During one of the last warm days in October we took a beautiful drive through a long winding road that led us to a new winery about 30 minutes from our home in Newhall. The exterior of the winery was decorated with an expansive fountain framed by an equally expansive view of vines on three sides; on the fourth side was the winery tasting room situated between the winery itself and a modest home. Had we viewed the winery from above, we would have seen vines in all four directions, with the winery and fountain being at the center.
Entering the tasting room at Agua Dulce’s newest wine tasting destination, Reyes Winery, guests will find an open and inviting tasting room, with professional oil paintings adorning the walls, created by the winemaker, Robert Reyes.
About visiting with all of his guests that day, Robert said, “I truly enjoyed seeing people talking, sharing stories, tasting wines, and overall enjoying the weather and having a great time.”
A perfect pairing was set.
The last time I visited Robert, the tasting room had yet to open to the public and he greeted my husband Eddie and me in his garage-converted-winery. Robert’s passion and vision made it easy to imagine his future. And we were happy to be back to see him flourish as were the other two dozen guests that filtered in and out during our visit.
Now, onto the wines!
Tasting (Those wine marked with a * are ones that we purchased – in case we happen to have the same palate dear reader – but I liked every one! My overall conclusion is below the tasting notes.)
2010 Chardonnay* Nice to have a Chardonnay in a non-oaked style, this was my first taste and favorite wine of the day with aromas of bright tropical fruits followed by a taste of juicy pineapple and apricot. Readied my palate for more!
2011 Chardonnay* I was greeted by aromas of green apple, freshly mown green grass, pale white pepper and lemon-lime. The viscosity of the wine filled my mouth and the Lodi fruit was both juicy and sweet.
2010 Muscat A pleasant nose of honey, nutmeg and candied ginger followed through to the taste.
2009 Rosas’s Choice Rosé A great burst of strawberry aromas right off, followed by lemon and stems. The taste was all fresh and ripe – strawberries of course!
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon* Loved the aromas that came off this Cab: mint, eucalyptus, cigar and dried dark fruits. On the mouth I got dark, deep fruit, cracked pepper, very smooth and extremely balanced.
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Fruity, deep dark fruits on the nose, followed by the same deep fruit on the mouth framed by dark chocolate and smoke.
2009 Merlot* Lovely aromas of dark fruit, stem, mushroom and black peppercorns. The taste had it all: Tannic, good fruit structure, a fine balance and a long finish.
2010 Merlot* An earthy nose that included red to blue fruits and milk chocolate, followed by nicely developed fruit, black pepper, and an earthy forest floor.
2009 Syrah So much on this nose: Mint, stem, stewed plum, pepper and chocolate. The taste was dry and tannic with a nice viscosity, good fruit, cigar, and tree bark leading into a medium-length finish.
2010 Syrah* Plums, black cherries, cigar, forest floor, wet bark and stewed veggies greeted my nose, and then the same dark fruit in the mouth as well as nice smoky tannins.
Agua Dulce Delight (Red Port) OMG, can you say, “Plum jam on buttered toast”? I sure did, and that was just on the nose. In the mouth it was very rich and full.
White Delight (White Port) A wonderful nose of blood oranges and pumpkin pie was just itching to be served with…you guessed it…pumpkin pie. The taste included honey, white pepper and Juicy Fruit brand gum. Would be great alone or in a sparkling Port cocktail. (recipes: http://www.portcocktails.com/cocktails.html )
Conclusion An overall feeling about the wines hit me as we neared the end of the tasting. The one word that kept coming up in my mind was “balanced”. If you like wine that isn’t overly fruity or overly tannic, these wines are for you. Nothing blasted me with high alcohol, my taste buds didn’t stand up at attention and none would overwhelm a meal. With Thanksgiving coming up I think that any Reyes wine would be perfect to pair with a well-prepared meal, from the cheese plate appetizers, to a flavorful turkey and down to the pumpkin pies.