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Orange Coast Winery

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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