|Tensley tasting corner|
|Carina Cellars and Tensley Wines|
This past weekend, we went to Lake Cachuma for one night camping, hiking and inevitably wine tasting in Santa Ynez Valley. We arrived at the campsite, had lunch and headed straight to Grand Ave of Los Olivos. Cute little town with the main street filled with tourists for wine tasting and art gallery.
Lea Chardonnay 2011
The second vintage of Chardonnay Jennifer has made. Her goal was to have "somewhere between a lush, buttery Chardonnay aged in new oak and a lean, crisp Chardonnay done in stainless steel." Indeed, this Chardonnay was definitely somewhere in the middle! This fresh, crisp wine had the creamy mouth feel without being overly oaky (which is what I do not enjoy). Notes of peaches. OOOO
Has smell of minerality. Big bold spice with notes of blackberry. OOOo
|Tensley Tasting list|
|Chicken and Egg|
Overall great experience with great genuine service. It was fun to listen in on what two ladies had to say about the tastings. "Oh this is very subtle." "Oh what bouquet!" nodding their heads in agreement or shaking in unison. Ah. Wine tasting is such a wonderful social event.
What is a wine tasting experience without a visit to the art galleries. We visited one that had the interesting sculptures like a fat male mermaid laying on his side (boobies showing) and chicken and egg (shown here PG-rated).
|Gallery Los Olivos|
We felt inspired and went on to next door Gallery Los Olivos where we found Peggy Fletcher at the reception.We all loved her watercolor and I secretly wanted to steal the Sunflowers in Italy (and the cat!). There were plenty other works that were fun and prices were not entirely out of our budgets. Peggy was friendly, telling us personal stories of artists while we browsed their work. I ended up buying Mr Longhorn for my sister by Linda Mutti.
|Los Olivos Tasting room|
All artsy fartsy, we proceeded to Los Olivos Wine Tasting Room, where we have had an interesting encounter with the man who pours there. It was not a good experience but somehow we felt attracted to the place again. We were about to change our minds.
The same bitter "I was the first one here" man was pouring. This time the room was packed unlike the last time. It did not change his attitude. A couple asked for more pour after the last raspberry regale, he blatantly refused them saying they cannot taste after the sweet explosion. I laughed inside.
Here are the not so generous pours.
|Au Bon Climat|
I have heard and seen plenty from Au Bon Climat but never had any of their wines. Unlike the usually oaky Californian Chardonnay, this had more of the minerality and crisp of a white Burgundy. OOOo
We have had Babcock wines and they have been decent. This was well balanced, acidic and juicy. It got little difficult to keep track with much going on in the little room. I can only say I enjoyed it. OOO
Ken Brown Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2009
We have had Ken Brown Pinot Noir Clos Pepe 2007 and it was so wonderful that I went over budget on two bottles of it. This one though was not as juicy as the Kenneth Crawford and has faint notes of spice. Here is an example of all about terroir. OOo
Orin Swift Saldo Zinfandel 2009
This reminded me of marshmallows! Taste like sundried raisins. Dry end. OOo
This would be my first Monterey although it left no impression for me that I cannot even give it any Os. Sad Day.
Margerum Cent'Anni Buoni Anni Sangiovese 2008
I thought of a nouveau Beaujolais when I tasted this. It had the cake batter quality to it along with blueberries lingering in your mouth. OOo
Saint James Raspberry Regale
Not for the faint hearted and a crowd pleaser for anyone who enjoys their sweets. A little too sweet for me but the raspberry jammy taste is just a wonderful flavor. OOO
Although busy, he chatted with us about Ken Brown and what nots as I took pictures. We asked about the Seasmoke Southing he was pouring, he looked around, said " These two are better", pointing to the Kenneth Crawford and the Ken Brown he had poured, and told us not to pay for the $10 pour. Wow. I like this guy more and more.
|Big butt duck|