We have long been members of Wiens Wine Club.
On our first trip to Temecula it was the last stop of our second day and we loved their wines. Not trusting ourselves, we went back the next day in the morning to be sure that our consumption of wine the day before had not swayed our thoughts and were reassured that these were wonderful wines. So…we stop by whenever we are in Temecula but of course we are always there through the week and never had the opportunity to taste in the Barrel Room whichis open exclusively for members on the weekend. So….since we had a weekend…..
The barrel room is stunning, it is warm and intimate and Susan who poured with us felt free to give us lots of information. We began our tasting with their new sparkling wine done in the traditional medod. The Chanson de Soliel (Song of the Sun) is a beautiful Blanc de Blanc that is 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir and it is done in a Brut style. I got citrus and lime and a little yeast. This is leaps and bounds above their Amour de L’Orange in style and sophistication.
Next we tasted the 2011 Solace which is a white blend with Roussane. It had a dusty nose and nice acid. They mention camomile and lemon grass in their description and I definitely got that.
Now on to my favorite…the 2011 Verdelho. Another one of those wines that you hear multiple pronunciations of it’s name. I had been pronouncing it ver-DEY-ho but Susan said ver-DEL-oh, so I guess this ranks right up there with my learning curve for pronouncing Paso Robles (it’s ro-buhls), I was getting too fancy for myself. Maybe that was just the tricky little joke that this wine started me out with to prime me. This wine has all the tartness of a Savignon Blanc on the nose and lots of grapefruit ont he palate and it is completely “playful” as Susan put it and unexpected. This wine also has pear on the nose and it is not overpoweringly tart or sweet. When you take a sip it rolls up the center of your tongue and dissipates in the back of the palate. It was enchanting and made me giggle! I am infatuated with this wine.
We moved on to the 2011 Pinot Noir which is loamy on the nose like soil, green and earthy with good pepper and silky tannins. It was cool in the mouth with cranberry and tart red fruit. Yumm…
The 2011 Tempranillo-Petite Sirah Blend was plummy with strawberries and earth. It was very smooth but had a thick mouth feel. This is a lovely sipping wine that is warm in the mouth without being hot. Complex with what felt like low tannins.
Now on to the Crowded (always one of my favorites) and the Reflection. The 2010 Crowded is a blend of 38% Zinfandel, 26% Barbera, 18% Pinot Noir, 9% syrah, 6% Sangiovese, 3% Petite Sirah. This leans Italian and is cool and smooth. The Reflection Michael tasted more tannins. I really enjoyed the Reflection (and look forward to drinking the 2 bottles that just arrived with the last wine club shipment).
Even though we were already feeling very VIP (there was a cheese tray on the side for everyone and Susan was taking very good care of us) Susan then went to pull a Cabernet Franc for us to taste. This was cool with fresh black fruit and very soft tannins. Like a well behaved Cab Franc this wild beast likes to nestle in velvet.
When we had entered the barrel room there were just a few people, by the time we left it was full, but still quiet and thoughtful. Filled with people who really wanted to taste the wines and learn about them. The public tasting room outside was packed when we left filled with people, who, if they like good wines, will soon be joining us as members.