Fazeli Cellars has one of the newest wine tasting rooms in Temecula. You can see their vineyards on De Portola Road and their tasting room is now open downtown. Their signature grape is Shiraz, named after the fabled city in ancient Persia. They are “Inspired by the ancient traditions of Persia. Rooted int he modern expressions of California”.
The owner is BJ Fazeli who was previously a well-known businessman in Orange County. They spent 8 years developing award-winning wines before finally moving to the next part of their dream and opened a tasting room near City Hall in Old Town Temecula in November of 2012. Their wines have been available in local restaurants for quite a while, but now wine lovers can taste them in their own tasting room. Soon they look forward to moving on to the next step opening their own winery on the De Portola wine trail.
They currently have over 20 selections of wine available including the Yalda which is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre and Cinsaut, The Norooz, a blend of Viognier and Muscat Canelli and the Pandemonium which is primarily Petite Sirah and Cabernet Franc with a bit each of Shiraz, Mourvedre and Grenache.
The tasting room is closed on Monday and Tuesday, but has extended evening hours on other nights. Wednesday and Thursday they are open 12:00 to 8:00pm, Friday 12:00 to 10:00, Saturday 10:00 to 10:00 and Sunday 11:00 to 6:00.
When we were in Temecula in December we had passed a sign on the DePortolo Wine Trail for Fazeli Vineyards. After returning home from that trip I looked them up and found that they had just opened a tasting room in Old Town. The tasting room is stunning it is in the Old Town Center on Fourth Street. The inside it hip, comfortable and inviting. Jasmin welcomed us and set us up at the bar.
They have a set tasting menu here and have a place mat with each of the wine listed. They pour the glasses and suggest a tasting order. When they are really busy this is great! You can get all the information you need even when they don’t have time to spend with each person. But…we are spoiled and wonder into tasting rooms when they are almost empty so that we can soak up all the attention and all of the geeky wine information. Jasmin and Nicole were happy to oblige!
The Fazeli family is Persian and is proud of it’s cultural heritage. You see this in the names of the wines and in their favorite grape Shiraz. This grape was named after the beautiful ancient city in Persia.
We started off with the 2010 Norooz. Named after the Persian New Year which is celebrated in spring and was being celebrated the day we were tasting! This is a white blend perfect for spring which is 70% Viognier and 30% Muscat Canelli. It has a full mouth feel and is light and crisp with peach and apricot.
The 2nd wine we tasted was the 2009 Mehregan which is a blend of 69% Grenache and 31% Shiraz. Mehregan is the Persian Festival of Autumn. This wine is Medium in body with a bit of licorice and earth on the bright red fruits.
The 3rd wine is called their 2009 Pandemonium. With a distinctively hip label this wine is a blend of 43% Petite Sirah, 42% Cabernet Franc, 7% Shiraz, 4% Mourvedre and 4% Grenache. Their tag line on this is “embrace the Chaos”.
The 4th wine was the 2009 Shiraz. They blend this with Grenache and Mourvedre effectively making it a GSM. It is 78% Shiraz, 12% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre. I really enjoyed this wine.
The last wine was the 2009 Yalda. This is a softer blend with the Shiraz at 44% Shiraz, 28% Grenache and 28% Mourvedre. This wine gives notes of tobacco and dried cloves.
They do have quite a few other wines. Including a Cab Franc, their Phel Phel which is 84% Cinsault and 16% Shiraz, a Sauvignon Blanc, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon called Khayyam among others.
We also tasted the 2010 Petite Sirah which is 100% Petite Sirah and really lovely.
We had a wonderful tasting here. Nicole is so passionate about the wines! She is sure that she can taste the particular blend of granite and clay in the soil from their vineyards in a wine. It’s very distinctive! Another wine geek. God I love ‘em!
To end the night, we needed food and they pointed us in just the right direction. Palumbo’s does amazing Italian food just a block over and we had a great dinner.
Thanks Jasmin & Nicole! We will be back!
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