Evening Imbibe …

Earlier today I wrapped the day with a Stone Levitation.  Sometimes you need something with a little rigid backbone to give you some pep, you know?

I returned to the winery to check on fermentations, wind things down, clean up a little and I sipped on an impromptu blend of Cabernet SauvignonSyrah 2008.  Its about a 65-35 blend.  A little oak rich (these were barrel samples), but still quite interesting.

Quick note.  The other night sipped and studied on a random sample of a nice Cabernet from Armida Winery, up north.  And I’ll tell you, I was reminded outright that Temecula is simply not Cab country.  Can we make them?  Sure.  Can they be interesting?  Sure.  But can we capture the depth of fine Cab like they can?  Not consistently, no, and not as a stand alone varietal wine.

On the other hand, something special happens down here with both Syrah and Grenache if they’re farmed and crafted with proper care.  These grapes will be our finest, consistent expressions of excellent red wine.  Count on it.

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5 Responses to Evening Imbibe …

  1. Terry says:

    Wine Brew Band rocks! Can’t wait to see them at MiraMonte again. That was sooo cool.

  2. Robert C says:

    I disagree. We can produce good and interesting cabernet here. Watch the water and stress out the vines a bit (without dessicating the berries). Also extend the post-fermentation maceration to about 20-25 days and really work that cap with punchdowns (4X-6X per day). The flavor and depth of color are remarkable.
    Now do we make the same kind of cabernet that guys up north do? No. Is it consistent? No, a bit of a learning curve, but we are learning fast.

    • Cane says:

      Thanks for the comment, Robert. Unless I’ve missed something here … it actually sounds like you and I essentially agree: Cabernet offers good and interesting possibilities for us, but it is not and probably will never be the defining grape of the appellation.

      I’ll go a step further and say that almost any side-by-side tasting of well-made Temecula Cab and well-made Napa cab will reveal this. The differences are palpable.

      I don’t view this as a negative, though. I was simply making a random comment about grapes that seem to be (in my opinion) less naturally suited to the general southern California climate. You could say the same of any number of varieties.

      I also believe that Temecula is beginning to craft its own unique identity with the Rhones and other varieties (some Italian, Spanish, perhaps Portuguese), and that the proper establishment of the area as a premium appellation will be found in these varieties.

      Your thoughts?

  3. Robert C says:

    We are a Rhone and Italian variety suited region for sure, at least in the valley. I am intrigued about some varieties grown over near De Luz and that area where it might be a little bit cooler. I am suprised that Avocado growers have not begun to switch to grapes, not only for the water savings but those rocky hillsides would favor some interesting reds and perhaps some whites for sure. Hart’s Volcanic Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon has some wondeerful structure, and great aroma and flavor and a good example of some possiblities that I might try next year.

  4. Debbie says:


    I’ve been to Miramonte Winery several times now and wanted to discuss some ideas. I don’t twitter, facebook, etc. (I’m oldschool but not old). My family and I met you the other night and fell in love with your dog who ate all our turkey sausage (you’re such a great guy you gave us a bottle of your wine that we love to make up for the turkey sausage!). I love good food with good wine and had some ideas to run by you…would like to talk off-line however.

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