We’ve run news from Ventura’s Four Brix Winery over the years (Baubles party, announcing the opening of the winery and different events I was able to snag a brief tasting at.) But it‘s been since May 2010 that I’ve sat down to taste and review their wines. Via my pal Cori Solomon of #LAWineWriters a media visit was recently arranged, and I got to rectify that.
From that 2010 article I will share that “…wine tasting became a focused passion for the three couples (that own Four Brix Winery)…(Gary) Stewart is mostly self-taught, adding classes from UC Davis, and was mentored by winemaker Ryan Horn at the Vintner’s Vault in Paso; the other couples offered years of palate experience. I then offered up my own palate to try the swanky labels he had for Deductive (Zinfandel and Petite Syrah), Rhondevous (Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache) and my personal favorite, Scosso (Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot).
Fast-forward to today, and from co-owner Karen Stewart (who is most often found in the tasting room), I learned:
- They started out as garage winemakers.
- The winery has 4,000 more square feet just added, perfect for their larger “Brix Head” events.
- They recently added their first “estate-managed vineyard”, the Cani Amante Vineyard, in Ojai.
- They don’t have a Chardonnay, but plenty of other whites to tantalize you.
New Tasting (Aromas and flavors separated by “;”)
Camp 4 Vineyard, Santa Ynez
HELLO PINEAPPLE, then came pear, wet steel and pebbles; in the mouth was that same big pineapple flavor (someone maybe liked Hawaiian Pineapple wine when they made this one?), lemon-lime, concrete and white peach. 90 Eve pts.
100% Grenache Blanc
Camp 4 Vineyard, Santa Ynez
Jasmine, cantaloupe and honeydew melon, talcum powder, perfumy and fresh; on the mouth I got distinct canned fruit cocktail, medium acid and slight oak elements. 89 Eve pts.
2014 Dry Riesling
Cani Amante Vineyard in Ojai, Estate property.
I don’t get CA Riesling often so I was looking forward to this one. Dried peach, anise, white pepper; followed by peaches in light syrup, lemon, limeade with an encouragingly pleasant mouthfeel. 89 Eve pts.
64% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
Cigarette, red cherry, toast, jam and vanilla; dried cherry, black currant, cigar, oak, dark, strong tannins. 89 Eve pts.
85% Tempranillo, 12% Grenache, 3% Mourvedre
Dusty plum, mushroom, green peppercorn and black cherry; spices, black fruit, peppery with a long, dark finish. 89 Eve pts.
2011 Petite Sirah
Layers of blueberry and black cherry, musty, violets; then flavors of dark black fruit, black pepper, dry and dusty. 88 Eve pts.
Jammy nose with blue to black fruit, earth and mint; juicy at the start, dry at mid-palate, same fruit profile as found in the nose. 89 Eve pts.
2013 Cani Amante Block 4, Ojai
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
Lovely berry fruit, milk chocolate and oak trees; very dry, pepper, black fruit, big, and chewy. WE gave it 90 pts., so who am I to disagree? 90 Eve pts.
Call for hours Thursday through Sunday: Phone: (805) 256-6006
Eve Bushman has been reading, writing, taking coursework and tasting wine for over 20 years. She has obtained a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, has been the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and recently served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits that may be answered in a future column. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com