TEMECULA – 45 WINERIES IN 45 DAYS (WEEK 4)
Welcome everyone to the ongoing adventures of the drinkin man…or is that druken? A fairly eclectic group this week (haven’t they all been though?) but as always, some delicious wines were consumed and some gorgeous scenery was enjoyed. Let’s see what I found… MONTE DE ORO WINERY – Located (fittingly enough) at Rancho California Rd and Monte de Oro Rd, Monte de Oro offers delicious wines, beautiful grounds and some excellent items from their bistro, Stopping in recently for my 45 in 45 visit, I was treated to 3 reds from their tasting menu 2017 Cab – Strawberry jam, sweet spice and cinnamon toast on the nose. Jammy on the pallet with some cloves highlighting a nice finish 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon – Plums and raisins give way to some spice and powdered hot chocolate on the pallet. Nice big finish and little to no tannins 2017 Syrah – A Syrah that brings a new set of aromas to the table. Not getting the smoldering firewood on this one. Chocolate and mocha with with some sweet spice on the pallet..and some all spice perhaps Great attentive service, exceptional wines and a menu that features a selection of starters, salads, sandwiches and pizzas…how can you go wrong? LORENZI ESTATE WINES – Slightly off the beaten paths, Lorenzi Estate Wines is definitely worth the effort (considering it’s about a 1/2 mile…it’s not that big an effort). Located on a small rise, between the more winery populated routes of Rancho California Rd and De Portola, Lorenzi offers a restful view and very good wines. Once again, I added one extra wine to the tasting for your knowledge (and my pleasure) 😀 2018 Chardonnay – Nice golden color with aromas of lemons and wild herbs. Creamy on the pallet with splash of citrus. Nice lengthy finish 2016 Cab Franc – Nice orange tint to the ruby red. Red berries, green tobacco and cinnamon on the nose. Sweet baking spices with some bing cherry on the pallet. A lush, full finish 2016 Heritage Red – Dark garnet in color. Initial aroma is typical of many a Syrah, that of a new plastic toy. Thankfully morphing into smells more associated with the Bordeaux style. Showing baking chocolate and sage on the nose. Elegant tannins on the pallet with notes of plums, spices and cedar 2016 Brutus – Dark garnet in color. Aromas of twizzlers and ripe figs. Nice puckering tannins with plums and ground coffee on the pallet. Nice long finish A beautiful relaxed setting allowed me to overlook the vineyards during my tasting. A thoroughly enjoyable experience both from the views and the wines WILSON CREEK WINERY – Clearly one of the most popular wineries in all of Temecula, due in part to their Almond Champagne, which has been a calling card for the winery for years. Aside from the champagne, Wilson Creek offers a number of amenities, from delicious dining to a top flight wine club and more. Steering clear of the Almond Champagne, I tried 4 tasty wines on my visit 2019 Viognier – Strong pear / grapefruit aromas with some stone fruits. Relatively light sugars on the pallet and very smooth 2018 Syrah – Some light smokiness. Puckering tannins with dark fruit and pepper on the pallet Brut – Toast with honey and strawberry jam. Toasty on the pallet as well with some lemon curd. Relatively short finish 2020 White Cab – A very light blush, with just a hint of color. Eucalyptus leaves and strawberries notes. Not too sweet (thankfully) some tartness on the pallet (cherries and red fruit) Stopping in midweek was definitely the way to go for me. If you like to party and let loose, the weekends are your time, as Wilson Creek can get packed with fun loving guests. One of the most lively stops in the valley CHAPIN FAMILY VINEYARDS – There’s something very chill about Chapin Family Vineyards. Located at the end of the road…in other words, past everything else. However, with this winery, that’s a good thing. With their palms trees on property (and on their logo) and shaded entry, there’s an almost tropical feel to the winery. As usual (or usually) I tried 3 wines during my visit 2016 Syrah – Nice rich garnet color with a slight orange tinge. Light fruit with graham cracker aromas, with no noticeable smoke. Some smoke on the pallet however, with boysenberry pie. Nice and mellow with a lengthy finish 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – Nice garnet color. Boysenberries, mocha and mushrooms on the nose. Nice bursts of berries and plums in the mouth with velvety tannins. Nice lingering finish Eclipse – 50/50 Cabernet and Syrah. Sugars are strong with this one Obi- won😀 Some prunes, black licorice and strawberry preserves on the nose. Dried plums, herbs and oak on the pallet with nice elegant tannins and a lengthy finish Just across the rode from Doffo, Chapin provides the left hook for this winery 1-2 punch. Relax, sip your wine and take in the gorgeous view of their vineyards DOFFO WINERY – As I mentioned yesterday, Doffo winery is located just across the street from Chapin Family Vineyards. With a strong motorcycle theme running throughout the winery, one can’t feel but a little pumped up and manly when visiting (well, I did😂). Known for having some of the best wines in all of Temecula, my tastings certainly didn’t disappoint 2017 Syrah – Nice ruby color. Some light smoke and blackberries on the nose. Some slightly unripe berries on the pallet with very soft tannins that evaporate quickly 2012 Syrah Reserve – Nice prominate smoke on the nose with some toasted grain. Smooth as silk on the pallet with some ripe dark fruit and figs and ends with a gorgeous satiny finish. A phenomenal wine 2018 Private Reserve Cabernet – Fairly herbaceous on the nose. Burst of raspberries and some thyme on the pallet with some subdued tannins. Finish fades like the perfect sunset As advertised, these wines were delicious. Full disclosure, they are some of the more pricey ones in Temecula. But I invite you to come in and try them and decide for yourself. My guess…you’ll be walking off with atleast a few bottles VITAGLIANO WINERY – I’ve been told Vitagliano Winery began life as a wedding venue. If so, it’s easy to see why, it’s a beautiful setting. One of the most picturesque wineries in Temecula, Vitagliano provides an gorgeous backdrop for your tasting. Speaking of tasting, something unique here, tastings are done by either purchasing a bottle or a glass, no one ounce pours here (though that’s what I had, as I was working 👷🏼♂️) My thoughts… Grand Cuvée – Honey with baked apples aroma and some light toasty notes. Bit toned down on the bubbles, so made for those that don’t like too much “fizz”. Very interesting 2015 / 2017 Miscela – A blend of Primotivo and Cabernet Sauvignon. Begins with caramel and some light berry notes then moves towards bright fresh raspberries on the pallet with a nice addition of vanilla on the finish 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – A very earthy cab with wood resin and herbs rather than your usual fruit aromas. Some ripe fruit on the pallet and subdued herbs. Tannins are moderate and taper off with the finish As one of the few wineries not on the Rancho California or De Portola routes, plan to take some time here. Use my notes, grab a bottle and take in the beautiful surroundings FOOT PATH WINERY – Marching to their own drummer and choosing their own “path” (get it? 🤦🏼♂️) Foot Path Winery looks at the wine biz a little differently than most. As one of the only certified user of organic grapes in the Temecula area, they cultivate the soil and harvest their grapes by hand. They definitely stand apart in their approach to wine making. On my recent visit I sampled these 3 reds.. 2017 Merlot – Very similar to a Cab Franc in its appearance. Less fruit forward than most Merlots. Nice well balanced with some cherry notes and light tannins and trailing anise on the pallet 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon – Some nice prunish aromas. A very full-bodied wine that envelops the mouth. Very natural tasting 2018 Cab Franc – Good ‘n plenty on the nose with some fresh berries. Some light tannins and a nice lengthy finish Foot Path by any standard is a very modest operation, but if you want to try something different and don’t require plus surroundings, I invite you to stop by and say hello to Deane and Christine So we’ve visited 28 wineries so far, and each them provided something special to this journey. I will be posting week 5 tomorrow and weeks 6 and 7 (the mini week) by the end of the week. Then its on to OC wineries and Temecula breweries. Might you be a a lil jealous of my “job”? (He said with a smile) Remember, be sure to follow @boozepress on Instagram so you don’t miss news and visits as they happen. Cheers!