Wines I can’t forget, part two

More on great wines that I can’t forget.  We started this in the last blog with my list of the 15 wines that I want to drink again.  These are wines that stand out in my memory.  Most were tasted at the winery and perhaps some of why I like them is because of the atmosphere or the day.  Any way we are back with 5 more of those wines and today we begin with

Grgich Hills Fume Blanc

Grgich Hills if I remember correctly was only the 2nd winery we visited in Napa.  The experience was good and informative (when I say informative you can read: Robin liked the people in the tasting room!).  We left with a split of the Fume Blanc and directions to Gott’s Roadside with directions to pair with the Ahi Burger.  It was raining and we were in the tent with tables behind the place and I was very happy.  Perhaps I was just really hungry, perhaps it was that I love ahi, perhaps because I was just learning about pairings and the guidance made me a little giddy.  At the time I only new a little about Mike Grgich (like that when you watch bottle shock…he was the winemaker behind that historic wine!) and I knew nothing about Joel Gott.  This was a memorable wine for me, I think, due to the place and time in my wine education.

Carhartt Pinot Noir

Carhartt Vineyards patio at the "Worlds Smallest Tasting Room" Los Olivos California

The tiniest tasting room on the planet is in Los Olivos, CA and I have waxed poetic on this place quite often.  So yes…the atmosphere and the people play a big part in why I love this wine.  But this one I will go on the record for saying, even if you take all that away, I would still be enamored by this wine.  I love bold Pinots with smoke, meat and barnyard.  This Pinot on the other hand was elegant and delicate and smelled of violets.  I was completely taken off guard and transported.  I adore this wine and cherish the experience of this tasting.

Tablas Creek Vermentino

Tablas Creek Tasting Room Paso Robles, CA

 

So this wine we did not taste at the vineyard!  I love Tablas Creek and we have been there twice and are very proud to be wine club members, but this particular wine was given to me as a gift from a friend.  I cannot thank Laurie and Al enough for giving me this glimpse into Vermentino.  This simple Italian white is not fancy but really fulfilling.  We make sure to pick up a bottle whenever we visit now.

Terry Hoage Syrah

View from Terry Hoage Vineyards Paso Robles CA

We stumbled upon this vineyard at the recommendation from someone in another tasting room.  The property is lovely as you can see by the vineyard view. They are on a hilltop with chickens running free and a lake on the property.  Terry Hoage played footbal at the University of Georgia in the 80’s and then played 13 seasons in the NFL as a free safety.  They moved to Paso to build a home and put in a small vineyard for landscaping.   That evolved into a love for growing grapes and then making wine. The tasting room was elegant and the staff well educated on wine.  This was the last wine we tasted that day and we left with a split that I covet in my wine cellar.  I’m afraid to drink it!  I don’t want it to be gone!

Vino Robles Petite Sirah

Vino Robles Paso Robles CA

 

It’s a struggle to get me on the Petite Sirah bandwagon. I find it often inky and sometimes cloying.  Our tasting at Vino Robles included the cheese pairings and that might have set me over the edge.  It was heaven.  I know it is here in a previous blog post, but we had a cheese with coffee and lavender that was stunning and this Petite Sirah was gorgeous.  Was I affected by the elegant surroundings, by the informative and friendly staff, by the gorgeous cheese, by the comradery with other patrons during our tasting?  Perhaps, but I still want to drink this wine again.

Stay tuned for the last 5 of my wines I can’t forget in the next post!

 

Winery’s off the Beatin Track, Part 2

Another Wine Maker not to miss while visiting Paso Robles. On our last day this trip in Paso Robles we stopped at:

4:00 pmTerry Hoage Vineyard

 

 

Carol at Vina Robles suggested we stop here.  She said they have great wines and not enough people get by their tasting room.  The tasting room, while small was Beautiful!  Terry Hoage played football for GA Bulldogs and then the Eagles, as a safety.  His College GPA was stellar and he is a brilliant man.  He and his wife settled her to raise their family.  They have chickens in the vineyard eating the bugs and a lake.  The wines here are lite bodied, but full of flavor, nuance, texture and depth.  Evan in the tasting room was warm and knowledgable and filled us with great information on the wines and vineyard!  A guy in the tasting room (lawyer) suggested Evernote as a great application for taking wine notes. Michael will check it out.  It allows you to take label photos.

Evan was the pourer, and very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their wines. This was a passion not just a job, was encouraging, because we had been at a couple of previous stops where the winery just hired a body, who had no real knowledge except how to pour the wine. We tried 2008 Tranche Cuvee $48, 2008 The Pick, Granche Cuvee  $48,  2007 The 46, Grenache Syrah based on the 46 defense of Buddy Ryan, 2008 5 Blocks, Syrah Cuvee $48,  all Very good complex wines that had body, structure, taste, and subtle nuances.  A great find we never would have tried or put on our list without a recommendation.

Terry Hoage Tasting Room Paso Robles California

Have you found any Hidden Treasures?  Let us Know?

 

Small Winery’s off the Beatin Path

When we find Enthusiastic Wine Geeks like ourselves at different wine tasting we like to get their opinion’s  on their wine choices as sometimes this leads us to unique gems.

3:30 pm Fratelli Perato

Wild Horse recommended this place for Italian Varietals.  The woman saw us coming and greeted us at the door.  The tasting room was tiny, but this is part of their home. She was a bit like your eccentric aunt,  (every one should be so lucky)she was incredibly nice and loves her wines and it shows in the quality of the wines we tasted.  She and her husband founded the vineyard and planted all the vines.  They have 3 girls and one has gone to UC Davis and now helps at the winery.  Her husband came from an Italian family who had a winery and then went to UC Davis himself.  The wines are rich and bold and tasty all around.  Great interesting conversation.  All of their wines are dry farmed.  Their wines range from $ 30 to $42 and all were nice and complex.   We tasted several wines the standouts were 2009 Charbono   $42, 2007 Tre Sorelle $38, 2009 Zinfandel $30.  All of the wines had great character and taste.

The view from the gazebo at the Fratelli Perata Vineyard on West side Paso Robles California

And they have a great view of the West side of the Valley from their Gazebo above the vineyard.

Next Terry Hoage Vineyards

Add your Hidden Gem’s to the conversation.