One of the great joys of my life in wine is that people actually send me wine! And then I get to assess it and write about it. Things being what they are these days, I'm a little behind in my reviews, so here we go:
Al Scheid first saw potential in Monterey County in 1972 when the wine region was in its infancy. What started as a grape growing operation that sold 100% of its production to other wineries evolved into a family business that makes wines under several labels, including Scheid Vineyards, Sunny with a Chance of Flowers, District 7, Ryder Estate, Metz Road, VDR, and Stokes’ Ghost. They also produce many regionally distributed brands for specific clients and distributors.
With estate vineyards located along a 70-mile spread of the Salinas Valley, many of which you can see as you drive north from Paso Robles along the 101, the array of microclimates and soils helps create a diverse range of wines.
Because I love Rosé wines, I opened the 2020 Ryder Estate Pinot Noir Rosé first. I served it at approximately 60 degrees rather than chilling it down, as I believe you get a better sense of the wine. Lots of berries on the nose - more strawberry than cherry or raspberry. Light-bodied, low-ish abv of 13%, made for a pleasant and refreshing quaff. Not necessarily a fan of Pinot Rosé, but I wouldn't turn this one down, if offered. At $15 retail, it's a good value.
I really enjoy Sauvignon Blanc, especially from Bordeaux, but I'm an equal opportunity SB drinker, so I'll try all of them! The 2020 Scheid Vineyards Estate Sauv Blanc from the Monterey AVA is an all-stainless, cold-pressed delight, especially at the $22 price point. A tasty example of a Central Coast SB, it's got the grassiness I like, without the cat pee. Delicious.
I hesitated to try the 2019 District 7 Estate Chardonnay, only because I'm kinda picky about Chard. But I do like Chards from Monterey County, so... This wine was cold-fermented in stainless, then 25% of the wine was aged with new French oak, adding some attractive aromatics as well as vanilla and butterscotch flavors. On the nose, lots of fruit - apples and pears and a bit of citrus - so there's no mistaking it's a New World wine. Good mouthfeel and a tangy finish made this wine a surprisingly happy experience. At $18 retail, it's a great entry level Chard, especially for those who want a balanced wine without too much oak or butter.
Check out the winery website: https://www.scheidfamilywines.com/ and enjoy!
More reviews coming soon. And...the Goddess of Wine will be resuming in-person classes in July! Stay tuned! Cheers!
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