WINEormous wine tastingThis time around we got together on a warm summer afternoon at Jim and Judi’s place. They’re the proprietors of Roadrunner Ridge Winery. You know the drill. I bring the wines, everyone else brings a bonus wine and some sustenance. Judi fired up the paella pan. Yum.

First to hit the glass was Dry Creek Vineyard’s 2015 Sauvignon Blanc. Jim called it very lemony on both the nose and palate, beautiful and refreshing. I found it crisp, bursting with pineapple flavors and very food friendly. Laura called it a great summer wine. At $18 the group found it a great value and rated it right around four out of five stars.

We moved on to the 2014 le Rosé de Mouton Cadet. Brian called it “soft, gentle and un-aggressive.” Kat said it was easy sipping. It didn’t wow anyone, scoring just under three stars. Most felt it was fairly priced at around $12.

Next came the Cycles Gladiator 2014 Merlot from California’s Central Coast. Winemaker Adam LaZarre blended in a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. This is the wine with the controversial nude on a bike that was banned in Alabama. At $12, the panel was not impressed.

WINEormous wine tastingThe Joseph Jewell 2012 Appian Way Pinot Noir from Sonoma was our next wine. Laura called it beautiful and full-bodied. Jan said it was very  nice with a great nose and balance. Kim loved the nose and softness, but not the $45 price. I loved the violet color and mouthfeel. Jim called it a keeper. It scored better than four stars.

In 1788 British colonists who committed at least one of 19 crimes were exiled to Australia. We tasted the 2015 19 Crimes Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia. Judi found it well-balanced and loved the $10 price tag. Jim picked up lots of vanilla on the nose and liked the structure. Kat loved it and said it kept growing on her as she kept tasting it.  It averaged just under four stars.

Our last wine of the evening was Refugio Ranch 2013 Petite Sirah from Santa Ynez. Kim said it was the best of the night, noting “lots of layers and intense.” I thought it was a beautiful wine with a magnificent finish. Jim called it excellent. At $25 most tasters thought it was a bargain and awarded it close to four stars.

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 Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701. Ask about special discounts.