric also handles Lenné’s event planning, social media, website, and winery outreach. Prior to joining Lenné, Eric was the manager of Tertulia Cellar’s tasting room in Dundee, Oregon, pouring big reds sourced from Walla Walla. He has a WSET 2 certification, and visits dozens of tasting rooms and tastes hundreds of Oregon Pinot noirs each year, strictly for research purposes.

 

Wines for Tasting: (Retail - SDWG cost)

2014 Lenne Estate Pinot Noir $40 - $28.00

2015 Lenne Estate Pinot Noir $40 - $28.00

2016 Lenne Estate Pinot Noir $40 - $28.00

2017 Lenné Chardonnay $48 - $33.60

2015 South Slope Pinot Noir $55 - $38.50

2016 South Slope Pinot Noir $55 - $38.50

2016 Karen's Pommard Pinot Noir $58 - $40.60


April 2019 - Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars presented by Marcus Notaro. 

 

The San Diego Wine Guild is thrilled to announce that our April 10th program was feature Marcus Notaro, Winemaker for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa Valley.

 

Marcus Notaro was named winemaker for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in May, 2013, bringing with him close to two decades of expertise and passion for producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines.

 

The winery was founded in 1970 by Warren Winiarski and released their first Cabernet Sauvignon in 1972. Their 1973 Stag’s Leap Vineyard (SLV) Cabernet Sauvignon, would go on to beat world-famous first-growth Bordeaux châteauxes at the 1976 Judgement of Paris.

For most of the 20th century, nothing from nowhere could beat the wines of France. The 1976 Judgment of Paris wine tasting changed all that. In one fell swoop, two California wines soundly beat the best France had to offer.

 

The Judgment of Paris was a wine competition organized in May 1976 by Steven Spurrier in which French judges carried out two blind tasting comparisons: Chardonnays in the white wine category and Bordeaux wines from France and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from California in the red wine category.

 

California took on the best of Bordeaux and Burgundy and won on both battlegrounds, taking first place with the 1973 Stag's Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon and the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-Ks-XI7XAk

 

In 1996, a bottle of the history-making 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon was placed in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

 

We tasted the following wines: (retail)

• 2017 AVETA Sauvignon Blanc - $26

• 2017 KARIA Chardonnay - $35

• 2016 ARCADIA Chardonnay - $65

• 2016 ARTEMIS Cabernet Sauvignon - $69

• 2015 Cellarius Cabernet Sauvignon - $125

• 2015 FAY Cabernet Sauvignon - $150

• 2015 S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon - $175


March 13, 2019 - The Wines of Santa Lucia Highlands presented by Gwen McGill, Executive Director of the Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans.

 

The Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans, an organization of growers and wineries producing wines from the beautiful Santa Lucia Highlands, for a tasting of the region's top Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah.

 

The Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is in Monterey County and is part of the larger Monterey AVA. SLH spans 22,000 acres with 6,400 acres of vineyards, some as high as 1,200 feet in elevation. Pinot Noir is the predominant variety with over 3500 acres planted followed by Chardonnay with about 2200 acres. Syrah and Riesling varieties are also grown here.

 

The region enjoys cool morning fog and breezes from Monterey Bay followed by warm afternoons. SLH has earned its place among the state’s most prestigious appellations producing some of California’s best Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.

 

Gwen McGill is armed with a Journalism degree from one of the country’s top schools. Gwen moved to Napa Valley in 1997 and applied her messaging and media savvy at a leading boutique wine country public relations firm that specialized in wine, restaurants, cookbooks and food products.  Gwen struck out on her own in 2013, taking more than a decade of experience in global public relations, marketing and events to her clients. She joined the Santa Lucia Highlands Wine Artisans as Executive director in 2017

 

Wines poured:

2017 Morgan Pinot Noir 12 Clones - $35

2016 Mansfield-Dunn Pinot Noir SLH - $36

2017 Hahn SLH Chardonnay - $25

2016 Bernardus Chardonnay Sierra Mar Vineyard 93 Pts. Wine Enthusiast - $50

2016 Siduri Pinot Noir - Rosella’s Vineyard $55

2014 Miner Family Pinot Noir, Rosella's Vineyard - $60

2017 Morgan Syrah G17 - $25

2016 Alexander Smith - $50


February 13, 2019 Oak Farms Vineyards presented by Dan Panella, Co-Owner and Winemaker.

 

Dan has a long-standing love for agriculture and farming. Dan is a third-generation American farmer.

 

His agricultural roots trace back to the days of riding a tractor through his family’s cherry and walnut orchards. Dan spent time exploring other vocational fields, but his attraction towards growing and harvesting fruit consistently led him back to agriculture. He later began harvesting and farming his family’s grapes.

 

After growing a foundation and love for the industry, he blended his passion for wine with a desire for involvement as the end result. In pursuit of that goal, Dan began training under highly regarded winemaker Chad Joseph and took classes at UC Davis’ winemaking extension. Over the years, Dan has gained a deeper understanding and passion for the artistic sector of the winemaking process. Dan states, “It’s really a fusion of agriculture and art that has allowed me to be creative and allow the grapes to show their strengths.”

 

When Dan isn't working at Oak Farm Vineyards, he loves spending time with his family. He is an avid movie fan, loves to travel, and enjoys music, having played the guitar since grade school. He resides on property at Oak Farm Vineyards in Lodi with his wife and Co-Owner, Heather Panella, and their four children.

 

Here's are Oak Farm Vineyards wines we tasted:

2017 Sauvignon Blanc

2017 Albariño

2017 Chardonnay

2016 Barbera

2017 Zinfandel (Mohr-Fry Block 417 Vineyard)

2017 Primitivo (Estate Grown)

2016 Cabernet Sauvignon (Estate Grown)

2016 Petit Verdot


January 9, 2019 J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines presented by Jeff Meier President and COO.  

 

 For more than three decades, Jeff Meier has been an integral part of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, working closely alongside Jerry Lohr, and the Lohr family, to build one of California’s most respected estate programs, and a world-renowned portfolio of wines. Today, as the president and COO for J. Lohr Winery, Jeff oversees marketing, operations and production, while also working with the Director of Winemaking, to ensure the stylistic direction of all J. Lohr wines. His staunch commitment to making the absolute best wines is reflected in the flavorful depth and diversity of the J. Lohr portfolio, which includes J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series, J. Lohr Gesture and J. Lohr Cuvée Series.

 

Wines that we tasted:

2017 Gesture RVG

2016 Vineyard Series October Night Chardonnay

2015 Vineyard Series Highland's Bench Pinot Noir

2017 Gesture Zinfandel

2016 Gesture Syrah

2016 Vineyard Series Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Cuvee POM

2014 Cuvee St. E


November 13, 2018 Taste of the Bubbly with Moet Hennessey and presented by Rebekah Turpin.

 

Kick off the holidays with an informative lesson on French Champagnes. Our presenter has an impressive resume and a wealth of experience and stories to share. Pop a cork and learn with Rebekah.

 

Certifications: Certified Sommelier, CSW, French Wine Scholar. Current Job: Moet and Hennessy Portfolio Specialist covering San Diego. Other experience: Wine judge for toast of the coast, San Diego international competition, and Sommelier Competition. I have been working in the wine industry for 8 years. I spent about 4 years working as a sommelier at top resorts in southern California like the Park Hyatt Aviara and the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. In my job now, I cover restaurants and hotels in San Diego providing staff education, hosting wine, champagne and spirit dinners, events and over all help our sales team increase sales and exposure to our Moet and Hennessy Brands. These brands include; Veuve Clciquot, Moet and Chandon, Krug, Dom Perignon, Ruinart, Newton winery, Hennessy, Belvedere and several other spirit and wine brands.

 

Bubblies tasted:

Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut $38

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label $44

Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2009 $67

Veuve Clicquot Rose NV $54

Ruinart Blanc de Blanc NV $74

Chandon California Etoile Brut $24


October 10, 2018 with Quintessential Wines and presented by Brandon Lee.

 

Quintessential is a family owned and operated company headquartered in Napa and dedicated exclusively to representing multi- generational, family owned and operated wineries. The owners of Quintessential, the Kreps family, bring a combined 78 years of experience in the fine wine business. They have evolved Quintessential into being one of the leading imports and marketing companies of fine wine in the U.S.A.

 

These family owned-and-operated producers come from many of the top wine regions around the world. They create wines that offer the best, most authentic expression of the terroir from their respective vineyards.

 

Wineries included at our SDWG presentation:

• Frankland Estate - Frankland River, W. Australia

• EQ – San Antonio Valley, Chile

• Simonsig - Stellenbosch, South Africa

• Pascual Toso - Maipu, Argentina

• Henry’s Drive – Padthaway, S. Australia

• Kay Brothers – McLaren Vale, S. Australia

• Enzo Bianchi – Mendoza, Argentina


July 11, 2018 with Eberle Winery and presented by Winemaker, Chris Eberle.

 

Chris returned to Eberle Winery after extensive winemaking experiences that spanned six countries and fifteen vintages. He has worked at Eberle Winery as the Assistant Winemaker from 2006 to 2009 and continued to expand his field of knowledge by working in many great wine regions around the world from; South Africa to Germany, then New Zeeland, Australia, and France. Chris was ready and excited to bring what he learned, back to Paso Robles

.

“From the vineyards to the caves, to Gary & Marcy and the crew, this is like coming home. I always knew I’d be back.”

 

These are the wines Chris will had on hand for our tasting:

2016 Eberle Estate Chardonnay

2017 Eberle Cotes-du-Robles Blanc

2017 Eberle Viognier, Mill Road Vineyard

2016 Eberle Sangiovese

2016 Eberle Syrah, Steinbeck Vineyard

2016 Eberle Cabernet Syrah blend

2015 Eberle Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

2015 Eberle Estate Muscat Canelli

+ one additional surprise!

 

Paso Robles Pioneer – Gary Eberle

Gary launched his career as a winemaker and as the “Pioneer” of Paso Robles Wine Region by helping to establish his family’s Estrella River Winery & Vineyards. In the late 70’s, he decided to pursue his own project and acquired nearly 64 acres just down the road from Estrella River Winery. Shortly thereafter, Gary released his first Eberle wine, the 1979 Cabernet Sauvignon debuting the iconic boar logo, depicting the German origin of the name Eberle, meaning “small boar.”

 

By 1982 the Eberle Winery production facility and tasting room were open for business and in 1991 Gary expanded underground, building the first wine caves in Paso Robles. Now over 38 years later, Gary Eberle still greets guests daily with complimentary wine tastings, public tours of the production facility and 16,000 square feet of underground caves.


June 11, 2018 by Left Coast Estate presented by Susanne.

 

Family owned. 100% estate grown and bottled. Committed to sustainability.

 

The family founded the Left Coast Estate in 2003. Through a combination of passion and hard work, they've slowly grown into one of the largest contiguous vineyards in Oregon. 

 

At Left Coast, the estate is what inspired their family to come to Oregon. Their goal is to enhance and share that natural beauty with others through thoughtful winemaking, sustainable practices and habitat conservation. Their vineyards and winery are LIVE certified sustainable. We are 90% solar powered and have partnered with the US Department of Fish & Wildlife to help restore 100 acres of old growth Oregon White Oak on the property to their native savannah state. 

 

A little about Suzanne, our presenter: 

 

"We all invent our lives, and perhaps Suzanne has been more inventive than most. Her early education as an art historian brought her two delicious years in Italy and, then moving into publishing, a cover article and related research position in Switzerland. Marriage took her to three years in France where she was seduced, utterly, by the Pinot grape. The unlikely next step was a move to Denver, Colorado and the addition of three darling offspring in the span of five years. As Co director of the University of Denver Publishing Institute, skiing and cycling in alternating seasons, she, very nearly, lived there happily ever after. But the grape could never be denied, and the place was just exactly right from the very first sight and soil test...and the rest, now nearly a glorious decade in the making, is Left Coast Cellars."

 

Wines tasted: 

Whites:

2016 Truffle Hill Chardonnay, $24

2012 Blanc de Noir, $55

 

Reds:

2015 Cali's Cuvee Pinot Noir, $24- 

2015 Latitude 45 Pinot Noir, all Dijon Clone, $38

2015 Right Bank Pinot Noir, all Pommard Clone, $42

2015 Rotie Syrah Noir, $42

2015 Pinot Meunier, $55


 

May 2018 - Justin Vineyard and Winery - Joseph Spellman (Master Sommelier). 

 

Joseph Spellman, MS is Winery Sommelier for JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery. He has worked with wine since 1979, principally as a sommelier, in Chicago’s top restaurant cellars, including Tango, Maxim’s, The Pump Room, The Park Hyatt Hotel, and Charlie Trotter’s. He has also had stints in wine retail, wholesale, and importing companies, as well as the Napa Valley producer Joseph Phelps. He has been a leading wine educator, writer, and consultant, and has led wine seminars in the US, UK, Japan, and Australia.

 

Joseph earned the prestigious Master Sommelier Diploma, the 29th American to do so, in 1996. He is a frequent instructor and examiner in the Court of Master Sommeliers, and in 2005 was elected Chairman of the American Chapter of the Court. He has also passed the difficult Certified Wine Educator Examination, in 2003, and has studied for the Master of Wine Diploma with its top instructors.

 

Another rare achievement was winning the 1997 French Sommelier Competition in Paris sponsored by SOPEXA, and the title “Best Sommelier in the World in French Wines and Spirits.” He is only the second American to have done so. In the following year (1998) he was named the Bon Appetit Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year.

 

Joseph is a major supporter of the arts, serving as an active member in the Lyric Opera Wine Auction Advisory Board. He has led seminars for the Chicago Humanities Festival, various educational and health-oriented charities, and numerous student groups. His donations of tastings for arts, education, and medical charities have consistently fetched high bids for these deserving organizations. A theatre lover, he consulted in 2003 on an original script by Sharon Evans, “Blind Tasting,” at Live Bait Theatre in Chicago.

 

Among his professional written works, he is most proud of his critically praised wine notes featured in the landmark series of recipe and photography books by Chef Charlie Trotter. He was the principal wine writer of the 2003, 2006, and 2009 Lyric Opera Auction Catalogues. He also has written grape descriptions for the Wine Grapes posters produced by Ten Speed Press; and over the years he has contributed to the magazines Wine & Spirits, Wine Enthusiast, Santé, Decanter, and Appellation.

 

As a professional palate, he has tasted for Beverage Testing Institute, United Airlines, the Grand Jury Européen, the Oregon State Fair, Star Wine, the Jefferson Cup, and the Detroit Wine Competition. He has coordinated several wine dinners for the James Beard Foundation and many of its chef-contributors, as well as promotional and charity wine dinners around the US. He has spoken at wine festivals in Aspen, Kohler, Kapalua, Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Santa Fe, Taos, Telluride, San Diego, Carmel, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Pinehurst, the Mohegan Sun, Disney properties, and Chicago.


April 2018 - Adam LaZarre - LaZarre Wines                (Paso Robles)

 

LaZarre Wines is a small, family-run venture created by veteran Central Coast winemaker Adam LaZarre and his wife Angie.  The brand was started in 2003 primarily as a high-end, single-vineyard Pinot Noir project and has grown to include such varietals as Merlot, Albarino, Sauvignon Blanc, Vin Gris and Chardonnay.

 

Adam has developed relationships with many great growers on the Central Coast through his decades of wine making at various wine companies.  Adam and Angie have continued these relationships and source their fruit from some of the best of these growers.

These wines are limited in their production and are really the best offerings the LaZarre’s can deliver in any vintage.

 

The LaZarre’s are completely committed to providing the very best possible wines at any price and will continue to do so until they depart the earth.  After all, wine is a gift from God and should be enjoyed responsibly, or at least naked.


March 2018 - Tenuta Torciano Winery & Wine School presented by Chiara & Valentina Lunare

 

There were  13 Tuscan products to taste.

 

This included 8 wines, 3 olive oils, Balsamic Vinegar and a Dessert Wine.

 

We learned why certain foods are paired with wine along with a wine school to learn how wine is made in Tuscany, how the soil, climate and the history makes Tuscan wine one the of best in the world!


February 2018- Pierce Ranch Vineyards Presenter: Josh Pierce, Owner

 

Pierce Ranch Vineyards is a small, family-

owned operation centered in Southern

Monterey County’s San Antonio Valley

Appellation. They produce limited-run, estate

grown wine with an emphasis on Spanish and

Portuguese varietals.

 

Josh presented 8 wines and may bring a production sample of wine.

Wines that were tasted:

2012 Tinto Cão

2014 Arinto

2014 Graciano

2015 Petite Sirah, Lot 1 (100% whole cluster)

2015 Petite Sirah, Lot 2 (65% whole cluster)

2015 Touriga Nacional

2016 Verdelho

2016 Touriga Franca (barrel sample)


January 2018 with Orflia Winery and Vineyards presented by Tami Wong (Sommelier) 

 

Orfila Vineyards & Winery presented by Tami Wong 

 

Tami Wong is stepping in for Justin Mund, Winemaker / General Manager for Orfila Vineyard and Winery.  Tami is a Certified Sommelier, a regular on the wine judge circuit and presented to the Wine Guild in 2016.  

 

Tami is now assisting Justin at Orfila as a Winery Representative, and will have highly rated Pinot Noirs, other red wines, white wines and barrel samples for tasting! 

 

So, don’t miss out, come support one of our best local wineries. 


December Holiday Party 

 

A good time was had by all.  The bubbles flowed and so did the music.  The Silver Gate Yacht Club provided a delicious buffet of Prime Rib and Barramundi with all the sides and dessert. 

 

A big “Thank You” to those who organized and put this event together - Jan Tierney, Eileen & Terry Van Winkle, Linda & Andy Nicholas, and Carol & Jim Swelgin. 


CASTELLO BANFI presented by Lars Leicht

 

Few know Banfi Vintners and its wines better than Lars Leicht, its Director of Trade Development, and a man passionate about the relationship between food and wine. A 31-year Banfi veteran, Lars has served this family concern in various sales, marketing and communications roles in the US, Europe, Caribbean, Asia and Canada. When Castello Banfi was founded 40 years ago, the Mariani family turned to abundant research from around the world on the best clones to use for planting Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in its unique microclimate of Montalcino, in southern Tuscany, even though many of these varietals were new to the territory. 

 

A family-owned vineyard estate in Tuscany’s Brunello region, Castello Banfi’s dedication to excellence captures honor after prestigious honor. A constellation of single vineyards, Castello Banfi weaves noble grape varieties with optimal terroir. Three decades of unprecedented research on Sangiovese yields consistently outstanding Brunello and Super Tuscans. Our meticulously restored medieval castle hosts visitors at an informal Enoteca-Wine Bar as well as the Taverna Banfi for lunches and dinners of traditional local dishes, offering winery tours and visits to its balsameria and glass museum. “Castello Banfi – Il Borgo,” a boutique luxury hotel nestled alongside the medieval castle, nurtures guests with 14 rooms and suites, swimming pool, cloistered garden and reading room. Castello Banfi is the first winery in the world to be awarded international recognition for exceptional environmental, ethical and social responsibility (ISO 14001 and SA8000) as well as an international leader in customer satisfaction (ISO 9001:2000). Please visit www.castellobanfi.com. 

 

Wines poured: 

Biadaioli Single Vineyard Sangiovese for Brunello

Sorrena Single Vineyard Sangiovese for Brunello 

Mandrielle Single Vineyard Sangiovese for Brunello

Poggioni Single Vineyard Sangiovese for Brunello

Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino Classico $59

Poggio alle Mura Brunello di Montalcino 2011 $65

Poggio alle Mura Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2008 $105 


September 2018 presentation by Heike Unkel, Sommelier from Ferrari-Carano.  

 

Since 1985, Ferrari-Carano has been a leading producer of world-class, nationally-acclaimed wines. Vintage after vintage, the wines exhibit a remarkable consistency of style and elegance. Don and Rhonda Carano’s uncompromising commitment to quality and excellence is a reflection of their desire to produce memorable wines that enhance the pleasures of gracious entertaining.  

 

Ferrari-Carano has five California vineyards (Alexander Valley, Russian RIver Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Napa Carneros and Mendocino Ridge).  The company has two women winemakers, Sarah Quider (whites) and Rebecka Deike (reds).  The website is: www.ferrari-carano.com

 

Wines poured were:

2015 Chardonnay, Sonoma County $23

2014 Reserve Chardonnay, Carneros Napa $34

2014 Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley $31

2014 Siena (Sangiovese Blend), Sonoma County $21

5 2015 UNA (GSM Blend), Alexander Valley $39

2015 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley $28

2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley $34

2013 Tresor (Bordeaux Blend), Sonoma County $55


Summer Wine Party was held at Scripps Ranch library courtyard.  There were about 60 people enjoying perfect weather, great wines and wonderful conversation. We had Seaside Market "Cardiff Crack" tri tip for main course and of course it was spectacular.  Wines were mostly from previous presentations and we bought some wines as well.  Someone guessed Brad's mystery wine (Tempranillo).  Andy had his pick and choose which Sav Blancs won which awards.  


July 2017 Tertulia Cellars with Ryan Raber, Winemaker

 

An Evening with Winemaker Ryan Raber from Tertulia Cellars (Walla Walla, WA)

 

Born and raised in Washington State by a family with a rich history in the culinary arts, Ryan was devoted to great food and drink from an early age. A self-described hedonist, Ryan loves to cook and eat and claims to always be thinking about his next meal. Ryan’s first experiences with wine came in his early teens, when he began making wine at home with his family. As he matured his interest in wines continued to grow Ryan pursued an education that would help provide him with a wine career.  Tertulia Cellars was founded in 2005 with the idea to make terroir driven wines.. The winery is nestled in the heart of the Walla Walla wine country surrounded by our Whistling Hills vineyard with a beautiful view of the Blue Mountains. The state of the art winery and cellar were constructed in 2007-2008, with a focus on sustainability, functionality and beauty reflecting the core values of Tertulia Cellars.

Ryan’s winemaking philosophy is to treat wine as art. “It is an intuitive process from the vine to the bottle each step determines the next. Science and winemaking technology are great tools but nothing can replace experience and your palate. The best wines have a sense of place or exhibit terrior. Terrior is the summation of the geology, geography, climate, and to a large extent the culture of the people who work the land and influence the wines.”

www.tertuliacellars.com

Wines to be poured:

Viognier 2016 - $22 (90 pt and gold medal Tastings.com)

Rose tempranillo 2016 - $18 

GSM 2013 -- $55  (94 Points Tastings.com) 

Syrah - Whistling Hills 2014 - $40  (Gold Medal 2017 Seattle Wine Awards)

Syrah, Riviere Galets 2014 - $40  

Sobra 2012 (Merlot/Cab) - $30

Carmenere 2013 - $40 (Double gold medal 2017 Toast of the Coast 95 Points)


June 2017 - An Evening with Winemaker Amy Jean Butler of Ranchero Cellars
 
For 20 years, Amy Butler has produced wine in every kind of cellar, from the venerable and classic houses of Napa to enthusiastic Paso Robles upstarts. A UC Davis graduate with a slightly quirky vision, she works with both time-tested and cutting-edge techniques, always making wines that are carefully balanced, elegantly restrained, and classically varietal in character. Driven by her quest for knowledge in winemaking, she founded Ranchero Cellars in 2008, and she continues to consult for several other small Paso Robles brands.
 
With her passion for variation in whites and her skills in red blends and Carignan (93 and 94 point wines might we add!) this is sure to be one heck of an educational evening from one heck of a fantastic and creative winemaker!  And, did we mention she's in the upcoming Winemakers of Paso Robles book.  www.rancherocellars.com
 
Wines to be poured:
2016 Galaxie Rose
2015 Chrome
2013 Viognier 
2014 Viognier
2013 The Hive
2012 Carignan  94 points Wine Advocate
2013 Carginan  93 points Wine Enthusist
2011 Revolver  -  Library collection

May 2017 presentation J. Wilkes Wines by Wes Hagan, Winemaker
 
J. Wilkes Wines produce handcrafted wines from the Santa Maria Valley, Sta. Rita Hills, and the Paso Robles Highlands AVAs --- “Wines of Character, Wines of Place.”   
 
In 2013, Michael Cervin (Wall Street Journal, Decanter) rated Wes as one of the 100 Most Influential Winemakers in the United States.  
 
Wes researched, wrote and had approved the last three AVA’s in Santa Barbara County:   Sta. Rita Hills, Happy Canyon and Ballard Canyon.   www.jwilkes.com
 
Wes will present some of his current release wines, which include Pinot Blanc, Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Cabernet, and late harvest Pinot Blanc.


April 2017 Boony Doon Wines presented by Randall Graham, Founder

 

Randall Graham was born in Los Angeles in 1953 and attended Uncle Charlie’s Summer Camp, what he calls the prestigious University of California at Santa Cruz where he was a permanent Liberal Arts major. By dint of exceptionally good karma he was given the opportunity to taste an ungodly number of great French wines and this singular experience turned him into a complete and insufferable wine fanatic. He returned to the University of California at Davis to complete a degree in Plant Sciences in 1979, where owing to his single-minded obsession with Pinot Noir he was regarded as a bit of a holy terroir in the hallowed halls of the sober and sedate Department of Viticulture and Enology.

 

Randall purchased property in the Santa Cruz Mountains in a magically quaint eponymous hamlet known as Bonny Doon, intent on producing the Great American Pinot Noir. It proved to be systematically elusive but he was greatly encouraged by experimental batches of Rhône varieties, and he has been a tireless champion of the grapes of the Rhône since the inaugural vintage of Le Cigare Volant. In 1989 Randall appeared on the cover of the Wine Spectator, clad in blue polyester, as “The Rhône Ranger”. 

 

In 2010 the Culinary Institute of America inducted him into the Vintner’s Hall of Fame. He lives in Santa Cruz with his muse Chinshu, their daughter, Amélie and his thesaurus.  (I bet you he reads the thesaurus for fun and will be evident when you hear him speak!).

 

Randall Graham lives for the possibility of someday creating a wine that is also a reflection of the place from whence it derives, and has a number of interesting ideas (some possibly brilliant, others more likely hare-brained) about how this most worthy aspiration might be achieved. He believes that in the world of wine, it is uniquely vins de terroir that matter, enriching our lives and inspiring us with the breath-taking order of Nature herself. While the production of such wines is definitively the number #1 priority on Randall’s “bucket list,” in the interim, he has changed the Bonny Doon Vineyard practice to become far more focused on vineyard or more specifically, soil health, the real cornerstone of vitality in wines. Bonny Doon wines may be said to be “acoustic,” or “uninflected,” at the very least lacking in the garish maquillage of many of their New World vinous confrères. (See what I mean). 

 

He makes Le Cigare Volant Réserve “en bonbonne".  It earned 93 points - “Round, sultry and savory with notes of blackberry, boysenberry, cherry, dried herbs, leather and mushroom."  To make something truly unique his fourth vintage in the ongoing experimental protocol he use anaerobic élevage of Cigare in 5-gallon glass bottles.  (Who does that?)

 

His website is www.bonnydoonvineyard.com.  When you say that you are under 21 to access the site it sends you to Welch's Grape Juice website!  A bit of his humor.

 

2013 Vin Gris Tuilé

2016 Vin Gris de Cigare

2013 Le Cigare Blanc

2013 Le Cigare Blanc Réserve

2012 Le Cigare Volant

2012 Le Cigare Volant Réserve

2013 Syrah "Le Pousseur"

2011 Sparkling Syrah


Duncan Williams, Williams & Heim Wines (March 2017)
Duncan Williams, Williams & Heim Wines (March 2017)

Duncan Williams, winemaker from Williams & Heim presented at the March 8th meeting.  In 1982, Duncan started in wine production: an entry-level harvest job for Robert Mondavi and has never looked back. It is his love and respect for the vine that has kept him in the industry so long. He continues testing his palate by judging at International Wine Competitions and writes a wine column for the San Diego Union Tribune,

 

Duncan’s background and experience includes fourteen years as Cellar Master for the Sobon Family of Shenandoah Vineyards and Sobon Estate and the development of his own vineyard, which produced the first commercial Merlot in Amador County garnering numerous accolades. His career in Northern California was followed by his position as Senior Winemaker for one of the largest wineries in Southern California.

 

Williams & Heim is a continuation of that love and respect for the vine; one born of passion, experience and relationships. It encompasses an appreciation for the fine art of wine making and the opportunity to share the experience with others.

 

An enduring belief that grape growing and winemaking are inseparable continues to guide Williams’ winemaking philosophy. The prospect of every harvest still excites me. Duncan believes his as a winemaker is to let the wines convey the essence of the vineyard because fine wine starts from the ground up.

 

Wines to be poured will be:

2013 Chardonnay SLH

2014 Chardonnay SLH Unfiltered,

2012 Triple Entendre 50% Cab Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 17% Cab Franc 2013 Triple Entendre 50% Cab Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 25% Cab Franc

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Coombsville  

2013 Merlot, Coombsville  

2013 Cabernet Franc, Dry Creek Valley 

 

williamsheim.com


February 2017 meeting by Vino Noceto Wines with Rusty Folena, Winemaker (L-R Brad Bruce, Rusty Folena & Alan Albery)
February 2017 meeting by Vino Noceto Wines with Rusty Folena, Winemaker (L-R Brad Bruce, Rusty Folena & Alan Albery)

Vino Noceto Wines with Rusty Folena, Winemaker 

 

Suzy and Jim Gullett have established Vino Noceto as “California’s Sangiovese Specialist” following a pathway considerably different than other Sangiovese producers, yet similar to many small, "boutique" operations.  With the September 1984 purchase of this 21acre property and the subsequent 1987 acquisition of the neighboring 18.5 acre original homestead, the "passion" became "reality." 

 

Rusty Folena started his career in winemaking as a teenager, sweeping floors at Santino winery and pruning vines in the Original Grandpere Vineyard. Rusty joined Vino Noceto as Assistant Winemaker in early 1999. In 2001 he became Winemaker. Due to his early vineyard work and the direction of his tutors, Scott Harvey & Gordon Binz, Rusty understands and naturally pursues fruit-driven, varietally-accurate wines. This makes him ideal for Vino Noceto’s style and approach to winemaking.. www.noceto.com

 

Wines to be poured will be: 

 

2016 Frivolo 2013 Sangiovese

2013 Riserva Sangiovese

2013 Hillside Sangiovese single vineyard  

2013 Marmellata Sangiovese single vineyard

2013 Dos Oakies Sangiovese single vineyard

2012 Original Grandpere Zinfandel 


January 2017 with Brian Loring, Winemaker from Loring Wine Company
January 2017 with Brian Loring, Winemaker from Loring Wine Company

January 11, 2017: Brian Loring Let’s start with the name: Loring Wine Company. What? Not ‘Winery’ or ‘Vineyards’? Last name Loring, therefore Loring Wine Company. Ahhh, but what about the "Wine Company" part? That is an homage to Josh Jensen at Calera whiich is actually Calera Wine Company. Since he was the guy who showed Brian that great Pinot Noir could be made in California, Brian decided to name his winery Loring Wine Company to "honor” Josh.  

 

Brian’s first experiences with Pinot Noir were from Domaine Dujac, Henri Jayer, and DRC. Needless to say, he found domestic Pinot Noir jungle less than satisfying. It wasn't until he literally stumbled into Calera that he found a California Pinot Noir that he could love. Eventually Brian met Norm Beko from Cottonwood Canyon at an Orange County Wine Society tasting and his career as a wine maker was launched! 

 

Brian's philosophy on making wine is that the fruit is EVERYTHING. What happens in the vineyard determines the quality of the wine. 

 

Wines that will be poured $25-$55 range per bottle retail: 

 

2014 Durell Vineyard Chardonnay

2015 Sierra Mar Vineyard Chardonnay

2015 Rosella's Vineyard Pinot Noir

2015 Garys' Vineyard Pinot Noir

2015 Clos Pepe Vineyard Pinot Noir

2015 Kessler-Haak Vineyard Pinot Noir 

2015 Keefer Ranch Vineyard Pinot Noir

2015 Rancho La Vina Vineyard Pinot Noir 

 

Be sure to check out the LWC website. It is an interesting read with a lot more information than we can put here.  www.loringwinecompany.com