Monday, May 16, 2011


Lone Madrone

Several years ago at the Ojai Wine Festival I tasted a white blend by Paso Robles producer Lone Madrone that I fell in love with.  It's called La Mezcla.  The notes of bananas and tropical fruit on the nose, the citrus and minerals on the palate and the zesty acidity made this mix of Grenache Blanc and Albariño an instant favorite of mine.

Lone Madrone's owner and winemaker Neil Collins may be known to you as the Tablas Creek winemaker.  Lone Madrone is his personal label.

As long as I was in Paso, I figured I'd better stop in to the tasting room and see what else Collins had to offer.

Lone Madrone's Points West White 2008 has a funky nose and fabulous acidity.  A full-feeling wine, it's a blend of Roussanne, Viognier and Picpoul Blanc which displays pears, peaches and a sense of wet rocks on the palate.  The '07 Sweet Cheeks is an amazing wine. the grapes are handled in Vin de Paille style, where they are set out on straw in the biodynamic vineyard for a few days after harvest.  It has a beautiful, full mouthfeel bursting with apricot nectar.

A dry rosé, the 2010 Zin Blanco is all Zinfandel, showing earthy strawberries for summer.  The'09 La Mexcla Roja is great for warm weather, too.  It's a bright red wine with a slight effervescence and plenty of earthy minerals.  Serve this blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Counoise, Nebbiolo and Zinfandel chilled.

Points West Red 2007 is made of Syrah and Mourvèdre.  It has a briar-laced strawberry nose and big red fruit on the palate with a touch of vanilla spice.  Barfandel is not a new grape - or a stomach disorder - it's Lone Madrone's blend of Barbera and Zinfandel.  White pepper in the bouquet is joined by spicy, brambly red fruit on tha palate.

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