Downtown Newhall is fast becoming an all-in-one destination for the Santa Clarita Valley.
With a state of the art public library standing guard at the north end of Main Street and Newhall Refinery restaurant and Pulchella Winery tasting room near the southern end, along with everything else going on nearby and in-between, it is easy to see why this area’s popularity is only going to increase.
Recently, Karen and I had the opportunity to visit the Double Trouble Wine Room on Main Street, a joint project of Hoi Polloi Winery and Pagter Brothers Winery. Both wineries make their wines locally at SCV Custom Crush Services, sourcing grapes primarily from vineyards on California’s Central Coast.
For some years, I’ve enjoyed the wines made by Scott Pagter of Pagter Brothers Winery. I can’t remember all the details of when he shared the wine [under his previous wine label] with me at the much missed All Corked Up wine bar, but I do remember it being a pretty killer Grenache. [I also have very fond memories of Scott’s band Stupid Pony from those days. Fronted by excellent lead singer Sidney Iverson, I always looked forward to this band’s rare appearances.]
Scott and his brother Gib formed Pagter Brothers Winery in 2013 specializing in “big, bold reds.” That being said, the first wine we tried was the 2014 Chardonnay which was excellent, a fairly light wine but with a touch of oak on the finish to give it some body.
After that, though, we did move on to those big bold reds, tasting through a selection of wines from the 2014 vintage, mostly Rhone varietals with Syrah sourced from the White Hawk Vineyard in Santa Ynez and the Grenache from the Hoyt Vineyard in Paso Robles…
Notorious – blend of 75% Grenache and 25% Syrah, named after Gib’s day job as an attorney.
Melodious – a reverse of the Notorious, 75% Syrah and 25% Grenache, a tribute to Scott’s music/entertainment background.
Syrah – 100% from the White Hawk Vineyard. This was delicious, but we also got a sneak peek of the 2015 vintage which if anything was even better.
In addition, Pagter Brothers makes a Tempranillo. I think Tempranillo does very well in Paso and this 2014 was no exception.
Finally, another sneak peek – the 2015 Tannat. From Paso’s Adelaida district, this wine belied Tannat’s reputation as being monolithic and unapproachable. Definitely the opposite of that, drinking very well right after bottling and will only get better. My fave of the Pagter Brothers tasting.
Scott told me that their motto is to “make wine they like to drink…so if no one buys it they can drink it.” With these wines, they’re not going to be able to keep much for themselves.
My relationship with Doug Minnick, one of the three owner/winemakers of Hoi Polloi Winery, goes back several years as well. Doug is also one of the co-founders of the Garagiste Festivals and he and I first met when I interviewed him for our Eve’s Wine 101 website about the inaugural event that was coming up.
So, it was a natural progression to want to make wine. The special focus is on Syrah and Doug says they will soon be able to do side-by-side single vineyard Syrah tastings from all four of their Syrah sources – Sebastiano Vineyard [Sta. Rita Hills], Alta Colina Vineyard [Paso Robles], Hoppe Kelly Vineyard [Russian River Valley] as well as the iconic Larner Vineyard in Ballard Canyon. If you know Syrah, you know that Doug et al have connected with some pretty outstanding vineyards. I feel that Syrah is one of the best varieties for showing off differences in terroir, so this is pretty exciting stuff.
But they do make other wines besides Syrah. We started our tasting with the newly released 2016 Grenache Rosé from Colburn Vineyards in Paso Robles – one of the best Rosés that I’ve had.
We then moved to the reds by first tasting the 2015 “Illicit” Pinot Noir from Santa Maria and the 2014 “Touch of Evil” Cabernet Sauvignon from the Cass Vineyard in Paso Robles. Both solid wines.
Now, time for the red Rhones!
We eased into them, starting with the 2015 Syrah / Grenache Blend called Tryst, so called because while the 34% Grenache is entirely from Paso Robles, the 66% Syrah is a combination of Paso and cool-climate Sonoma. Makes for a very tasty wine.
Not messing around now, we tasted the Sebastiano Vineyard Sta. from Rita Hills and the Alta Colina Vineyard from Paso Robles, both from the 2014 vintage. I had already tasted these wines from last year’s Garagiste Festival in LA and knew what to expect. I was not disappointed. [Not tasted this time but tasted at that same festival was the 2014 “Double Exposure” blend from both of these vineyards, which was actually one of my favorites that day.]
We got a sneak peek here as well – the 2015 Petite Sirah from the Loma Seca Vineyard in Paso Robles. Delicious now, this wine is going to be fun to watch develop.
The Double Trouble Wine Room is definitely worth your time. Gorgeous facility, now with a patio, along with great wines poured by nice people. I expect this is a place you may want to become a “regular” at before it becomes too popular.
DOUBLE TROUBLE WINE ROOM
24338 Main St.
Newhall, CA 91321