I recently had the pleasure of attending a delicious virtual tasting of Temecula Valley Wines! This Southeast AVA of California is a very large area with 33,000 acres of land, 47 wineries, and 80 growers. This is a direct to consumer region meaning that the wines sold are mainly from the wineries directly to your door, and at their wineries and tasting rooms. Occasionally you’ll find these wines out and about, but the main production is sold direct to consumer.
This beautiful area is twenty two miles from the ocean with mountain landscapes and has a cooler maritime influence which is great for the grapes. This fantastic tasting consisted of five wineries and was lead by the awesome Brianne Cohen who explained, “The grapes love warmth but also like to be cooled down, which is why this area is ideal for growing”.
We began with the Carter Estate Blanc de Blanc which is a blend of 3 Chardonnay clones to compound the flavors and produce a rich, true, charismatic chardonnay. Made in the champagne style, but from California, this sparkling wine was an ideal way to begin the tasting. It has great yeast notes from resting on the lees for four years, and the nose and palate are filled with pear, almond, and lemon curd. It’s a 2016 vintage and at around $35 it’s a steal!
We then tried the Albariño which was sensational! Full of ripe citrus and tropical fruit this one was “sunshine in a glass” and exhibited what I absolutely love about Californian wines… fruit! Miramonte Winery is all about wine and has great granite sandy soils for growing Spanish and Rhone style grape varietals. Lots of tropical and stone fruit are in this wine, and because of its coastal proximity you get touches of some salinity in this wine. This wine is ideal with seafood, and should be on your must haves for summer sipping! $40
One of my other favorite wines of the lineup was the South Coast Winery Grenache Noir Rosé which was full of bright strawberry, red berries, and lots of fruit. This winery like many of the wineries in this area has great accommodations and a spa, so it’s ideal for travel. This wine is a fruit bomb with elegance and bright body that’s so addicting you’ll want the whole bottle for yourself! This rosé is just ideal for everyone those who love sweet wines and those that love dry wines, because it’s a dry wine but drinks fruity so it’s great for every palate. At $22 a bottle this wine is way to good not to get a case!
We then moved to the bold and beautiful red from Akash Winery and tasted their 2019 Cabernet. This wine has great balance and at $75 makes a great gift for the California wine lover. It has a lot of concentrated fruit, which I loved and nice acidity to balance it all out. This winery is known for the amazing views and exquisite wines and is an ideal place to visit also if you’re looking to do a Temecula trip. I know myself, and I have always wanted to visit the area, so these wineries will for sure be on my bucket list!
Last but not least we finished with a port style wine by Fazeli Cellars which was super cool. I love seeing wineries come out with unique styles of wine and this one is aged 36 months in barrel and perfect for after dinner. The 2015 Rumi is made from Cinsault which is also super cool and unlike anything I have had before. It’s sweet, delightful, and balanced with spice and body. $60
If you’re seeking some wines to add to your collection, you should absolutely consider Temecula Valley. These wines are outstanding and the producers are all passionate and care about what they plant, what they serve, and how they make an impact.
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