When both Michael Perlis and I both couldn’t attend the Garagiste Sneak Preview at The Cellar, I worried! But then, lo and behold, an e-mail from the Goddess of Wine, aka Denise Lowe, appeared and, yes, she would go and yes, she would share the event with readers. This woman is amazing at attending so may events! Thank you Goddess!
Made a last minute decision to hit the road to visit The Cellar in Santa Clarita last Thursday. Why? Because there was a special ‘sneak peek’ at a few wineries who will be participating in the upcoming Paso Garagiste festival on November 12th. As I’m a big fan of Paso wines, and will be heading to the event next month, I thought I’d get a head start. I hadn’t been there in quite a while, so it was nice to catch up with owner DiMaggio Washington and his talented crew. The event was perfect – small enough to give me a chance to really visit with the winemakers (or their reps), and large enough to taste a bunch of wines!
I started in the back room with Lisa Dinsmore – one of the folks behind Paso Garagiste, along with Doug Minnick and Dan Erland Andersen – pouring Carlson and Red Zeppelin wines.
There were a lot of wines to taste. Highlights include:
Carlson Wines – Winemaker Chuck Carlson
2008 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir – My fave of the 3 Pinots being offered. Medium light garnet color. Spice and raspberries in the nose. Tobacco and mushroom with some earth in the mouth. A nicely balanced wine. Should age well.
Red Zeppelin – Winemaker Stillman Brown
2005 Monterey County Syrah, Bear Valley Vineyard -Spicy red cherry with some minerality, cedar notes and a yummy long finish. Yummy is a technical term.
Les Deux Chats – Winemakers Chris & Patty Connelly
2009 Roussanne – Filtered – Lovely minerality from this delicious Roussanne from the Ripken Vineyard in Lodi. No oak, just soft fruit balanced with just the right amount of acid on the finish.
2010 Roussanne – Unfiltered – A bit more viscous quality in the mouth than the 2009. Still very young. I’d like to try it again in a year.
Tercero Wines – Winemaker Larry Schaffer – who poured a whole bunch of wines not on the list! My faves:
2007 The Climb (Petit Sirah/Syrah) – Just a wonderful blend of two of my favorite grapes. Big. Fruity. Needed a big grilled steak.
2010 Mourvedre Rosé – This is one of my favorite CA Rosés. Dry as a bone, beautiful color. Crisp. Yum.
AmByth Estate – Winemaker Phillip Hart – Biodynamic farming at its best. Beautiful blends. And low alcohol. It CAN be done.
2009 Priscus – 46% Grenache Blanc/25% Viognier/17% Roussanne/12% Marsanne – Peaches and apples in the nose and the palate, too. Very crisp and refreshing. The perfect palate cleanser!
2010 Counoise – 100% Counoise. Surprising and tasty. And only 12% alcohol.
Stanger Vineyards – Manager JP French pouring
2006 Stanger Vineyards Syrah Library Reserve – Deep and dark purple, coffee and anise in the nose. The ultra-ripe fruit flavors provide a long finish. Liked this wine a lot.
So that’s the sneak peak. I can hardly wait for the big event!