Friday, May 18, 2012

Table For Three At 3Twenty South Wine Lounge


The radio business has some nice euphemisms for being out of work. That’s probably because being out of work is a more-or-less natural state in radio. “Between gigs,” “on the beach,” “away from the mic” - nice, presentable ways of saying you’re jobless. I have been considered fortunate through my radio career to have stayed employed fairly consistently and for durations much longer than typical radio jobs usually last. My last gig was 22 years. My next one is - hopefully - just around the corner. After so long in a career which sometimes saw me working when others were playing, I now get to play while others are working. I stopped into 3Twenty South Wine Lounge in the mid-afternoon a while back after running some errands on La Brea. I wasn’t looking to prop myself up at the bar, I just wanted to pop in and say “hi” to my friend Edgar Poureshagh, the owner and sommelier. As luck would have it, another friend was there, too. Jamie Edlin, of Hollywood and Wine, was seated at a table in the otherwise empty restaurant. Her company represents and services “a select portfolio of boutique, artisan wineries,” and she was obviously ready to pour a few samples for Edgar to taste. They were both very kind to insist I join them. Jamie was pouring Pinot Noir from two Monterey County wineries, Chesebro Wines and Cima Collina. Chesebro Wines - in Carmel Valley - is a small, family-owned outfit which produces around 2,000 cases per year. They own vineyards in Monterey County. The Chesebro Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir 2009 utilizes a blend of grapes from two vineyards, Cedar Lane and Mission Ranch, in the Arroyo Seco AVA. The sandy, low vigor soil and cool, foggy mornings make for good Pinot-growing conditions. Big acidity is immediately noticed, and welcomed. The wine is very dark in color and taste - with black cherry, clove and dark spices coming forth. Cima Collina produces artisan wines which are unfined and unfiltered. The vineyards of the two wines tasted are on opposite sides of the Salinas Valley. The 2007 Pinot Noir, Lucia Highlands Vineyard, is rather oaky with cherries and plums in the forefront. The alcohol is restrained at 13.8% abv. Cima Collina's Pinot Noir, Chula Vina Vineyard 2007 hails from the northeastern side of the Salinas Valley in the foothills. The granitic soil is well drained and somewhat protected from the windy conditions in the area. Dried plum leads the way in this fascinating, very easy drinker. A big, full-bodied feel in the mouth and the fruit-forward attitude makes for a good example of California Pinot. The alcohol edges up to 14% abv.