An exciting conclusion to my Lindeman’s Australian wine series is the Lindeman’s Bin 85 Pinot Grigio. While their Chardonnay offered a classic take on the varietal, the Cabernet Sauvignon a markedly New World expression, it’s the Pinot Grigio that — to my palate — is just 100% Australian.
It is with a heavy heart that I say farewell to Three Arches Winery — a boutique, mom & pop-style operation run by a group of retired friends here in the South Bay Area. I first met Steve and Rose during a local wine walk. My partner in wine crime and I fell in love so hard with their wines, we became club members on the spot. Through the years they’ve given us not just great wine, but a sense of family as well. So them closing shop is like bidding adieu to the awesome aunt and uncle I never had.
What this crew had was a true Silicon Valley start up. The crew started making wine in a three-car garage just a few years back as a kind of hobby. Through hard work, solid friendships, and a passion for wine, Three Arches was able to expand to warehouse winemaking — still rustic, still homey, still filled with love. A visit to a Three Arches open house and wine pickup always meant a bear-hug from Steve, a kiss from Rose, and a wine glass in hand to taste the latest releases or re-live some old ones. I always left an event feeling invigorated about my choice to follow a wine-based career path — just look how happy and social it makes us!
You would think that the land of startups would do its best to support small business, but living (somewhat begrudgingly) in the area, I’ve found that is not the case. And, unfortunately, the “need” for more townhouses seems to supersede the (actual) need for this winery to stay in business.
Now I will digress with my anger at the issue and get to my point. All wine must go! So, support small, support local, support my wine family. (Damn the man!) All Three Arches wine is 30% off.
Although there’s the rare Sonoma-sighting, most of Three Arches wines come from the Santa Cruz Mountains — so you’re in for a real punch of flavor even with the lighter varietals. They have a minimalistic winemaking approach that means each bottle celebrates the fruit. A few of my personal recommendations:
More Info: Like I said, they’re a small lot, so if you have any questions feel free to ask me. Of course, to purchase this amazing wine please visit the Three Arches website.
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What I love — what I really love about boutique wineries is that “single vineyard” is (often) a norm. And, I don’t want to be a wine snob or anything, but I’ve had the opportunity to taste the difference between an “appellation series,” a “vineyard series,” and “single vineyard series” as it pertains to the same winery and same varietal. And I have to say, the attention to detail given to the single vineyard series — whether from a major player or an up-and-comer — is astronomical. So you can imagine that when a small-lot winery, like Lombardi wines, stakes its whole business on two varietals (PN and Chard) that those vineyards are going to be quality sources and that the winemaker is going to take the utmost care to respect the fruit during production. So then it becomes — what I really love about boutique wineries is the quality of wine.
A delivery from Lindeman’s magically appeared on my doorstep one day. Not complaining — a gift of wine will never be turned down by me. I’d never heard of the name so had no expectations as to the value or quality of the wine.
Although I’m not usually a fan of the screw cap, I will say that it’s actually kind of great when one finds herself traveling quite a bit. No worries about forgetting to pack a corkscrew. So it was during my travels that I found myself enjoying my first bottle of Lindeman’s Bin 65 Chardonnay.
I came across Barton Family Wines during my most recent Paso Robles visit. It’s absolutely one of my top recommended wine stops when visiting the area. Winemaker and proprietor, Joe Barton, took me through a full line up of his current releases (including those in his Grey and Grey Wolf line). I loved that his Chenin Blanc had actual body and substance; appreciated that his rosé still had a bit of tannic red wine quality; and was impressed by his confidence to bottle a single-varietal (face-puckering) Tannat. But what truly turned me on, the wine I walked away with, was the Barton Family Wines Hot Blooded — a single-varietal bottling of 100% Counoise.