Peltzer’s wines are to taste as Peltzer Winery is to its ambiance: relaxed and casual. The Sangiovese is a fairly straightforward, easy-to-enjoy wine.
Palumbo Winery’s 2015 Cabernet Franc has a wonderful bouquet of flavors. Black cherry, blackberry, and cranberry are at the forefront, along with black pepper, nutmeg, and cedar (the latter two coming from oak barrel aging).
Callaway took a big risk creating a wild yeast wine. In my opinion, it’s even more of a risk since Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most recognizable varietals on the market, making any faults especially visible. In this case, that gamble paid off in spades.
Campfire smoke, toffee, and a blend of starchy banana and cranberry show up front. Blackberry, coffee, and tobacco elements follow. The wine has undertones of earth and wet leaves — likely from bottle aging — as well as nutmeg, vanilla, and goat cheese from the yeast and oak respectively.
About an hour after opening, black cherry, plum, and raisin lead. As the wine breathes, toffee flavors show. Grassy or leafy notes along with fennel and black pepper add complexity, along with cedar wood and earth.
The oak flavors on this wine stands out the most. Charcoal, tobacco, peat smoke, clove, and cedar hit first, followed by hints of vanilla. A layer of tart red cherry and plum add complexity.
This is an outstanding representation of a “Right Bank” Bordeaux.
It’s worth noting the quality of 2016 Sangiovese. It lacks some of the spiciness and oakiness you’ll commonly find in wines from that varietal, but I consider that a positive. The fruit doesn’t need to hide behind these secondary flavors, something indicative of the grapes being picked by hand as opposed to machine-harvested. The result is a pleasant, easy drinking experience which appeals to most palates.
One quality which makes this specific wine truly unique is it comes from the oldest commercially planted grapevines in the Temecula Valley, planted in 1968.
Monte de Oro is a Temecula winery which makes impressive reds — if not only for the quality, because all of their wines use estate grown grapes. In other words, the Monte de Oro winemaking team oversees the entire process from bud to bottle.