There is a charming wine bar in Morro Bay, called Bella Vino’s Doug and I visited on a “Lets get out of the house and do something ” day. There was a flurry of activity at the bar because as part of celebrating its 1 year anniversary they were doing a fundraiser in conjunction with the UFC for the Wounded Warriors Project later in the day, and several well-known champions were there. Although we couldn’t stay for the fundraiser we decided to stick around and drink some wine. When we walked in the first thing we noticed were the great views of the Rock and Morro Bay out of the large picture windows along the far wall.
The wine bar its self is quite spacious with beautifully appointed decor and cozy leather couches, a fireplace, a marble and wood bar, and cheese counter. Plus they have high top seating next to the windows which we took advantage of for the view. The menu is varied having several different wine flight options with $9, $14 and $22 flights. Each offering is 5 pours and they are actually quite generous and include a little cheese plate. I chose the $9 “Standard” option and Doug took the $14 “Reserve” option, and just a FYI the tasting options change about every 2 weeks. I’m only going to discuss my tasting in this blog because well, it was my tasting. 🙂 Doug will have to tell you about his at another time.
My flight started with a 2011 Cedar Brook Chardonnay from Napa Valley. Aged in American Oak for 2 months it imparts a light butterscotch and fresh melon aroma. It’s straw in color and tastes of butterscotch, citrus and apple and has a crisp finish. The wine is described as having 96% Chardonnay and 4% mixed whites.
Next came the 2010 Vina Robles Sauvignon Blanc from the Jardine Vineyard located on the North side of highway 46 East in Paso Robles. The harvest for this wine started in the early morning hours of late August early September, and the fruit is hand-picked. The wine is then fermented in stainless steel tanks and did not go through Malolactic Fermentation. The nose has a minerality that has hints of green apple, bringing in white peach on the palate and creating a medium bodied wine with balanced acidity followed by a light lingering finish. This wine was picked by the Today show as one of the 6 under $20 wines for summer.
The Reds included a 2009 JanKris Crossfire also out of Paso Robles which is a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. In the past I must admit, I’ve been a bit critical of the Crossfire but I found this wine to be quite tasty and really enjoyed it. The wine was jammy, fruit forward with red fruits like raspberries and cherries and had an added hint of cocoa. It’s a bright wine with a nice mouth feel and it took Silver at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
The 2010 Protocolo Tempranillo from the Tierra de Castilla region of Spain is made from 100% Tempranillo grapes and was aged in American oak imparting notes of spiced toast and oak. It’s got aromas of spice and red fruit rounded out by the jammy, black cherry, red plum and if my recollection serves me, tasting a bit like chocolate covered bacon wrapped around a cherry. A very drinkable and enjoyable little wine.
Lastly was the 2011 Ruta 22 Malbec from the Neuquén Valley of Patagonia, Argentina. The name Ruta 22 refers to the national highway that runs between Bahia Blanca and the western vineyards of Neuquén, al’a Route 22. This wine is 100% Malbec with a vanilla nose accented by wet stone and blueberries, While offering tannins that are firm and bringing out blackberry with hints of plums and other dark fruits.
Even with all the hubbub for the fundraiser going on Kathy the owner wearing her cowboy hat and boots, still made a point to come by and welcome us to Bella Vino’s. She was enthusiastic and warm, deservedly very proud of her establishment and shared the history with us. We are looking forward to going back next time we are in Morro Bay and trying the tapas menu as some of the nibbles looked delectable. All in all a Bella experience at Bella Vino’s!
Wine hath drowned more men than the sea.