Monday, September 27, 2010

UNEXPECTED GRAPES FROM UNEXPECTED PLACES: SAN LUIS OBISPO


San Luis Obispo

The celebration of California Wine Month, "Unexpected Grapes From Unexpected Places," was a Southern California tasting event designed to shed some light on grapes and wine regions in the Golden State that typically don't get a fair shake.  San Luis Obispo County may not be as well known as Napa or Sonoma, but to those of us who have experienced their wares, SLO wine is not a well-kept secret.

The reds of Paso Robles and the whites of Edna Valley are favorites of mine, but the wealth of wine in the San Luis Obispo area goes further than that.  Santa Margarita, Cambria, Arroyo Grande and Avila Beach all have a lot to offer a wine lover.  The area is particularly beautiful, too.

Becky Gray, Executive Director of the SLO Vintners Association, poured the wines at the SLO table for me.  Here are my tasting notes:

Tolosa Viognier 2009 - very rich nose, melon rind and citrus dominate flavors - tons of minerals, as expected from Edna Valley (Edna Ranch Vineyard)

Ancient Peaks Sauvignon Blanc 2009
 - Paso Robles fruit - grassy nose, fresh lemon taste, good acidity

Tangent Albariño 2009 - tropical nose, nuts and orange peel on the palate, lots of minerals (Edna Valley Paragon Vineyard)

Claiborne and Churchill Vintners Gewürztraminer 2007 - dry Alsatian style - tropical and grapefruit on nose and palate, good acidity

Zocker Wines Grüner Veltliner 2009 - (Paragon Vineyard) - minerals apparent, hint of pepper

Salisbury Vineyards Syrah 2007 - (Avila Vineyard) big, rich cherry and blueberry nose with a fruity, peppery taste

Tolosa "Salaal" - 90% Syrah, 10% Viognier fermented together - (Edna Ranch) - big berries and pepper, great finish

Trenza Tinto 2008 - Grenache and Mourvèdre from Paso Robles, Syrah from Edna Valley and Tempranillo from Arroyo Grande Valley - lovely floral aspect with blueberries and lots of earth

Tomorrow I'll take a look at Temecula's table.