Julien 2005 Bravura / Monterey County
from fruit grown on the winery's Monterey County Estate
Vineyard, this out of the ordinary blend of Merlot and
Melbec spent twenty-two months aging in fine French
oak. Allowed to open in a glass, this bold, dark ruby
wine unfolds with powerful red fruit flavors of plum,
cherry, and raspberry, accented by intrepid notes of
clove, earth, and smoke. Firm tannins and a vibrant
acidity give this wine a full, lingering finish. Drink
it now with a well-seasoned, tender roast, or let it
age in the cellar.
Julien 2005 3.2 Ton Merlot / Monterey County
lush, wet winter and modified pruning method helped bring
an early and full canopy development for all the varietals.
Prime Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from the Estate
Vineyard were then aged in the finest French oak for thirty
months. The resulting wine is a bold violet with a full
bouquet of ripe cherry, raspberry, pepper, vanilla, and
spice. Solid tannins and a bright finish give the wine
a full, yet supple character, and a good structure gives
it great potential for aging.
Julien 2006 Black Nova / Monterey County
grand blend of 60% Zinfandel and 40% Syrah, made from
exclusive Estate grown fruit, this is a lush, big, and
ripe wine. Twelve months of aging in New American Oak
brought out great complexity. Leisurely swirled and sipped,
rich layers of flavors unfurl with cherry and raspberry
flowing into deeper notes of vanilla, clove, oak, and
spice. Bright, smooth, and lingering at its finish, this
is a wine not soon forgotten. Only 300 cases were produced,
so get yourself a bottle while you can.
2007 Chardonnay / Monterey County
from their Pinnacles Vineyard on the east side of the Salinas
Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands, this 2007 Chardonnay
is a nice, full-bodied wine with a pleasing hint of acidity.
From its soft golden hue, rich aromas of tropical fruit,
apple, oak, and vanilla open up. On the palate, crisp apple
and lush tropical fruit return, with hints of creamy oak
and minerals lingering at the finish. Pair with an heirloom
tomato and chicken pasta.
2006 Reserve Pinot Noir / Santa Lucia Highlands
from fruit grown at Estancia's Stonewall Vineyard, where
morning fog and cool breezes make for ideal growing conditions.
After harvest, the wine was aged for nine months in French
Oak. Out of the bottle and in a glass, this deep, ruby
wine entices drinkers with rich aromas of dark cherry,
plum, blackberry, and sweet spice. Deep dark fruit flavors,
cola, and nutmeg drift across the palate after that first
sip. A very nice, medium-bodied wine, it would pair quite
nicely with a tender lamb chop.
2006 Reserve Meritage / Paso Robles
nighttime layers of ocean fog and plentiful sunshine during
the day, the Paso Robles appellation is known for its
grand temperature swings. After harvest, the fruit for
this vintage was aged fourteen months in French and American
oak. Now mature, the wine has a deep, black-purple hue.
Rich aromas of cherry, blackberry, plum, and chocolate
rise out of a freshly swirled glass. A sip and soft tannins
carry rich dark fruit flavors over the palate, with accents
of mocha and oak. A smooth, supple wine that pairs very
nicely with tender rib-eye. Drink it now or give it some
time to age.
2006 Merlot / Central Coast
from fruit grown in Monterey County, as well as Paso Robles,
and aged for fifteen months in French and American oak,
this Estancia Merlot is a pleasing wine with a fruit driven
character and supple tannins. When sipped, cherry and plum
dominate the palate, with notes of chocolate and coffee
lingering at its finish. Pair with an indulgent dark chocolate
mousse and enjoy.
SLH 2007 Pinot Gris / Santa Lucia Highlands
from 100% Pinot Gris fruit grown on the gentle slopes of
the Lone Oak Vineyard, the resulting wine entices drinkers
with a lovely translucent-gold hue.
Swirling a glass brings fresh aromas of lemon zest, honeysuckle,
figs, and minerals. On the palate, the wine is light and
subtle, with citrus fruit and grassier notes building towards
a mineral finish. Pair with your favorite shellfish and
enjoy a bottle!
SLH 2007 Pinot Noir / Santa Lucia Highlands
sourced from four different Santa Lucia vineyards, with
sun drenched afternoons and cool ocean breezes, contributed
to this vintage. In sunlight, its bold ruby hue sparkles.
Swirl a glass and take in the rich aromas of cherry, strawberry,
plum, cola, and sweet spice. Sip and enjoy the deep red
berry flavors, with notes of spice accenting the earthy
finish. With a medium-body and firm tannins, this wine
can work well with grilled pork, salmon, or tuna.
Shack 2007 Roussanne / San Antonio Valley
the southern end of Monterey County, the San Antonio Valley
is the area's newest appellation, and it is starting to
gain notoriety for growing French varietals. For this wine,
a blend of 80% Roussanne and 20% Marsanne come together
to produce a soft, laidback wine. Slowly swirling and sipping
brings an array of flavors, with pinapple, pear, mango and
apricot mingling on the palate. The finish lingers, leaving
the soft touch of fruit and minerals behind. Pair with a
lighly seasoned, steamed-clam pasta and enjoy.
Shack 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon / San Antonio Valley
the San Antonio Valley AVA is fairly new, this Cabernet
is one of the reasons people are taking notice. Hold a
glass up to sunlight and admire the deep purple hue. Sip
slowly and indulge in the rich flavors of black cherry,
plum, chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, and a hint of licorice.
Smooth and light on the tannins, this is a very nice wine,
particularly for the $20 range. Pair with tender lamb
chops with a baby artichoke sauté.
2006 Santa Lucia Chardonnay / Santa Lucia Highlands
mornings, moderate afternoons, and cool evenings are trademarks
of the Lucia Highlands. After a late October harvest, French
Oak and stainless steal were used for fermentation. The
resulting wine has a soft golden hue that releases deep
aromas of tropical fruit, with caramel and yeasty notes
lingering around the edges. When sipped slowly, pineapple,
pear, and a touch of honey drift over the palate, finishing
with a hint of oak. Medium-bodied, with a nice acidity,
this wine rates well in terms of drinkability. Try it with
sole baked in a creamy butter sauce.
2006 Santa Lucia Pinot Noir / Santa Lucia Highlands
blend of two French clones, this estate grown pinot matured
for nearly a year in oak before being bottled. In a freshly
swirled glass, the elegant violet-ruby hue conveys rich
fruit aromas of cherry and plum, with accents of spice,
lavender, and cola. The palate is fruit forward and bright,
unfolding layers of flavor as plum, strawberry, and spice
mingle together. Slightly sweet but balanced by a firm
acidity, this is a highly drinkable wine. Pair it with
a pork-tenderloin in a maple-chipotle sauce and enjoy!.
Vineyards 2007 Riesling / Santa Lucia Highlands
forty acres of Paraiso's Riesling vines are now thirty-five
years old, and the fruit for this vintage was selected from
Block One of the hillside vineyard, after conditions allowed
it to hang until early November. Bright flavors of apricot,
tropical fruit, pear, and a touch of honey drift over the
palate before finishing with a kiss of minerals. Quite crisp,
with a bold acidity, light and refreshing, this wine would
pair well with fresh, ripe figs or a spicy Asian dish.
Vineyards 2005 Syrah / Santa Lucia Highlands
David Fleming selected fruit from Blocks Fifteen and Seventeen
of the vineyard's "Wedding Hill" section. Bottle-aged
for a year prior to release, the wine's nose is dominated
by perfumed blackberry and cherry, with pockets of vanilla
and pepper accenting the bouquet. Solid tannins unfurl a
palate of rich dark fruit that finishes dynamically upon
notes of oak and earth. This potent wine ought to accompany
a hearty, well-seasoned roast.
Winery 2006 Intrinity Chardonnay / Santa Lucia Highlands
from fruit grown throughout the Santa Lucia Highlands, the
Intrinity Chardonnay represents winemaker Steve Pessagno's
finest effort for the varietal, the name signifying the
endless pursuit of lofty goals. When held up to sunlight,
the wine glows with a soft golden hue. A sip brings ripe
flavors of crisp pear and tart apple, which flow into deeper
notes of caramel and smoke. A rich wine, with nice depth,
it would pair nicely with a fresh pesto and chicken pasta
salad. Only 396 cases were produced..
Winery 2006 Four Boys Vineyard Pinot Noir /
Santa Lucia Highlands
vineyard's name just happens to coincide with the number
of sons winemaker Steve Pessagno has. Handpicked block by
block as each reached maturity, the fruit was first cold-soaked
for up to six days and then aged in French oak for eleven
months. The resulting wine has a robust smoky, yeasty nose
with notes of plum and cola mingling together. A slow sip
and the lovely palate brings forth the soft, smooth flavors
of black cherry, plum, vanilla, and chocolate. A big wine,
with a nice depth of flavor, it would pair nicely with grilled
pork chops or lamb seasoned with rosemary and thyme..
Ranch 2005 Tempranillo / San Antonio Valley
has long been a flagship for Spanish wine. Pierce Ranch's
own take on the varietal was grown on the rocky slopes of
their "Y" Ranch Vineyard. After harvest, the fruit
was aged eighteen months in American, French, and Hungarian
oak. The resulting wine, with its deep ruby hue, conjures
up rich fruit flavors of cherry and strawberry. Hints of
vanilla, licorice, cocoa, and pepper complicate the palate.
A medium-body and soft tannins make this wine easy to drink.
Try it with a traditional Spanish paella with quail seasoned
by a touch of garlic, salt, and pepper.
Ranch 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon / San Antonio Valley
much wetter than average growing season meant careful crop
management to control yields. After harvest and an extended
cold soak, the fruit was aged 18 months in French oak. Swirl
a glass and soothing blackberry and dark cherry aromas rise
up to greet you. Sip and the cherry returns alongside boysenberry,
with subtler notes of cocoa and vanilla. Supple tannins
and a smooth mouthfeel give the wine a fine drinkability.
Try a bottle with a thick rib-eye steak with a garlic-salt
and pepper rub..
Vineyards 2007 Sauvignon Blanc / Monterey County
the 2007 vintage, fruit was sourced grapes from their Baja
Viento and Mesa del Rio vineyards and then aged in stainless
steel. Out of its vibrant white-gold hue, notes of bell
pepper, bright citrus fruit, and grassy tones envelope the
senses. With a sip, the lively citrus returns, alongside
gooseberry and herbier accents. A very crisp wine with a
firm acidity, it would pair quite nicely with shrimp cocktail
or scallops in a light white-wine sauce. 672 cases were
Vineyards 2007 Gewürztraminer / Monterey County
from their Greenfield-area vineyards (Viento and Scheid),
with the cooler, windier climate that Gewürztraminer
thrives under, was sourced for this vintage. Fermentation
took place at very cold temperatures to enhance the fruitiness
and mouthfeel. The resulting wine has a lovely, soft golden
hue. Rich layers of flavor drift over the palate as peach,
apricot, honeysuckle, and sweet spice unfold after a slow
sip. A nicely balanced wine, with just the right touch of
sweetness, it would pair very nicely with an elegant cheese
and fruit appetizer.