This past Thursday at The Wine Company in Temecula, twenty fortunate souls had the opportunity to visit with John Ogden from Sonoma County’s Olson Ogden Wines.  John brought five of his wines along, two Pinot Noirs and three Syrahs all from the 2007 vintage, and shared the Olson Ogden philosophy of winemaking with us while we sampled his fares. John started the winery with good friend Tim Olson in 2002. Tim is the winemaker and John handles publicity. They source all their fruit and have no tasting room, but if you call ahead, you may be invited for a barrel tasting. He told us that their focus is on food friendly wines with good acidity. The first was the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. While it seemed lacking in fruit to my palate, several others at our table found it extremely good. Ed Mahieu who teaches wine classes Wednesday evenings at The Wine Company loved it, saying it made him feel as if he were in Beaune, France. The second Pinot, the Russian River Valley, was much more to my liking, with a lovely nose, lots of fruit and a lingering finish.

John Ogden

There were grapes, crackers and baked brie provided by The Wine Company and they accompanied the wine selection perfectly, particularly the Syrahs which we tasted next. First up was the Sonoma-Napa Syrah, deep in color and smoky-spicy on the palate. The Unti Vineyard Syrah was darker yet. John told us each vintage seems to get progressively darker. Whereas most juice runs clear and picks up color from time on the skin, the Unti he said is dark almost from the start. This was a wine to savor. Our final selection was the Stagecoach Vineyard Syrah and it didn’t disappoint. Again deep and dark in color, this wine featured pepper and berries and finished beautifully.

There’s a lot going on at The Wine Company. If you haven’t paid them a visit yet, make you plan a stop there. 29073 Overland Drive Ste. A, Temecula, CA 92591 – (951) 308-1150

Tom & Laura Plant (photo by Patti Fagan)