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November 2020

Zinfandel 2017

Baking Spices - Jammy Black Fruits - Dried Cherries
Composition: 75.2% Zinfandel, 24.8% Cabernet Sauvignon [14.9% ABV]

As quick as it left, the Zinfandel is back! As you can see we brought you not one, but TWO of this favored varietal. The OCW Red Label Zinfandel is the punchy, funky, attention - grabbing Zin you never knew you needed. This wine boasts a hearty and juicy palate of black berries, black currants, dried sweet cherries, and a perfect hit of holiday spice! Unique to some Zinfandels you may have experienced, you will find a pleasant earthiness that lends those dark fruity notes a beautiful depth of flavor, perfect for your upcoming holiday spreads. Topped off with a peppery - dry finish, this wine truly holds something for everyone.

 

Cabernet Sauvignon MV 2017

Tart Cherry - Earl Grey - Pomegranate
Composition: 86.4% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.6% Malbec [14.3% ABV]

To quote Etta James, “at last, my love has come along.” This wonderful White Label Cabernet Sauvignon, may not be the hearty, dense Cabernet you expect, but it is the smooth, fruity, comforting Cabernet you need. A surprising and welcome tart cherry and bright red fruit note greets you before melting into a subtle hint of pomegranate and Earl Grey. We use Earl Grey here to describe the flavor as well as the smooth and subtle tannins. Earl Grey carries a lovely note of bergamot, which perfectly matches the dark orange, slightly dry finish this Cabernet provides. Overall, this wine can be described as easy drinking, perfect to not overwhelm a pairing, and a more subtle take on a classic California Cab.

 

Malbec Reserve 2017

Maple - Mixed Berries - Dark Chocolate
Composition: 97.4% Malbec, 2.6% Cabernet Sauvignon [12.8% ABV]

If you are looking for a fruit - bomb, ultra flavorful, statement piece wine, then look no further than the 2017 Malbec Reserve. Gorgeous, full notes of black berries, dark cherries, and black currants, give way to flavors of rich dark chocolate and a hint of maple. This Malbec is not only full in flavor, but also in body, making it a true stunner for a cozy night in. With medium - high tannins, you can be sure the rich fruitiness will not over power your palate with a sickly sweetness, but will instead cascade into a woodsy - dry finish, making each sip a satisfying and balanced delight.

Editor’s note: My mouth was watering throughout the entire process of remembering and describing this wine. 

 

Zinfandel MV 2017

Red Cherry - Cranberry - Coffee
Composition: 100% Zinfandel [14.9% ABV]

The White Label Zinfandel has never disappointed, and it won’t start now! Our wines from Montfort Vineyards seem to hold a special place in our hearts and mouths, as even the staff was vying for another bottle after our initial tasting. This clean and balanced Zinfandel, provides a nice contrast to our OCW Red Label Zin. Subtle notes of bright red cherry, cranberries, and raspberries are met with a warm coffee undertone that brings it all together in a complex treat for the palate. This fruity Zin carries a light - medium body, and a finish that lasts longer than your bottle might!

 

Merlot 2017 Montfort Vineyard - Bottle: $80

Cedar - Black Currant - Plum Skin
Composition: 100% Merlot; ABV: 15%

Our newest White Label is a welcome and different addition to the OCW wine collection. The 2017 Merlot takes a step back from our signature bold fruit - forward style, and instead carries a light-bodied earthiness and subtle fruity notes. Specifically, we find a pleasant woodsy Cedar quality in the finish that is preceded by a rush of ripe Black Currant and touch of Plum Skin!  Those looking for a particularly dry finish should look no further than this grippy number.

Fun fact! The word “Merlot,” roughly translates to, “little black bird.” Some think this originates from the appearance of the wine itself, while others say the varietal  attracted pesky black birds hoping to snatch the grapes up for their next meal.

One of the many wonderful things about Merlot is its ability to adapt to a wide variety of cuisines including meaty-tomato pastas, sun-dried tomato, roast turkey, beef short rib, hearty roasted veggie dishes, pizza, and anything in between that isn’t too delicate or spicy! Merlot is actually a sibling of Cabernet Sauvignon, meaning it appeals to most anyone, and blends beautifully.

Merlot has not always had a perfect public image however! In the early nineties, specifically in California, Merlot had a brief track record of being less than desirable due to a drop in quality of the grapes and wines being created. They were often far too soft and sickly sweet. The infamous mention of Merlot in the movie, “Sideways”, also brought down the wine's image as a whole for some years after. Luckily California has got its act together since then, and there are a variety of excellent Merlots to enjoy nowadays.

For us at Orange Coast Winery, we are delighted to release this excellent Merlot and contribute to its steady rise back to the top of the wine world!  Plus, a little black bird told us you would love it.  ;-)


October 2020

Petite Sirah 2017 - Bottle: $60

Blackberry - Black Currant - Bramble
Composition: 100% Petite Sirah; ABV 14.3%

Petite Sirah is a dark, thick skinned grape that is both rich in flavor and texture. Until the early 1960’s, it was one of the most popular grape varieties planted in California! Due to it’s very thick skin, most Petite Sirahs you’ll find will be heavy on the tannins, and will carry a robust and varying palate of blackberries, pepper, bramble, blueberry, chocolate and spice.

A very fun fact for you; during Prohibition, the Mob, bootleggers, and home brewers alike would create “wine bricks,” which were highly condensed and concentrated bricks of wine grapes. These bricks would be sold to anyone jonesing for some home-made wine. Petite Sirah in particular was a popular grape to use, due to it’s thick skin being ideal for transport and retaining a great amount of flavor. We personally do not sell bricks of wine, but now I’m thinking we should look into that since we are all stuck at home! ;-)

Our 2017 Petite Sirah is exceptionally smooth with medium tannins despite it’s heavily tannic reputation. It does however boast the signature notes of blackberry, black currant, and bramble.

You might be asking, what is bramble, and what does it have to do with my wine? Bramble is a wild, prickly blackberry bush, and in this case we use this unique note to describe the Petite Sirah’s blackberry flavor incorporated with a peppery and slightly woody undertone.

Petite Sirah is a perfect wine to pair with rich meats, curries, and exotic spices! Overall this wine boasts OCW’s signature fruity style with a perfectly velvety finish.


September 2020

Big Wave 2017 - Bottle: $85

Blackberry - Oak - Vanilla - Black Cherry
Composition: 42.18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38.85% Merlot,
14.18% Cabernet Franc, 4.33% Malbec  [14.1% ABV]

This big and bold red blend truly lives up to its name! Prepare for a “Big Wave,” of aroma, flavor and body! Our 2017 blend consists of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, making this a Meritage blend for the ages. A Red Meritage is a blend of two or more of the red "noble" Bordeaux varieties. Boasting a full aroma and palate of blackberry, vanilla, black cherry, oak, and blueberry, this wine is perfect for those who enjoy a complex and hearty red. With a medium body and pleasant tannins that are not too dry, but not too subtle, this wine is balanced and provides a lovely layered journey from its jammy start to its lengthy finish.The gorgeous array of varietals used in this blend are hand picked at the peak of perfection from our vineyards in Lodi & Temecula Valley California. 

This wine could easily be enjoyed on it’s own, or paired with our Red Butte Hatch Chili Cheese and Calabrese Salami. We would also recommend a Calabrese style pasta or a classic Puttanesca! Anything with a robust tangy tomato sauce, a  little spice, and some form of sausage or pancetta would be perfect! Would you like us to show you how to create one of these recipes? Let us know!


August 2020

Ruby Wave "Port" NV - 375ml Bottle: $29

Black Currant - Cranberry - Dates - Brown Sugar
Composition: 76% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 8% Grenache,
4% Syrah, and less then 1% each Primitivo, Cabernet Sauvignon, 
Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir
and Tempranillo [ABV 18%]

Ruby Wave is a luxurious port style wine, fortified with brandy, and absolutely bursting with flavor. You may be asking, what is the difference between “Port,” and “port style wine.” The answer is very simple, our wine is California grown, and in order to be called a true Port, it would need to come from Portugal! It is similar to the specification between “Champagne,” and “Sparkling Wine.” They may be the same thing, but regions matter, and the wine is therefore labeled accordingly.

Now onto the wine! Don’t be fooled by the tiny bottle, this “port,” packs a punch of both aroma and flavor. As a dessert wine, the expectation for sweetness is met, but it is so much more than a sugary fix! Rich notes of black currant, cranberry, dates, and brown sugar come together for a truly sumptuous tasting experience. It is the perfect after dinner wine, and it’s already  delicious composition is only amplified by the addition of pairings such as dark chocolate, candied nuts, and sweet fruity compotes. At 18% ABV, it is ideal to sip and savor this long-awaited OCW favorite.


July 2020

Chardonnay 2019 - Bottle: $35 / Glass: $10

Lemon Peel -  Melon - Grassy
Composition: 100% Chardonnay [12.6% ABV]

 

Dry Rosé 2019 - Bottle: $33 / Glass: $10

Nectarine - Strawberry Cream - Elderflower
Composition: 84.0% Zinfandel, 16.0% Barbera [12% ABV]


June 2020

Endless Wave Pink 2019 - Bottle: $30 / Glass: $10

Ripe Strawberry - Pink Grapefruit - Lemon
Composition: 60.9 Zinfandel, 18.9 Chardonnay, 11.6 Barbera,
7.7% Malbec, .9% Cabernet Sauvignon [12.0% ABV]

This beautiful Rosé Blend is a culmination of all sorts of varietals from several different vineyards. You might be surprised to know that most of those varietals are in fact red grapes! In case you didn’t catch this little tidbit in our livestream last Saturday, rosé is typically made using the “skin contact method.” Dark-skinned grapes are crushed and the skins are allowed to remain in contact with the juice for a short period, anywhere between two to twenty hours. The pink juice that is removed is then fermented separately, in the same way you might ferment white wine, to produce rosé. The longer those skins sit, the darker the rosé becomes, which is why there is such a variance in color from one style to the next. You might notice French style rosé typically favors a lighter, dryer, more crisp palate, that often carries a very light salmon-pinkish hue. On the other hand you might see rosé from wineries in Temecula take on a much darker shade of pinkish-red, while boasting a denser, sweeter and fruitier palate. With our Endless Wave Pink, we clearly went the fruity route. That beautiful deep pink color gives a subtle hint as to what lies in store for that first sip. To call it summer in a bottle is far too cliché, so we won’t say that, but with those sweet notes of watermelon and tangy pink grapefruit it’s difficult to not picture yourself basking in the summer sun by the pool, the beach or on a picnic. Can you guess what varietals were used in the making of Endless Wave Pink? Hint: there’s A LOT of them. 

 

Primitivo MV 2017 - Bottle: $70 / Glass: $15

Blackberry - Cloves - Cacao (Dark Chocolate)
Composition: 83.9% Primitivo, 16.1% Zinfandel  [13.8% ABV]

Our staff REALLY lights up anytime there’s a new Primitivo in town. Something about those ripe fruits and silky tannins always seem to be the perfect storm that keeps us shaking the last bit out of the bottle. Primitivo is interesting in a great many ways. For instance, it’s been a great debate for years: Primitivo and Zinfandel, are they the same grape? A short answer might be yes, to most wine enthusiasts, but let’s dig a little deeper.  “Primitivo,” hails from Italy, carrying it’s Italian namesake while “Zinfandel,” is considered distinctly Californian. Both varietals are clones of the rare indigenous Croatian varietal, Tribidrag also known as Crljenak Kaštelanski. (Don’t hurt yourself trying to pronounce it, I sprained my tongue.) It is truly no wonder the grapes’ name was changed later down the road. While the grape originated in Croatia, its high yields and love of a warm, temperate climate made it a prime grape to grow in nearby Italy. Hence the name, "Primitivo,” meaning, “primitive,” due to the fact that the grapes ripen earlier than other varietals. Primitivo wines are usually characterized as rich and concentrated with good structure. Lighter variations tend to lean towards having floral and fruity aromas with notes of pepper and blackberry on the palate. Sound familiar? After making a name for itself in Italy, it then journeyed to the United States via the Imperial Nursery in Vienna, Austria and eventually took on the name "Zinfandel". Surprisingly, the vines were planted on the east coast of the US initially, but quickly made their home in warm, sunny, temperate California. California Zinfandels are typically characterized by robust berry fruit flavors with notable hints of anise and pepper as well. So is Zinfandel just Primitivo repackaged? Even some scientists working with Primitivo and Zinfandel have found difficulty coming to a consensus. But we know this: Primitivo and Zinfandel are very similar genetically, making them sort of twins if not at least cousins. Can you find the differences between Zinfandel and Primitivo? You might just have to buy one of each and compare.  ;-)

Sources: Wine Folly, Gold Medal Wine Club, Wine Searcher, David Simenson


May 2020

Viognier 2019 - Bottle: $32 / Glass: $10

Pear - Apple - Lemon Zest
Composition: 94% Viognier, 6% Pinot Grigio [11.5% ABV]

Our Viognier has light and crisp notes of Pear, Apple, and Lemon Zest, with a delightfully floral nose. Although it has made the Rhône Valley its home, the exact origins of the Viognier grape are unknown.

Our Viognier comes from Temecula Valley where our winemakers did an excellent job at harvesting this notoriously finicky grape. Viognier is often compared to Chardonnay due to its similar texture and floral notes, but sets itself apart with tangier, zestier flavors. As with most wines, the flavor profile and texture depend on the region in which it is grown and the production method.

A big question for winemakers is whether or not to “oak” Viognier. When aged in an oak barrel, the wine is lent a creamier, and you guessed it, oakier taste, more closely resembling Chardonnay. Aging in stainless steel, however, will be brighter, crisper, and quite floral. As with all of our white wine at OCW, we choose to use stainless steel.

Viognier is a typically dry and full-bodied white wine, though we would place ours between medium and full. Crazy enough, we should be thankful this beautiful varietal is still around! The wine almost went extinct in recent years, before being revived and adopted by wine growers around the world.

 

Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles 2017 - Bottle: $65 / Glass: $12

Blackberry - Damson Plum - Wet Stone
Composition: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon [ABV 13.5%]

Our Paso Cab boasts flavors of Blackberry, Damson Plum, and Wet Stone. (Yes we will explain)

Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted grape in the world. It’s no surprise as it seems to be everyone’s favorite and a winemaker’s best friend. The flavors and notes will vary from region to region, but Cab consistently comes out on top as the perfect solo varietal as well as a great base for red blends. 

Mineral or minerality are terms commonly used in the tasting notes of both red and white wines. “Wet Stone,” is just a slightly more specific description. It’s a term that can be hard to describe, but is often intended to convey a kind of clean, almost hard-edged, acidity that’s associated with the scent of rocky substances like slate, flint, graphite or chalk. This may not sound like a flavor that would make your mouth water, but trust us, this doesn’t mean our wine tastes like a mouthful of rocks. It’s more of a tannic texture, with a finish of subtle mineral undertone. 

As for the other tasting notes, Blackberry is a common note in many red wines. It falls in what we call the “Dark Fruit,” category, including plum, blueberries and black currant. There is also a “Red Fruit,” category that describes wines with notes of cranberry, cherry, strawberry, and raspberry. Just in case you’re not familiar with Damson Plum, it has a sweet yellow flesh and a somewhat bitter purple skin. We feel this accurately describes the balance of fruit and bite in this particular Cab. 

Overall, this 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon stands out against our other reds, trading in our signature jammy style for that special Paso Robles fruity and earthy profile. Definitely give this beauty a try. It’s already a fast favorite among our staff, and we hope you love it too!

Sources: Theglobeandmail.com, Winefolly.com,
Decanter.com, carolgracejohson.wordpress.com