Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Edna Valley/SLO Trail Roundup

The weather is sooo not cooperating with me. Even the locals are puzzled at this freaky late March rain and cold. How's a girl supposed to enjoy Morro Bay when it's all Scotland outside?

No matter, still tasting the vino, still enjoying the bejeezus out of this trip. I've already been through as much Edna Valley and most of the west side of Paso Robles. Before I move on to my interview with Gary Carmody, I want to run down the Edna Valley list.

The good thing about the Edna Valley is the cool climate. The bad thing about it is the humidity. Fungus is a big problem for these folks, much like it is in parts of France. They get the fog that rolls in from Morro Bay that is both a blessing and bane for varietals like Chard and Pinot.

In general, I found the Edna Valley wines had really good acid cores to them, regardless of how fruit forward they might be. My tour guide, John and I made it to five wineries last Friday.

Perbacco Cellars
These wines were a bit lush for my taste, but again, had nice acid backbone to them, so I can't complain. My favorite was the 2003 Arroyo Grande 'Dionysus' Pinot Noir, the high end one (of course). It was leaner and more elegant than the other Pinots, less forward, more tea and spice. A little oaky on the finish.

Laetitia
Aw, yeah. Come to Mama. A little Deutz goes a long way. This is as Champagne as you're gonna get in California. The 2002 Brut de Blanc (70% Chard, 30% Pinot Blanc) was impossible to spit. Nutty, citrusy, herby. I bought a bottle of the non-vintage Brut Rose because I just had to...think bone-dry bubbles with a strawberry bobbing on the top. Excellent. Don't miss this stop if you're in the SLO area.

Claiborne & Churchill

I've already bragged on the 2004 'Alsactian style' dry Gewurztraminer, but they also do a really nice Pinot Noir. The 2002 'Twin Creeks' is aromatic, well balanced and long finishing.

Kynsi Winery

A family of four pitch in, one and all, to make some right nice Pinots, Chardonnay, Syrahs and Pinot Blanc. Plus they use barn owls to control the gophers instead of blowing them up. Gotta love that. My favorite was the 2003 Edna Ranch Syrah--spicy and lean yet powerful.

Bailyana
A bit more oak and butter here than I care for, and a little too forward, but I dug the 2001 'Doceur' Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, which had nice refreshing acidity to keep it from being too rich.


Okay, keep up now...Gary Carmody's next...

Clinkies.

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