Wang Chung is back, and they're coming to Mount Palomar Winery! You can see them live Thursday, October 1st starting at 6pm. Tickets are available online - http://bit.ly/wangchungticket There's even a special offer for wine club members!
Every winery, restaurant, grocery store and gift shop that sell white wines all seem to stock the same ones: Chardonnay, Moscato, Sauvignon Blanc – they pop up everywhere, and with good reason. Every white wine drinker has a favorite type that they can enjoy in almost any decent brand, but finding something new or unusual can seem almost impossible unless you know where to look. The white wine standards may be delicious, but because they’re so easy to find, they’re also easy to get sick of, even if it's a wine you really love. If you’re also looking for something new and interesting to drink, stop by our tasting room and try any (or all!) of these three wines:
This is a distinctly white wine made from a red grape. Blanc de Noir (white from dark) wines usually have a slight pink color, and this wine is no exception. Delicate is the best word to describe this softly scented wine, a sniff will give you subtle hints of citrus, pear and apple blossom. This wine is dry and slightly crisp with tastes of lemon, quince, and rosehip.
Best food matches: White fish, and light chicken dishes (no heavy sauces, and too much garlic would destroy it!)
You can buy this wine online here.
Viognier wines are a little easier to find than Cinsaut Blanc, but still don’t show up as often as Chardonnay. It’s a perfumy wine with deep floral scents of lily and violets, complemented by fresh pear. With a soft feel in the mouth the flavors include hints of peach, Pippin apple and lychee with a slight lemon bite on the finish.
Best food matches: White sauces, poultry, pork, and stronger flavored seafood.
You can buy this wine online here.
We’re very proud of our Cortese, in part because we introduced this fine Italian variety to California in 1991. Cortese, grown mainly in the province of Piemonte in Northwest Italy, is often considered Italy's premiere traditional white variety. The name “Cortese” means courteous, because the grapes develop a soft, gentle quality when allowed to fully ripen. We chose to age this wine in somewhat older barrels for a brief period to achieve richness in character without overwhelming the delicate flavor of the grape with oakiness. The 2013 vintage shows a good array of aroma including kiwi, ripe green apple, apricot, and candied fruit with a creamy mouth feel and finish. Our Cortese has won awards every year, including "Best of Show" and "Best of Class" awards at major wine competitions.
Best food matches: Seafood pastas, grilled fish, any kind of citrus chicken and sweet baked brie.
You can buy this wine online here.
If you'd like to join our wine club and get 20% off of these wines, plus access to exclusive wines, complimentary tastings, and our annual appreciation dinner, sign up online here or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up for our email list, and we'll send you one recipe for each of the wines featured above. Click here to join our mailing list.
Mount Palomar Winery has a wine club, in case you didn't know, and one of the perks of the club is receiving a shipment of discounted wine every other month for as long as you're a member. Members can have the wine shipped to their homes, or come and pick them up - we have a fantastic pick up party during shipment months for members to come by and have a good time, but they can pick up their wines whenever it's convenient. This month on the 4th and the 11th we had our annual Wine Club appreciation dinner and the pick up party for club members. Here are the wines those members received:
Riesling - The 2013 Riesling is well balanced, medium sweet and is a small scale ultra premium production of this type of wine. The fruit was allowed to ripen to perfection and emphasize floral and tropical character. The nose is bright with soft scents of jasmine and papaya. Tropical tastes of lychee, papaya and star fruit compliment apricot, peach and honey. Serve chilled with soft cheeses, fresh fruit, Asian cuisine, white fish and poultry.
Sangiovese Rose - Our Sangiovese Rose is fragrant with scents of melon, strawberry and hints of rose. This is an ‘off dry’ wine so it is finished with a hint of sweetness that is balances and plays well with the natural acid level making. It is smooth and approachable. With a velvety mouth feel it has tastes of rose, tangerine, apple, and buttered pear. Pair this wine with seafood, pork and poultry and soft cheeses.
2010 Charbono - Charbono came to California in the 1800s while Savoie was part of the Italian Kingdom of Piedmont and today this challenging vine is rarely found in the state. This unusual varietal has rich floral scents of daisy and jasmine complimented by plum. It has a smooth velvety feel in the mouth with tastes of dark fruit, cassis and hints of boysen berry. The wine pairs well with poultry and pork, but is just as pleasant enjoyed by itself. Aged for 32 months in American and French oak barrels.
2010 Quartet - The 2010 Quartet is a Rhone Style blend using our estate grown Rhone varietals. Quartet is fragrant with earthy scents of leather, cherry, violets and licorice. The flavors are complex with peppery tastes of plum, cherry mint, tobacco, and rose hip. This is a medium bodied red wine that pairs well with beef, lamb and spicy BBQ.
Our new Sweet Wine Club is so new that it launched after this shipment went out - the next wine club shipments will be the first one to include the sweets!
If you are not a wine club member, you can still buy these wines through our online store. If you'd like to buy these wines at the discounted member price, you can join the wine club online or buy calling (951) 676-5047 ext. 12, and you'll be signed up for the next set of wine club wines.
Mount Palomar Winery in Temecula is happy to announce our newest addition to our wine club – our sweet wines. Now when you join as a Villa or Estate club member, you can choose from a bi-monthly delivery of red, white, or sweet wines. The sweet wine club membership includes our Riesling, Port, Sherry, and dessert wines, with a surprise selection sent to you every other month. Satisfy your sweet tooth and sign up online here, or call (951) 676-5047 ext. 12
“No wine differs so much from all others, and the differences are not merely of taste or colour, of scent or sparkle, but of kind … it is not a variant, but a primary...There is Sherry, and there are all other wines.” -Rupert Croft-Cooke, Sherry.
Sherry is one of those wines that is just incredibly underappreciated. It has a reputation as a Grandma drink, and it's what writers use to make a character seem stuff or pompous - just look at Frasier, and Mr. Banks from Mary Poppins. This is an incredible shame, because the most important thing about sherry is that it's delicious. It's sweet, but not too heavy, perfect heated and drizzled on ice cream (just ask Martha Stewart!) or added to coffee, and it makes a fantastic little treat anytime you're just too tired to bake. It's like drinking an alcoholic caramel, and it's heaven, Mount Palomar's cream sherry especially.
Since 1978 Mount Palomar has produced handcrafted sherry wines in our outdoor aging solera. It's made from Palomino grapes, and aged at least five years in the golden California sun until it's sweet, smooth, and tastes like hazelnuts and caramel. It's perfect with shortbread cookies, roasted almonds, baklava, or just on it's own.
You can get this classic, delicious sherry through our online store or in person at our winery, Mount Palomar Winery
33820 Rancho California Road, Temecula, Ca. Don't forget that wine club members get a discount on all wine purchases - you can join online or over the phone at (951) 676-5047 ext. 12
‘Corked Wine’ is spoiled wine which has been tainted by microbial infected cork. The various microbes that may infect cork create chemical compounds that cause unpleasant aromas and off flavors in wine. The Spoilage is not harmful to one’s health however the taint is detectable at very low levels and can cause great disappointment.
Many of us have seen some movie where someone is dining in a fine restaurant and a bottle of wine is presented to the patron who smells the cork before the wine may be poured. One can easily determine if the wine has been tainted by a sniff of the cork. In my experience most of our guests are unfamiliar with what is meant by ‘Corked Wine’ though most have experienced it unaware of the actual problem. ‘Corked’ is more of a blanket term for any spoilage caused by the natural cork, and various foul compounds which can be associated with various contaminating microbes. One compound in particular stands out as perhaps the greatest offender, Trichloroanisole better known as TCA. It is often characterized as odors that are musty, moldy, dirty or of wet dog. TCA has such a pungent, distinctive and powerful scent that once one has smelled it this scent will not be easily forgotten. TCA is produced when some amount of chlorine in the environment is metabolized by a microbe. The wine may have been tainted by TCA anywhere during production however the natural cork is usually the source of the problem. Natural cork is the standard for premium wines, but unfortunately we can expect a small percentage of these natural closures to carry a TCA infection even in the highest quality cork. The cork industry strives to reduce taint problems in their product however advancements are slow and difficult considering cork is a natural product that is harvested from the bark of an oak tree. A few cork companies have recently begun to use machinery that is able to sense and remove tainted cork during the processing stage. These technologies are very expensive and new. No doubt time will reduce cost and improve the technology as well as increase the availability. In the mean time a few things to keep in mind: screw caps and synthetic cork are TCA free though they tend to be used for wine of a lower price point. Natural cork still prevails in the premium wine industry for various reasons, so if you find your favorite wine is corked consider exchanging it for a good bottle. Most establishments appreciate your business and take pride in their wine so they would rather replace the tainted bottle to keep you happy, provided the purchase was recent and the policy is not abused.
For Mount Palomar the month of May is a perfect time to bottle White Riesling after an extended slow cold fermentation that increases the wine’s fruit elements. Professionally as a winemaker I must maintain an appreciation for all types of wine. However I have very distinct memories of enjoying Riesling wines as a younger man and these wines continue to be particularly dear to me. The varietal is well known for its’ characteristic floral elements and often have tastes of stone fruit. Americans tend to think of Riesling only as sweet wines. These medium sweet wines are wonderful; however there remains a much larger world of Rieslings to explore.
Fact: DNA finger printing show that Riesling is closely related to Chardonnay. They are sibling hybrids.
Riesling is well associated with Germany and thus is assumed to be the place of origin, but in reality no one really knows where the grape originated. The vine is prone to bunch rot and can be particularly difficult to cultivate in areas with frequent summer rains so it may have originated in a dry climate similar to California. The grape tends to have high acid levels that make it a good choice to produce as a sweet wine. When the wine is produced without residual sugar these same elevated acids also make a dry wine taste drier. The clusters are small making harvesting tedious, however the small berry size increases the intensity of flavors and aromas. The vine can require more attention than other varieties, but the wine is worth the extra effort.
Medium Sweet Riesling: This is the most popular style in the United States. Generally the residual sugar is between two and four percent. This wine is not intended for extended aging and is best consumed less than four years old.
Dessert Riesling: These are super sweet and would include ice wines, late harvest, and botrytis wine. These wines are harvested or treated in a way that raises the sugar content. They are often allowed extended aging. The flavor components are very intense.
Dry Riesling: These wines have very little or no residual sugar. This class of Riesling can vary from light and crisp similar in style to a Pinot Grigio to big and full like a well oaked Chardonnay with a distinct Riesling character.
As the weather gets warmer and the summer heats up, Riesling is a refreshing wine choice. Visit us at Mount Palomar Winery and compare our “Riesling” at 3% residual sugar and our neutral barrel aged “Dry Riesling” at 0% residual sugar.
It is April and it is a wonderful time in Temecula Wine Country. The skunks are no longer in full rut and the threat of crop damaging cold weather has passed. We are in for another early harvest and I predict it will begin the first week of August based on the timing of this year’s grape bloom. The downside of the current climatic conditions of California is yet another year of severe drought. The upside is perhaps the potential for better wine grapes. Size does matter and it is not just what you do with it that counts…. For wine production we want small! Smaller crops with smaller grapes mean a greater concentration of flavors and better wine. It takes some stressing of the vine to achieve such a crop and the drought is lending us a hand. Vinifera wine grapes are durable and an appropriate crop for California as they are a less thirsty crop plant.
With the warming of the weather we have released the 2013 Sangiovese Rosé. For those of you that may not be in the know, rosé wines are the new black. We are at the beginning of a Rosé Renaissance. Though these wines have been popular before and had fallen out of vogue, the market and the public’s tastes have matured to value something other than White Zin. The wine industry is seeing a surge of high quality and sophisticated rosé wines entering the market. Please forget about ‘White Zin’; for the true lovers of rosé wines this term has become fighting words. In the past the wine market had become inundated with mediocre Rosés made from Zinfandel, giving rosés in general a bad-wrap and much of the public soured on the idea of any type of rosé…. Open your eyes and enjoy this reawakening of this noble class of wines. These wines are truly beautiful in their broad array hues and flavor tones. They range from bone dry to tangy sweet, with great acid balance and prominent fruit elements. They are wonderful to drink throughout the year, but are most appreciated during the hottest times of the year. Rosés are created from red grapes that have been fermented as a white and are essentially more of a white wine than red. Their color depends on the amount of contact of juice with the grape skin before fermentation begins. For a ‘Blanc de Noir’ skin contact may be a matter of minutes while other rosé styles may require hours of contact with the skin. These wines are intended to be enjoyed when they are young to display the strongest fruit elements, but like as is true with certain white wines, some rosés can actually be aged to some degree.
Our Rosé Wines
Sangiovese Rosé: Mount Palomar Winery introduced Sangiovese to Temecula Valley and now Sangiovese accounts for our largest plantings in the vineyard. Today amazingly we have seven different clones planted in our vineyards. It seems only appropriate that we make an extraordinary rosé from Sangiovese. Our styling has a hint of sweetness brightened by natural acid with a prominent display of strawberry and melon essences. The fuchsia color is gorgeous. Recently it was awarded “Best Medium Dry Rose” at the San Diego Fair.
Cinsuat Blush: With a wonderful hue of bashful, this is our pink sensation. Off dry sweetness is balanced against tart citrus flavors.
Cinsaut Blanc de Noir: With a slight pink ting this wine is styled truly like a dry white wine. It is light, crisp and elegant. This wine is thirst quenching on the hottest day and great with white fish.