Showing posts with label Chamisal Vineyards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chamisal Vineyards. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Chamisal Vineyards Morrito

Some think uncorking a fine wine should be reserved for a special occasion.  I feel every day is a special occasion, but I still found myself holding on to this wine, waiting for a really special reason.  I recently reminisced about a trip to Edna Valley, a visit to Chamisal Vineyards with a group of journalists and the winemaker who gave me this wonderful bottle of wine.

Fintan du Fresne, Chamisal's winemaker, showed our group extraordinary generosity during our visit - not just with his wine, but with his time, too.  He spent nearly an entire day with a dozen or so of us, tromping around in the vineyards with us, drawing tastes from the barrel in the winery, eating lunch with us and hosting a wine tasting at a beach front resort.  And after all that, he hosted a winemaker's dinner for us.  Our group felt quite special at the end of that day.

So, as I reminisced, I decided it was a special enough occasion to justify uncorking that special wine.

Chamisal's Morrito is an Estate Pinot Noir, made with grapes that grow on a small hill - morrito - behind the winery, which produces particularly intense fruit.  Two clones are used, 2A and Archery Summit.  The alcohol content is listed as 14.6% and the wine spends 18 months in French Oak barrels.

Morrito is very dark for Pinot Noir, I can hardly see through it when holding to the light.  It has a very intense nose which simply explodes from the glass.  Black cherry, cola notes and spice are the major players.

The palate shows an earthy tone, which is dominant over a big cherry sensation.  The wine lasted over three nights, and on each night it required quite a bit of time after pouring to settle down, but once it did calm a bit the experience was wonderful.  On that third night, a slight herbaceous taste revealed itself which added to the complexity but did not detract one bit from the explosive fruit on the nose and palate.  If anything, the wine became darker and more brooding over the span of time.  It was a rather thrilling transformation.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Domaine Alfred Chamisal Vineyard Syrah Edna Valley 2004

The Edna Valley wine country near San Luis Obispo has been on my mind a lot recently.  It's a favorite spot of mine in California's Central Coast.  There's plenty of beautiful rolling countryside full of vineyards which produce grapes that are made into some pretty incredible wines.

I don't know if this one is even available anymore.  I had a bottle of it several years ago, when the place was known as Domaine Alfred.  The winery has since reverted to their original name of Chamisal Vineyards.  Even though this wine was produced in the Alfred days, the grapes came from Chamisal's namesake vineyard.  Here are my notes on this memorable Syrah:
"A nose of very dark fruit promises only a bit of what ends up on the palate.  A very earthy, pungent taste made up of dark fruit, leather and spices - and a lot of each.  It comes at you like a Grenache, leading with the earthiness, but a powerful spiciness joins in on the taste buds.  There's quite a lengthy finish, too - one that you wish would never end."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tasting Notes: Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay 2008

The Bottle: A slim Burgundy bottle belies the wine inside. No big, fat, overblown Chardonnay bottle here. This lean, unoaked wine gets a container that's lean, too. Chamisal Vineyards - formerly Domaine Alfred - is in California's Central Coast appellation, near San Luis Obispo and Edna Valley, home to some very fine white wines. The abv on the label states 14.1%. I'm ready for the pure taste of Chardonnay.

The Nose
: Pure fruit, no oak at all. This is a really beautiful smelling wine. Apples seem to dominate for me, but there's a tropical or citrus angle at play, too. The aromas are quite vibrant, giving me the impression the taste will be amazingly fruity.

The Taste
: Apples, then peaches, then a zippy, zesty flavor on the finish give my taste buds an E-ticket ride. The acidity is quite nice; not overwhelming, but definitely able to handle some swordfish or cod. The finish is rather lengthy, and the clean, crisp minerals linger after the fruit has finally faded.