On January 31 I joined about 50 local wine friends – now calling ourselves the #WineInfluencers – to taste through some of the new wines added to the Newhall Refinery wine list. They had recently expanded their list quite a bit (read the story about that here) so I was anxious to sample their new offerings myself.
Within 15 minutes into the tasting the room, aptly called “The Cellar”, became electrified! As people entered they happily greeted pals they didn’t know would be there (the guest list wasn’t public), started tasting at one of the three tasting stations, took photos for social media, noshed on mushroom toast, cheese and charcuterie and – started sharing notes with each other of which wines not to miss at each table.
Guy Lelarge, formerly of Valencia Wine Company, was responsible for working with owners Simon and Shannon Mee, and the staff, before curating the wines at the best prices possible. He also added suggested pairings to the menu. When I had an exceptional Sauterne towards the end of the evening, and was on the hunt for the exquisite blue cheese they had provided to have with it, I told Guy he should pair that particular wine with a cheese plate for their dessert menu. He already had.
Of the wines we tasted below, and I didn’t sample everything, I bolded my favorites. Some I skipped as I’ve tasted before, the DAOU and Prisoner being two favorites that I would definitely order but didn’t need to taste again. And my pals like to tease me as I’m not a huge Pinot Noir fan, those were skipped as well, you know, (really) just to avoid palate fatigue.
My own quote for the evening was, “The energy in the room among wine lovers was palatable!” And last but in no way least, a big cheers to the Mees to now have such a broadly appealing wine list that really adds to their already uber-popular chef-inspired dishes.
What We Tasted
Borgo Conventi Pinot Grigio 2015 / Italy
Vidal-Fleury Viognier 2015 / France
Matua Sauvignon Blanc 2016 / New Zealand
Orogeny Chardonnay 2016 / Russian River, CA
Flowers Chardonnay 2013 / Sonoma, CA
Diora Pinot Noir 2015 / Monterey, CA
Patz & Hall Pinot Noir 2014 / Sonoma, CA
Belle Glos Pinot Noir 2016 / Santa Barbara, CA
Pedroncelli Zinfandel 2015 / Sonoma County, CA
Château Mont-Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape/ France
Viña Magna Ribera Del Duero 2015 / Spain
Trefethen Merlot 2014 / Napa, CA
Consilience Syrah 2014 / Santa Barbara, CA
Stag’s Leap Winery Petite Sirah 2014 / Napa, CA
Prisoner Red Blend 2016 / Napa, CA
Drumheller Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 / WA, USA
Daou Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 / Paso Robles, CA
BUBBLES & DESSERT WINES
Riondo Prosecco 187ml / Italy
Nicolas Feuillate Brut Rosé Champagne 375ml
Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne 750ml
Château Grand-Jauga Sauternes 2015 375ml / France
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com