Showing posts with label Kris Curran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kris Curran. Show all posts

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Curran Grenache Blanc

In Southern California, there is an embarrassment of riches where wine is concerned.   Beautiful wine country, vineyards and rustic wineries are never very far away, in any direction.  Living just a two-and-a-half hour drive away from the Santa Ynez Valley north of Santa Barbara has helped me fall in love with the wines of this region over and over again.

Winemaker Kris Curran is half of the D’Alfonso-Curran label.  Bruno D’Alfonso makes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, while Curran makes her own wines of several European varieties.

The team makes wine near Lompoc and the tasting room is in Solvang, but the grapes for Curran’s Grenache Blanc are sourced from the warm eastern side of the Santa Ynez Valley.  The grapes were whole cluster pressed, giving the wine an amazing herbal quality.  The alcohol content is a hefty 14.1%, and the bottle cost $19 at a Manhattan Beach wine store.

The Curran Grenache Blanc is a pale golden color in the glass.  It has a most interesting and aromatic nose, showing the smell of apricot and melon covered with an herbal component, like fresh snap peas or cauliflower.  There is also some wet hay in the bouquet.  More than a hint of alcohol sneaks into the aromas at first, but that diminishes over time.

Full and rather oily in the mouth, the palate displays peach and apricot flavors which are met with a sense of almond paste and a hint of straw.  Minerals are clearly present, while a tropical guava note persists into the lengthy finish.  I love the way the almost-creamy mouthfeel gives way to a strident acidity on the finish.  Malolactic fermentation was inhibited during the creation of this wine, making its fullness somewhat a s
urprise.  It’s rather like a magic trick, a rewarding one.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Curran Grenache Blanc

People have different reasons to explain their particular attraction to one restaurant or another.  A special dish or a favorite waiter might bring you back to a certain restaurant repeatedly.  As you might guess, I find myself returning over and over to eateries which have nice wine lists.  Akasha, in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City, is one of those places.

The wines on their blackboard have pleased me each time I've had one, and they feature quite a few wines of California's Central Coast, particularly the Santa Barbara area.

Lunchtime fish tacos - sea bass instead of the usual mahi mahi - fit perfectly with a wine from the Santa Ynez Valley, the Curran Grenache Blanc 2009, from winemaker Kris Curran.

Showing a lovely golden-yellow hue in the glass, the Curran's nose is accented by cantaloupe and flowers, with some wet rocks to show the minerals.  It tastes a bit of those minerals, too, but offers mainly a tropical guava flavor.  The acidity doesn't seem to be too strong until the finish, where it really kicks in.  The wine has very good weight and a full mouthfeel.  Despite the minerality, the mid-palate is smooth and almost creamy feeling.

That smooth nature plays very well with the somewhat picante guacamole which topped the fish.  The acidity shows up right when you need it, at the end.