Temecula Wine Tasting Journey


My daughter and son-in-law came down and so we went to Temecula, taking the list I had culled from people from here. My son-in-law grew up with wine at the table and has a very good palate and my daughter likes wine – specifically red wine. (Why this is important you will see soon.

We started out at Hart (http://vinhart.com). It is the first one in and opens earlier than most. And between us we left with a bottle each. Dessert wine lover than I am, I left with a bottle of Angelica. They say it comes from ancient vines (from the monks or something like that) and it tasted like dessert that happened to be a wine. All toffee and some caramel and just down right yum. They describe it as, “Angelica wine dates to the Mission period in California and it”s name is thought to have been taken from the city of Los Angeles. This style of wine was produced by the Franciscan missionaries and was one of the first wines made in the state. Produced from two small vineyards, located on the Pechanga Reservation and planted with Mission grapes sometime between 1882 and 1905, these are the oldest vineyards in the Temecula Valley. As much as possible we followed traditional missionary winemaking practices in the making of this wine. After fermentation we fortified the must with brandy grape spirits and pressed to old oak barrels. The wine was aged over 2 years outside it the warm Temecula sun. The resulting wine is light brown with beautiful toffee, caramel, hazelnut and root beer notes. Enjoy this wonderful rare wine as a after dinner aperitif.) My daughter left with a bottle of Arneis. They describe it as “Arneis. A little-known grape variety native to the Piedmont region of northern Italy, where limited plantings of the grape exist; California acreage is even more limited. Arneis produces dry, scented wines dominated by aromas of peach and apricot, with evanescent background notes of almond. Made dry, in the Italian style, it is an excellent food wine” = important thing, it’s not red.

We then went to the far end, to Doffo (https://www.doffowines.com). We went there because the person at Hart said he had a huge collection of antique motorbikes. The person here was very knowledgeable and we left with 4 bottles (well I left with a bottle, the other 3 they had shipped.). This was not on the list from here. One of the ones they had shipped was one of the last bottles of one of their Motodoffos, I don’t remember which one (oh it is a red.) The other 3 bottles, theirs and mine, were a 2018 Rosario. She said someone who had been in the day before described it as a porch pounder. My daughter and I laughed and agreed. It was one they were also almost sold out of. My son-in-law loved their Viognier (said it was one of the best he’d had and almost had some shipped.) (please note again, of what they liked and/or bought 2/3 were NOT reds.

From there we were attracted to the description of Fazeli (www.fazelicellars.com). We loved the names of Ruckus, and Mayhem and Uproar and of course Pandemonium. The pandemonium went home with her, so a red (42% Cabernet Franc, 42% Petite Sirah, 10% Shiraz, 6% Merlot). They had a sweet red and a dessert red and I’m sorry I don’t remember what the sweet was called but it was better than the desert.

Then we went to Maurice Carrie (https://www.mauricecarriewinery.com). As stated, the brie bread was yummy. The tasting experience was the worst of the bunch. The person pouring had no knowledge of what she was pouring so the experience wasn’t really good. My son-in-law, though he didn’t buy, had a favorite. It was a late harvest wine called Summer’s End – a dessert wine, and a Chardonnay (not red.)

Lastly we went to Wiens (http://www.wienscellars.com/). By this point we were about done in, but my daughter took home one last bottle. A 2017 Fume Blanc with notes of key lime ,vanilla and pear and you could really taste the lime. Please note again, not a red.

All in all, we had a good time.