Sunday, August 8, 2010


Lone Madrone

I have sampled the wines of Lone Madrone at several tasting events around Southern California, but have never had the pleasure of a visit to their tasting room.  The Paso Robles AVA currently sports over 200 wineries - 219, according to the Lone Madrone tasting room - so I hope you’ll excuse me for not having stopped in yet.  My friends Anthony and Meri did stop in on a recent visit to Paso, and they brought me a wealth of information I thought I would pass along to you.  They found the wines as mesmerizing as I did, and I think I can safely say they appreciated my recommendation.

Neil Collins is the winemaker for Lone Madrone, and he has been making wines in the area for about 20 years.  He came up with the unusual name after seeing a single Madrone tree on a hilltop overlooking the York Mountain Vineyard.

The current tasting room has been open since 2006 and features not only their wines, but many artisinal items from local artists and points farther away, like Columbia and Africa.  Wood furniture, glass,  jewelry and clay pottery compete with the wines for a visitor’s attention.  It’s said to be a great place for a picnic, too.

The tasting room menu I was given is graced with a quote from Mark Twain:
“There are no standards of taste in wine, cigars, poetry, prose, etc.  Each man’s own taste is the standard, and a majority vote cannot decide for him or in any slightest degree affect the supremacy of his own standard.”

Here are the wines that were being poured at the Lone Madrone tasting room the day my friends were there:

La Mezcla 2008 - This white blend is Grenache Blanc and Albarino.  There are plenty of tropical notes on the nose and the palate.  I have tasted this one, and their recommendation of pairing with oysters, clams or ceviche is completely justified.

Points West White 2007 - A golden color, a honeydew bouquet and minerals aplenty make this Roussanne a delight.

Rosé 2009 - The notes say the nose is lush with strawberries, cranberries and cherries.

The Will 2007 - Cherry and cassis on the nose lead to a full mouthfeel.  This dark and inky blend of Grenache Noir, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel has a full complement of tannins to work with.  They say it will stain your teeth.  I say you won’t care.

Old Hat 2006 - Zinfandel and Petite Sirah meet in this battle royal, and they both win.  Spice, vanilla and tobacco on the nose, with fruit and spice on the palate.

Barfandel 2007 - This was not on the menu that day, but they poured it anyway, then packaged a bottle that my friends took home.  Zin, Petite Sirah and Barbera combine here for a complex nose they say features candy apple, blackberry, strawberry, white pepper, cardamom and smoke.  They advise you enjoy it with anything grilled or glazed.

The Lone Madrone tasting costs $10 and includes the Riedel glass.

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