Born in Michoacan, Mexico, winemaker Edgar Torres has lived in the coastal town of Cambria, California since the age of 8. As it seems to happen to many people who live close to Paso Robles, he fell in love with wine and decided to make his livelihood in the wine business. Hey...can you blame him?!? He has worked with many of the superstars of the Central Coast, including Matt Garretson, Augie Hug and Alta Maria Vineyards. More recently, he has worked alongside one of our best friends, McPrice Myers over at Barrel 27 (what a mentor!), when Edgar isn't tinkering on his own wines.
Edgar makes wines that knock our socks off! The intensity of these wines are rivaled by few here in the United States and we suggest you check out what Edgar can do! El CabRhone is a play on words, as this is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%) and Rhone varietals (30% Grenache, 10% Syrah, and 10% Mourvedre). The wine offers a lovely blackberry and plum core which is surrounded by cinnamon and sweet applewood smoke notes, with orange-peel-candied-in-chocolate elements. Fine tannins and elegant acidity combine with the pure fruit and spices for a long, seamless finish. Only 145 cases were produced!
JEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "It's always a fun tasting with winemaker Matt Dees and his team, and they continue to keep this estate at the top of the hierarchy in Santa Barbara County. Located in Ballard Canyon AVA, they pull only from their estate vineyard (planted on incredibly sandy soils) and make a wide range of cuvées, from a red and white Bordeaux blends, to a 100% Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and a number of terrific Rhône blends. The common thread is incredible quality."
"Unquestionably the star of the show is the 2014 La Sangre de Jonata, and it's a more finesse driven, elegant, cool climate example of the cuvee than normal. Reminding me of an Hermitage from Bessards, it offers gorgeous notes of blackberries, cassis, leather, scorched earth and pepper. Possessing full-bodied richness, firm, polished tannin and a focused finish, it will be more approachable that most vintage of this cuvee, yet I still wouldn't touch bottles for 3-5 years. If you must drink a bottle over the coming couple of years, give it a 2-hour decant."
The wines produced for the Premiere Napa Valley auction are the pinnacle of achievement in the Napa Valley, and it serves as a means not only to promote the Napa Valley, but the talents of vineyard managers and winemakers. Hi-Time attends this trade-only auction every February, and we secure wines that show exceptional quality vis-à-vis their price points. Progeny’s offering was the best white wine we had tasted at the auction in several years, and we just had to get our hands on it! Following the success of their winery located on Howell Mountain, Paul Wools and Betty O’Shaughnessy-Wools set their sights on Mount Veeder, located in the western mountains of the Napa Valley. While this new site is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (just like their Howell Mountain property), they also planted several Rhône varietals, which they have found to give the wines exotic bouquets. They soon realized that the white Rhône grapes were not just thriving on their property, but the final wines were superb! Winemaker Sean Capiaux (who has also worked at Peter Michael, Jordan and Pine Ridge) comprised a unique blend of Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier fermented in a mix of French oak barrels, concrete and stainless steel, with no secondary (malolactic) fermentation. The wine is bright and clean, with aromas of honeycomb, wet granite, oyster shells and sea spray before moving to apricots and orchard fruits. This is actually a white for the decanter, because after 20-30 minutes of air time the wine gains in weight and richness, and flavors of pear, Fuji apple, a hint of oak and toasted almonds appear. The versatility of this wine is amazing; drink it immediately upon opening and it is a perfect match for shellfish and white fish. Let it breath and it will pair nicely with lobster bisque and chicken dishes. It’s almost like it’s a perfect mix between a white Rhône and a Chablis. Wonderful!
JEB DUNNUCK 96 POINTS - "A step up, the 2014 Syrah Rodgers Creek Vineyard is a blockbuster effort that reminds me of a good vintage of the Cote Rotie La Mouline from Guigal. Awesome notes of incense, lavender, bacon fat, and spring flowers gives way to a full-bodied, voluptuous Syrah that has a sexy, seamless texture, sweet tannin, and a big finish. This cuvee saw 10% Viognier and is an exotic, intense, superstar of a Syrah readers should snatch up. 587 cases."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Starting with the whites and a rich, thrillingly concentrated and unctuous wine from Manfred, the 2014 White Wine Lightmotif is made from 47% Roussanne, 21% Chardonnay, 14% Petite Manseng, 11% Viognier and 7% Marsanne that spent 19 months in a combination of concrete eggs, new French oak, neutral barrels and a tiny portion in stainless steel. Coming from close to equal parts Eleven Confessions, Cumulus and Bien Nacido vineyards, this beauty sports a medium gold color to go with a rich, layered profile that carries tons of ripe peach, honeycomb, pineapple, flowers and citrus. Pure, elegant and silky on the palate, with full-bodied richness, it never puts a foot wrong, is ethereally textured and has a great finish. Drink it anytime over the coming decade."
Switchback Ridge Wines are sourced exclusively from the Peterson Family Vineyard in Calistoga. The property has been in the Peterson family since 1914 and encompasses nearly 100 acres located at the mouth of Dutch Henry Canyon. For over 75 years the property was primarily maintained as a farm and plum orchard, with vines intermingled amongst the trees. In 1990, the orchards were replanted to vineyard, where there are currently 18 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah vines, in addition to a three acre 50+ year old Petite Sirah block that John Peterson helped plant as a child.
The wines are made by the ever-talented Bob Foley, who makes his own wines under the winery name Robert Foley, as well as the wines at Hourglass. He also made the wines at Pride Mountain for 15 years.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "Limpid ruby. A highly complex bouquet evokes ripe, spice-accented black raspberry and cherry scents complemented by suggestions of incense and exotic flowers. Sappy and incisive on the palate, offering alluring sweet cherry, dark berry liqueur and lavender pastille flavors that pick up a smoky, energizing mineral element with aeration. Delivers impressive punch but comes off lithe, finishing with excellent, floral-dominated persistence and smooth tannins that come in late to contribute shape and gentle grip."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "Composed of 65% Mourvedre, 28% Grenache and 7% Syrah, the 2014 Panoplie has a medium garnet-purple color and a lovely perfume of red roses and lavender over a core of kirsch, red currant jelly and black cherries, with touches of baking spices and dusty earth. Medium to full-bodied with plenty of expressive red berry and earthy layers on offer, it has a firm, chewy frame and appealing freshness on the finish. 775 cases were made."
Winemaker's Notes: "My 2014 Grenache Blanc is my 9th release of this variety, and arguably my best to date! It is a blend of fruit from two distinctly different vineyards - Camp 4 in eastern Santa Ynez and El Camino Real in Los Olivos. Each brings something different to the blend that creates a 'whole' that is greater than the sum of its parts. Each lot was aged in older French oak barrels for 15 months prior to bottling, and each lot brought something different to the blend. The Camp 4 fruit tends to be a bit bolder and riper, bringing beautiful aromatics and body to the final blend; the El Camino Real fruit is picked earlier and brings a zingy acidic backbone and wonderful aromatics to the final blend. This is a wine that is drinking wonderfully now but will truly continue to evolve and develop for years to come."
Winery's Notes: This new release is the return of our ‘cult following’ wine showcasing huge aromas of wild flower, honey, blueberries, and sweet molasses. Take in the holiday spice upon the palate with dark plums, cinnamon, and cardamom. This is a perfect wine for the autumn season.
Each year, Trinitas blends their favorite old vine varietals together to create Mysterium. Every vintage proves to be different so the Mysterium Blend is truly a "Mystery" until it is bottled. The grapes are harvested then each varietal is separately fermented and barrel aged for 18 months. Doing this develops more complexity in each varietal and also allows for the very best blend to be assembled. The blend for this vintage is 40% Zinfandel, 37% Carignane, 11% Mataro, 10% Petite Sirah, and 2% Alicante Bouschet.
The nose is abundant with red fruit and a hint of spices. Cherry and cranberry combine for a rich aroma, the fruit leads into accents of molasses and finishes with a pinch of baking spices. The palate starts with cranberries mixed with cherries jubilee. The core is full of chocolate covered blueberries. The wine is broad and fills the palate, yet finishes soft and smooth with a touch of raspberry.