After a crazy schedule filled with wonderful epicurean adventures, I’m finally getting around to writing about Day 2 of Rolling out the Barrels. Because even though we hit 8 wineries, we didn’t feel the need to race around from one place to the other so we could give a report on ALL the pairings (in case some place ran out) and offerings like the first day, the 2nd day was much more chill for us. There were fewer places offering food pairings and in general there was more of just a come on in and drink vibe, all around.
We started our day at Kelsey See Canyon. Aside from their wines, the other thing they are known for and one of the reasons I enjoy visiting this winery so much, is all of the beautiful Peacocks that reside on the property.
There are approximately 130 Peacocks and Peahens that call Kelsey See Canyon home with more babies hatching every year. When we arrived, their cacophonous sounds were echoing through the canyon. Several Peacocks were displaying their plumage, and baby chicks trotted behind their mothers through the yard and small vineyard at the front of the property. Needless to say I was completely enthralled and simply couldn’t get enough of all this cuteness! Then it was time to go do some wine tasting and walk around the booths offering local artisans and listen to music by The Mother Corn Shuckers. Aside from serving some of their well-known wines like Three Amigos Syrah a blend of 3 different Syrah vintages, their Platinum a Pinot Blanc, and one of my favorite fun wines, known as their Hot tub wine, the Golden Delicious -a blend of Chardonnay and Apple cider; they were also pouring their cider straight so we were able to really taste it unblended, which they haven’t done in the past.
Then it was off to Clesi Wines and Filipponi Ranch Cellars. These are 2 wineries I’ve been wanting to visit since they recently opened and as it turns out share the same property. Doug and I are very pleased to report, the wines we tasted were very enjoyable! Starting with Clesi who specializes in Italian wines. We got to taste a Malvasia Bianca from San Bernabe, in Monterey, a Dolcetto from Juan Nevarez Vineyard, in Paso Robles , and Convivio a blend of 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 20% Sangiovese. Then it was a walk across the lawn to the Filipponi Ranch Cellars table to taste some 2011 Rosé that was paired very well with fresh, sweet, strawberries. The Rosé is 50% Syrah and 50% Mourvedre and was produced using the Saignee (bleed off) method of using only free run juice. I tasted the 2010 Mourvedre from the Sea Shell Vineyard with aromas of dark fruits and earth, with a palate of plum and licorice. I also tried the 2010 Lorenzo a Rhone blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre which had nice flavors of black cherry and dried fruits. I paired the reds with some Linguicia and other sausages they were serving… it was really good! And the wine maker was friendly and knowledgeable telling me about the wines while pouring the tastes.
We drove over to Stephen Ross a winery known for their Pinot Noirs they also have some very nice other varietals. We went in and started with their 2012 Albariño from Jespersen Vineyards a pale straw-colored wine that is crisp and aromatic with minerality and acidity on the finish. The 2012 Vin Gris, a dry Rosé, was light and crisp with notes of watermelon and citrus. We also got to taste a barrel sample of the new 2012 Pinot Noir from Edna Valley for which they are selling futures in 6 bottle packs, so if you are interested…
Autry Cellars is an artisan winery that is located in the Edna Valley and Steven Autry is not only a winemaker, he also happens to be a bassist and can be seen playing with local bands around town. In fact he was playing with his band when we walked into the winery. On this day he was tasting 4 different wines . Starting with a 2009 Pinot Noir that had notes of Bing cherry, strawberry and spice, and the 2008 Edna Valley Syrah a deep garnet colored wine with leather, tobacco and plums-both nice wines. I’ve written about his 2009 Malbec before in the Farmers, Winemakers… post, it’s a 100% Malbec and was fermented in American oak for 30 months, it offers a palate of vanilla, toast and plums. Lastly we tried the 2008 Tertian Harmony a Bordeaux blend with 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot and 24% Cabernet Franc. We stuck around and listened to the band play for a little while, then bid a fond farewell to Steve to meet up with another #ShareSLO street teamer, MJ and her husband at Sextant Winery in Old Edna.
Sextant Winery was really bustling with people checking out the Old Edna townsite and coming in and out of the tasting room. I really enjoyed the 2011 Chardonnay out of Santa Lucia Highlands, it displays notes of citrus and pears with a nice acidity and is a well-balanced wine. The 2008 Night Watch is a blend of Zinfandel and Petite Sirah and was served with basil pesto and provolone cheese. This wine really picked up and highlighted the flavor of the basil while offering notes of black fruits and strawberry mixed with sage, black pepper and dark chocolate.
Phantom Rivers Winery is located in the historic, adorable Village of Arroyo Grande and offers a wide variety of wines to choose from but I limited myself to only 3. I started with the 2011 Sauvignon Blanc and found it to be soft and fruity. Then moved on to the Reds, trying the 2008 Mourvedre out of Larner vineyards in Santa Barbara. This is a 100% Mourvedre that was aged in French oak barrels for 18 months with a palate full of plums and berry fruits. The 2007 Paso del Sol is a 65% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Mourvedre blend that is aged in French and American oak making a wine that is well-rounded and complex. This wine is their tribute to the local Santa Maria Style BBQ tri- tip and is perfect compliment to a big meal. Then we hit the road again and headed to Pismo Beach. Named for the city it’s in, Pismo Beach Winery is a boutique winery specializing in small lots and they get their grapes harvested from local vineyards. Everyone was very welcoming and there was a lot of laughing and joviality in the tasting room. They have a wide variety of artisan wines that offer a little something for everyone’s price range.
The Roll out the Barrels event is a perfect opportunity to meet the wine makers and check out all the great new wines that are being released. It’s a 4 day event that culminates with 2 days of winery tours and wine tasting opportunities. The best part about it is you can do it at your own pace. If you’re like me, you can run around trying to taste a little of everything or you can take your time enjoying the local musicians, food and atmosphere at just a couple of wineries. Either way you are sure to have a feast for the senses and a great time.
Artists and poets still find life’s meaning in a glass of wine. ~ Joy Sterling, A Cultivated Life
@ShareSLO #ShareSLO #ROTB2013