While he has become known for his insanely delicious Petite Sirahs from Paso Robles, winemaker Aaron Jackson has recently expanded his portfolio and added some new flavors! AEQUOREA - which means "of the sea" in Latin - is focused on single vineyard wines from extreme coastal vineyards amidst San Luis Obispo County.
Making Viognier is always such a challenge for Aaron, in that he aims for a style so much different than what is typically produced in California. Instead, he strives to make a Viognier that showcases what can be done with the variety on the extremes of the coast where it struggles to ripen. At only 2 miles from the ocean in Pismo Beach, Spanish Springs is on the edge of where Viognier can be grown. Super aromatic, floral, and loaded with brightness and minerality, the 2018 features a racy profile of white stone fruit, snappy citrus, freshly cut pineapple, and an amazing finish. The strong beam of natural acidity gives it freshness for days.
With the summer sun making (heat) waves and the June gloom hopefully gone, it's time to focus on refreshing wines for the warm season. Of course, we're leading with this amazing Rose from Washington State, part of a collaboration between Charles Smith (K Vintners, Charles Smith Wines) and Charles Bieler (Three Thieves, BIEL-ER Pere et Fils & Gotham Project). Made from 71% Syrah, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Mourvedre, 4% Gre-nache, 2% Counoise and 1% Cinsault, the sum of these parts makes for a beautiful, thirst-quenching wine with great underlying acidity; in other words, the perfect wine to feature for July (and the stylized American flag label certainly is apropos!).
To ensure minimal color or tannin pick up from the moment the fruit is harvested until it arrives at the winery, they pick almost exclusively at night. Once in the winery, each tank is treated a little differently to ensure each has its own unique perspective so that when it's blended together they have the most complex and multi layered Rose they can. While utilizing a mix of different yeasts, they have been loving the depth and character that native fermentations are giving so over half are now native. The resulting wine has both cut and generosity, lift and energy, and we are loving it! As always, the balance between the acidity at the finish and the savory, citrus and tangy cherry are the dominant features.
The nose leads with lush fruits, watermelon, peach and mixed orchard fruit punch finishing with a touch of salinity, hints of apple and rose petal. The mouthfeel is lush and rich with beautiful sweet fruits dancing across the tongue. Watermelon, strawberry cream and white peach lead to plum punch and a touch of créme fraîche. Excellent acidity keeps the wine lively and uplifted on the palate. The finish is clean, rounded and refreshing-- reiterating sweet spring fruits that last and last. Stock up on this one for summer! Perfect for Independence Day par-ties and beyond.
Just in case you haven't been reading our newsletters these past years, you are missing out on one of the great "up and comers" in Paso Robles. Nestled in the rolling hills on the "Westside" of Paso, Halter Ranch's sustainably-farmed vineyards have provided fruit to some of the more prominent names in the area...but they are now keeping more of the fruit for themselves. In fact, SoCal native Kevin Sass has become their winemaker after proving his skills at Justin for the past decade!
Roses from California are more and more popular every year. Producers are finally giving attention to these wines, and some of them rival the best from France! Halter Ranch is one of those quality Rose producers, and the proof is in the requests we get for this wine every year. The new release has landed, and it is every bit as good as previous renditions!
Reminiscent of Roses from the Southern Rhone, this Grenache-based blend has aromas of wild strawberry and guava. Refreshing on the palate, this wine features aromas of wild strawberry, watermelon and guava. On the palate, the flavors are a blend of tropical fruits and fresh citrus, with a bright and crisp minerality. Delicious on its own, this wine also pairs well with prosciutto and melon, salmon and light pasta dishes.
Fresh and lively, this beauty offers aromas of stone fruit, honeydew melon, balsam fir, and white rose. The mineral-laced palate pulses with flavors of Meyer lemon, quince, and botanicals, while the finish perfectly balances richness and tension. Fermented and aged for 4 months in concrete tanks.
Owner/winemaker Curt Schalchlin is the owner and only employee of Sans Liege Wines. After several years learning from and working for some of the Central Coast's most sought-after producers, Curt decided to go his own way. He has rapidly made a name for himself within the "Cal-Rhone Community" as one of the hot new producers of Syrahs, Grenaches, Viognier, and blends. His "Groundwork" lineup represents one heck of a value, and the Sans Liege wines really showcase his abilities.
The Cotes du Coast bottling is Curt's take on a white Rhone blend. Comprised of 33% Viognier, 26% Roussanne, 22% Grenache Blanc, 11% Marsanne, and 8% Clairette, the wine was fermented in both new and used French oak barrels.
Consisting of 58% Grenache, 40% Mourvedre, and 2% Cinsault, this Bandol-inspired Rose is a beauty, featuring aromas and flavors of citrus and stone fruits, highlighted by cherry, watermelon rind, grapefruit, nectarine and peach flavors. The wine has firm balancing acidity and both inviting aromas and a long finish on the palate. The medium bodied frame is layered, textured, balanced and elegant, and the wine will drink well on release or age for 5-7 years. It is a perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of seafood, pasta and fowl and best served at or slightly above cellar temperature.
Turtle Rock is the small family winery owned by Donald Burns, producing only 500 cases per year. Don has been the assistant winemaker at Saxum since 2008. He sources his fruit from some of the finest vineyards in the Willow Creek District Appellation. The vineyards have large white calcareous limestone rocks scattered through them. Part of an ancient sea bottom, they became weathered on the surface and resemble the shell of a turtle. Growing up there, he always referred to them as "Turtle Rocks" Through sustainable farming practices, low yields, and harvesting at optimal ripeness, he is able to make wines with both intensity and balance. He has a minimalistic approach to winemaking and lets the quality of the fruit and terroir speak for itself.
His dry Grenache Rose is certainly a treat for Spring and Summer. Fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve the delightful bouquet. The concentration of Grenache (from the famed James Berry Vineyard) in 2018 gave way to beautiful rich strawberry and watermelon rind flavors balanced with crisp acidity. Pairs amazing with creamy, fatty cheeses, Asian fare, or just sitting in the sunshine. Enjoy now to 2022.