Tale of Two Wines…

It was the best of wines, it was the worst of wines…

I recently had the opportunity to taste a couple of wines that really made this quote pop into my head.  I literally tasted the first wine, we really impressed for a $15 wine, and then was hammered back down to earth by the second.

I decided to try two wines from the same winery:  San Simeon Chardonnay 2002 and Maddalena Vinyard Syrah Rose 2005 from the Riboli Family Wine Estates

First, a little G2 on these wines.  From their website:

The seaside town of San Simeon, located in San Luis Obispo County, embodies the image of California’s majestic coast: rocky shorelines, morning fog, sunny afternoons, and ocean breezes. In fact, the coast creates the ideal climate for superior grapegrowing. California’s Central Coast appellation is composed of three counties: Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. The Central Coast is the most rapidly growing premium wine region in California.

The Riboli Family farms estate vineyards in Monterey in order to insure the ultimate level of grape quality. The Loma Vista Vineyard, located in the prestigious Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey, embodies our family’s commitment to estate grown wines. Named for its spectacular view of the Santa Lucia Foothills, this vineyard site was chosen for its well-drained, alluvial soils and cool, coastal microclimate.

and on the Maddalena Syrah Rose:

 Founded in the late 1970’s, Maddalena Vineyard is a pioneer of California’s Central Coast appellation, which includes Monterey, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara Counties. At that time, the Central Coast was relatively unproven in its ability to produce world-class wines. Today, however, the coast is the most rapidly growing premium wine region in California.

Quality begins in the vineyards. The Riboli family farms estate vineyards in Monterey in order to insure the ultimate level of grape quality. Long-term partner-growers also strive to achieve the same level of strict control. This dedication to quality continues in the cellar, where fourth-generation winemaker Anthony Ribolii and Associate winemaker Arnaud Debons employ traditional techniques to create a flavorful style with ripe fruit and soft tannins. All vineyard lots are fermented separately to preserve the individual flavors or terroir of each parcel of land. After fermentation, wines are aged in new and used oak barrels from numerous French and American coopers. Careful blending creates the greatest degree of complexity and insures consistency of style from vintage to vintage.

Now to the best part – the wines. 

The best of times…

I had no idea what to expect.  Kelly and I decided to open both and try them sans food.  Both retail under $15 dollars which already was a plus.  I hadn’t had a Chardonnay from San Simeon that I really enjoyed before so I was a bit curious.  We went there first.  The nose is great – flowers, and kind of a mandarin orange smell.  It had a nice, straw yellow color to it.  When this Chard hit my mouth I was in total shock – in a good way.  It was a very nice medium body Chardonnay with a wonderful nutty, sort of almond flavor.  Given its cooler climate origins its not surprising that it had a nice departure from the Napa cousins and had far less buttery sweetness and more cool clean finish to it.  I truly loved this wine.  Kelly really liked it but wasn’t quite as enthusiastic – she enjoys the Napa butter Chards so that too isn’t surprising.  I don’t really rate wines per say but given how much I like this one and the price, I have to give it a big thumbs up…

The worst of times…

Having been pleasantly surprised by the first wine, we quickly moved on the the second – the Maddalena Syrah Rose.  The nose was a strong cherry/strawberry sweet smell…which worried me a bit.  I had enjoyed a few excellent Pinot Roses at David Bruce not long ago and they were not nearly as sweet smelling – “but thats not Syrah”, I convinced myself.

Then I tasted it.  I was very disappointed to be perfectly honest.  “Aburpt” came to mind.  Thin body with almost a cough syrup taste to it.  What a disappointment.  The Chardonnay was so promising!

Anyway, I will definitely try the Chard again and definitely not try the Rose again.

Until next time, Enjoy the Wine Life!

Author: Joel Vincent

Growth Hacker and wine lover

One thought on “Tale of Two Wines…”

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