When a wine is good. No. When a wine is outstanding. Full-on, stop eating, stop talking, focus all senses on the wine in hand — outstanding. It makes you want to understand where it came from, how it was produced, and — most importantly — who made it. This. This Passagio Wines 2014 Grenache. This is one of those wines. Thank you to Cindy Cosco, owner and winemaker of Passaggio Wines, for sharing this with me. I honestly can’t wait to meet you in person so I can hear (and taste) your story in person and share it with my little wine-loving world. Cheers!
I’m not a huge lover of Sauvignon Blanc. Except when I’m craving it. Then I have to have it. It’s big flamboyant floral aromas and fruity flavors that borderline stink of pineapple. Like a gore-y movie that keeps you squinting and squirming through the whole flick and makes you wonder “Dear God, why, am I watching this???” Because sometimes you just want to watch something awful. And sometimes you really want to drink something stinky. It’s just a fact of human nature. And so, if/when you find yourself craving that stereotypical Sauvignon Blanc stink, I do believe that Rutherford Ranch has found a way to present that in a most palatable way.
For me, Pinot Grigio can be a hard wine to like. It can be so dominantly fruit forward — with its lemons, limes, apples, and honeysuckle — that it’s hard not to consider the typically dry white wine as, well, sickeningly sweet. Conversely, there are those Pinot Grigios that are so subtle, lacking any real mouthfeel whatsoever that, at that point, I may as well just be drinking water. Admittedly, my notion of Luna Vineyard Pinot Grigio fell into one of these two categories. I won’t even tell you which one because it’s a current non-issue now that I’ve tasted the Luna Vineyards 2015 Estate Pinot Grigio. Life with P.G. just got real.
Oh how I love discovering boutique wineries. There’s just something special about the personalities behind them — and I, inevitably, feel a certain camaraderie even if our only communication is through wine.
Odonata is owned and operated by winemaker Dennis Hoey. He has a lifetime worth of experience in the wine industry working with vintners big and small throughout California. In 2005 he started his own label, Odonata, and as of 2014 he’s focused, full time on his boutique winery, located in the Salinas and Santa Cruz area. He is a winemaker who sources his grapes predominantly from the Central Coast region, but is looking forward to planting his own 2 acre estate vineyard this year.
On my last trip through Paso, I stopped by Zenaida Cellars, a winery I had come across when they kindly sent me a few bottles to sample. While their Syrah was outstanding, I truly fell in love with their Fire Sign red blend. But for some reason I held on to their GSM waiting for the opportune moment to pop the cork (or, this this case, twist the cap). And, honestly, I think it’s because of the name. I’m an itchy-twitchy girl who can’t hold still for more than a moment and wanderlust is something that’s truly in my heart. Well, I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m traveling — like, a lot. Admittedly, my recent travels are primarily taking me to various California wine regions, but in so doing I feel like I’m traveling to world as I learn and taste through each grape’s heritage, each winemaker’s journey. And so, now is the time to twist off the cap of Zenaida Cellars 2014 Wanderlust.