We wine lovers are always looking for those special bottles from small unknown wineries that no one knows about. These wines are termed “Diamonds in the Rough”. What should our term be if we find a small winery in a small wine community like Temecula California that is not only producing one varietal that is a success, but many? Such is the fact with a small winery in Temecula California called Briar Rose.
The history of this property explains the quaintness and peaceful feeling that one gets when they arrive. The property was originally purchased in the 1970’s by Beldon Fields. Fields built replicas of cottages, like those found in Disneyland’s Fantasyland, for his wife. Fields was one of the artisans involved with building Fantasyland and Toontown at, you got it, Disneyland. In the early 1990’s, Les and Dorian Linkogle purchased the property from Fields with the stipulation that the cottages that he had designed and built on the property would remain unchanged.
By now, you are probably beginning to get the picture on why the winery is called Briar Rose. In the Disney animated film Sleeping Beauty her godmothers sent her to the forest to protect her and there she was known as Briar Rose. When you arrive, you walk though a small peaceful garden setting toward a thatched roof cottage. Entering the reception room, we were warmly greeted by Kella the hostess and Dorian. Next, we were led to the tasting room. Again, the Disney theme from Sleeping Beauty is joined by another Disney favorite Snow White and continues to unfold as you sit down and are given the wine lists. Briar Rose tastings are by appointment as they want the guests to be able to sit down and truly enjoy the display of wines that are poured for you. It is easy to spend an hour or more talking with the staff, who are very well versed, or owners on each of the wines.
Briar Rose has two (2) different tasting packages available. There is the Standard and the Premium. My recommendation, of course, is to try both.
· 2007 Citronier
· 2008 Fume Blanc
· 2004 Malbec
· 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
· 2004 Cabernet Franc
· 2007 Citronier
· 2004 Petit Verdot
· 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
· 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
· 2007 “Katrina” Estate Zinfandel
Briar Rose poured three (3) Cabernets as a vertical during our tasting adventure. The 2004, 2005 and 2007 were all great with each one displaying different characteristics. The 2004 was lighter than the other two which was caused by an extremely rainy season ,according to our Briar Rose staff member. The wine offered flavors of blackberry, currant, plums and spices. The 2005 had a lot more depth with tastes of big bold dark fruits, such as boysenberry and blackberry. The 2007 had flavors of black cherry and plum. Of the three Cabs, the 2005 was the biggest of the three years. What I found and enjoyed with all of them was that they were well structured, balanced with tannins that were soft and silky. I must say, a very enjoyable vertical.
Les is very unique in his approach to creating wine masterpieces. He loves to think outside of the box and create unusual blends and wines. The first unique wine at this tasting, was called Temecula One. This wine is a blend of 40% Sangiovese, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. This blend is modeled after the Italian Super Tuscan blend. The story on this wine is that it was served at a blind tasting at Caesars Palace /Harrah’s Club and won! Thus the name, Temecula One (won). The wine tasted great with flavors of plums, cherries, boysenberries and white pepper. I have always loved Les’s Sangiovese and every time I get up to Briar Rose, I stock up. Unfortunately, he was sold out on this visit, but not to worry I still have a few hidden away.
Another adventure for one’s palate is a Hefe Vine called Talking Frog. Les used viognier grapes and fermented the wine using a beer yeast instead of a wine yeast. He calls it a wine lager. The result is a carbonated wine that has the typical green apple flavor of viognier. It is clean and extremely refreshing. In Disney style, the label says. “You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.” This was one I had to have in my cabinet and to share with friends.
I challenge everyone to visit The Briar Rose Winery. I will guarantee you that you will not be disappointed. The atmosphere, professional nature of the entire staff will make you feel right at home. The wines as you can see from my review are in a league of their own. They have received numerous awards and they were even invited to pour at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. That’s what I call recognition. My overview of Briar Rose is that Les and Dorian want to concentrate on developing very special top quality wines. Whether it is the less expensive wines or their estate and library wines they have wines that will satisfy everyone’s palate.
Battling an intensely hot fire after a semitrailer crashed on Interstate 80, emergency crews were surprised to find themselves suddenly fired upon – by corks from exploding wine bottles inside.
The fire Thursday was so intense it burned the trailer down to its axles, melted the tires and damaged about 75 feet of pavement.
But Keane says no one was injured, and the truck driver, Cyndy Brown of Arkansas, escaped the fire. Keane says the wreck likely was caused by a locked brake or hub malfunction.
Amazing Wine Labels – The design of a wine label can make or break the success of a new wine introduced to the market. Even beyond the quality of the wine itself, the label plays a primary role in the purchasing decisions of customers. It is on this fact that many graphic designers have focused their attention to making creative, compelling labels that connect a bottle of wine with its buyer. To celebrate the work of these designers, TheCoolist has selected 30 of the most impressive wine label designs in recent history. To read it right, we suggest you enjoy this list over a freshly popped glass of wine…
Granted, these graphic artists have created the most interesting wine labels on the market yet. Sure to catch the eye of the consumer, and artist, alike. But instead of perpetuating the idea of choosing wine based on the “attractiveness of the label” I’d rather educate wine 101ers to move beyond this.
If you want a catchy label, go have a personalized one made for your wine. We did it a few years ago for gifts. But, on hindsight, or wine education-sight, we won’t be doing it again. It not only hid all of the information the winery and winemaker wanted the consumer to have, it looked kind of…tacky. My husband called it a “novelty”.
So, how do we go about not choosing our wine based on a pretty label? Shun all animals? (Duckhorn comes to mind so scratch that because I like their wines.) And Rivers, the fainting goat pictured above, intelligently leaves the decision to readers of this blog…
You can taste test a plain label against the fancy one, choosing the same varietal, year and area. Make it a party! But instead of perpetuating the negative reputation women have in general (and marketing wine reps take complete advantage of) for making their choices based on the pretty labels – when reduced to finding a wine in a grocery aisle due to time constraints of getting dinner on the table – switch it up.
Male guests go to the market, choose a wine solely based on a label they think a lady would like. Women, go to a classy wine store, talk to the employees, and choose a wine based on the descriptors you are looking for.
No pretty label, or lack of wine staff, is going to help anyone choose a “quality” wine.
The next thing I propose is that IF we are going to buy our wine in supermarkets, which I do every week as well as in wine stores, educate yourself in advance so that you’re not caught off-guard and bring home a bottle with just a pink label adorned with roses and hearts…
My brand new Wine Spectator (WS) just arrived yesterday. Every month they run the “Best Buys” and “Smart Buys” along with cellar choices. Look for a wine that sounds good to you. (Labels are not all pictured, and if they are it’s not out of beauty but to help you locate the bottle in a store.) Make sure a few thousand cases are produced, which is also listed, then pull out the handy shopping card to go…and go!
I did that for years! I would bring in my little list and then query employees, whether at the market or a wine store. Some are familiar with the WS lists and are ready for you. Others may steer you toward the pretty wine section…hold steady…the pay off and quality is IN the bottle, not on it.
The newest local club of Soroptimist International, known as the Soroptimists of Greater Santa Clarita Valley (SIGSCV), will host their 2nd Annual “The Wine Affair…Sip, Stroll and Savor the Sounds” on Sunday, September 27th, 2009 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. along Town Center Drive in Valencia.
By Eve Bushman
Vintners are concerned about maintaining the freshness of their wine and preventing it from spoiling and oxidizing . Their business relies on producing wines that are marketable and enjoyable by the consumer. Some have chosen to add sulfites to prevent such issues. To prevent legal issues, since it is not an organic wine, they label their wines as organically grown or biodynamic. Thus by labeling “organically grown” guarantees that the grapes used were grown according to organic or biodynamic guidelines established by the USDA..
Bluestone, their signature wine, was created in honor of the northeast PA quarries. Bluestone is as delightful as it is complex. Made from the Catawba grape, it is ever so sweet, citrus flavor, foxy, and an excellent conversation starter. Perfect and delectable as a dessert wine!
Hidden Creek Winery is located in Susquehanna County, in Laceyville, Pennsylvania in the Endless Mountains Region.
Their wines are produced right on the premises from Pennsylvania grapes and premium fruits. They offer a unique variety of traditional red & white wines as well as a selection of delicious specialty fruit wines.
The Leichliters (Russ & Ruthie) plan to continue to develop their line of fine fruit wines as well as the property itself. The beautiful Pennsylvania landscape in the heart of the Endless Mountains lends scenic charm to the visions they have of a gazebo along with a small garden pond including waterfalls—a perfect setting to host weddings and other celebrations.