The passion both men possess is evident the moment you hear them speak. Their lives revolve around wine and they try to buy and sell wine “as much as humanly possible.” They believe Champagne is “ubiquitous” during the holidays and always have a bottle on their dinner table from Thanksgiving to Christmas. They served us non-vintage Brut Grand Cru Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs. This 100% Grand Cru is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and is elegant and delicious. At $40 it’s priced well below what you’d expect to pay for a Champagne of this pedigree. Oddly enough with dozens of trips to France between them, neither has visited the Champagne region. Tristen assured us he plans to make that happen in the coming year.
Beaujolais is almost a given at the holidays and Kyle and Tristen offered us a classic. The 2014 Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais is unmistakable on the nose, a classic Beaujolais. It comes from 90 – 100-year-old vines from a very small estate. Produced using carbonic maceration and a native yeast fermentation. I can’t think of many things this wine wouldn’t pair with. $12.98. They recommend pouring a couple of bottles into a pitcher.
From Tuscany they presented the 2012 Ruffino Modus Toscana, a Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot blend. A classic “Super Tuscan”, This is a wine they’ll readily recommend to those who will inevitably come in looking for a gift for a friend who loves Italian wine. At less than $25, they call it the perfect holiday gift wine. It’s great with a grilled steak. Open it and let it breathe for an hour or so or decant it.
They opened a real treasure, a 2005 Laurel Glen Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. Considered one of the premiere Cabernet producers in Sonoma, the winery was recently purchased and the new owners discovered a cache of vintage wines. Perfectly stored and straight from the winery, it rivals many Napa Cabs at a price that’s right in line with current vintages. At $74.98, grab a bottle before they vanish.
We ended with the 2014 Vietti Moscato d’Asti Cascinetta. The nose is intoxicating and the wine dances on the palate with flavors of honey and citrus flowers. It’s a lovely dessert wine for $12.98.
Just minutes away in Tustin is Union Market. I’m a huge advocate for locally owned businesses and Union Market is the textbook definition. I’ll tell you all about my unforgettable visit there in the very near future.
Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701. Ask about special discounts.