Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wining around SLO County...Day 1

A quick jaunt up the coast on a rainy weekend made for discoveries and adventures.

JD & I had a free night coming to us thru Best Western, but needed to use it before year end, so off we went, after setting up another few nights at cousins Sara and Bill's in Los Osos. Left Burbank early Thursday, stopped at Paula's Pancake House in Solvang, as always, for a hearty breakfast, and got to Morro Bay around 1 p.m. Checked into the San Marcos Inn, unpacked and headed further up Rte. 1 to that little piece of heaven on earth, Cambria.

Our first stop - as always - the Cambria Wine Shop. Proprietor and long-time friend, Dennis Zadell, behind the counter. Greetings all around and then some wine:

2007 Sacred Hill Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand. Bright and crisp with layers of gooseberry and sweet tart. And just the faintest whiff of cat pee. A nice way to start the afternoon.

2007 Vie de Romans Piere Sauvignon. It's a wine made for American audiences, tasting like an old Mondavi Fumé Blanc. Not to my taste.

2009 Mary Elke Chardonnay, Russian River/Anderson Valley. Pretty, elegant, creamy, full malolactic. Very drinkable.

2007 Cargasacchi Pinot Noir. Tart cherry, food friendly. Peter does it again. $28 and we bought 2 bottles.

2007 Andrieux & Fils, Gigondas - Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre. Lovely, light for a Rhone. Dennis says, "Throw a stone anywhere in the Rhone and you'll hit Gigondas." And spend less money. Wonderful. Bought 2 bottles.

2007 Frank Family Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. Dennis really likes Frank Family and so do we. Big, fruity, Cali Cab, well-balanced and food-friendly. We took 2 half bottles.

2006 Showket Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa. Heidi Barrett wasn't making the wine at this point, but she was the vineyard manager. Wonderful wine.

2008 Pierre Sparr Late Harvest Pinot Blanc. Dessert wine. My notes say "nice". And it was.

Shadow Canyon Late Harvest Pinot Blanc, Paso Robles. Very intense, not too sweet, with hazelnut throughout. Dennis paired it with a Saint-André cheese. Ooh.

1998 Rivesaltes Ambré Grenache Blanc. Dessert wine. Similar to Banyuls. Nutty, carmelized, burnt almond. Oh my.

During the tasting we found out that Dennis has finally sold the business - to our favorite Cambria restauranteur, David Stoothoff! The transition should be seamless, as Dennis and staff are staying in place for the time being. We look forward - with anticipation and sadness - as the change takes place. This will enable Dennis to 'retire' - not that he's sitting around eating bonbons!. And David will be able to enhance the dining experience at Madeline's with a bit more room. I think it's a win/win.

After buying our wines, we took a short break and drove over to Moonstone Beach Drive with hopes of watching the sunset from the deck of the Moonstone Beach Bar & Grill. Unfortunately, the MBB&G wasn't open, and there wasn't any sun, as the predicted winter storm was moving in fast. So back we went to Madeline's for a wonderful meal, which we paired with a bottle of the Gigondas. JD enjoyed his Pheasant-stuff Cannelloni (right) big-time!

Sated, we returned to Morro Bay for an 'early-to-bed' evening, as we had a full day ahead of us. Day 2 to follow. Cheers!

1 comment:

Eve said...

Learned Cambria Wine Shop has wines from all over - cool. Thanks Goddess! But, we do miss you here at home!