Robert Renzoni

Laura and I spent Saturday afternoon doing what we love best – visiting wineries and tasting wine. Our friend Trasier Schuyler from Taste of Temecula was pouring at Gershon Bachus Vintners, so we decided to pay him a visit. We had met owners Ken and Christina on our first visit last year and we remembered enjoying their wines very much. GBV is one of three Temecula Valley wineries with a sit down tasting room, the other two being Briar Rose and Thornton.

We tasted two whites and three reds. First up was the Villa Vino White Duet, a 50/50 blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp and clean, it was a great way to start. Following that was the Four Four Two, a 40% Pinot Grigio, 40% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Viognier blend. This wine was a bit more complex and was one we wound up taking home. Moving on to the reds we started with the Villa Vino Rosso, a Super Tuscan 50/50 blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. The Zephyrus Zinfandel was next, with a wonderful nose and solid finish. He saved the best for last. The Aquilo 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from Napa Valley grapes. This is a solid, classic Cab and well worth the $65 price tag. I’m going to visit with Ken and Christina when we return from vacation and do a more extensive story about their winery.

The second stop I’m sorry to say was a flop. We first visited Leoness Cellars last year. We went on a weekday afternoon and had a great time. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable and took time to tell us about their different wines. When we left we had become members of their wine club. On a few subsequent visits I found I was either unable to park or if I did find a spot I wound up in a sea of people trying to reach the tasting bar. Recently they opened their barrel room for members only, which is where we went. Again, we were in a big crowd of people. The iron chairs make a hideous noise when they are dragged across the concrete floor. I don’t think our server could have acted less interested if she tried. The Cinsault was tasty as were a few other wines, but that’s one wine club membership I won’t hesitate to cancel.

Fortunately for us there were better things waiting down the road. Masia de Yabar is one of the most recent additions to the Temecula Valley. The setting is spectacular near the end of De Portola Road. Live Flamenco music filled the air as we relaxed in the outdoor patio and tasted their excellent wines. The 2007 Malbec comes from Argentina and is a great example of the varietal. We also enjoyed the Viognier, Tempranillo, Zinfandel and Monastrell. Look for a more in depth story on this newcomer as well.

We finished our tasting at Robert Renzoni Vineyards. Robert was not around when we stopped by the tasting room, but we were greeted warmly and enjoyed our tasting thoroughly. The Barile Chardonnay has a nice oakiness to it, but is very soft. The La Rosa Sangiovese Rose is perfect for a Summer day. One of my favorites if the Super Tuscan Fiore di Fano. Also noteworthy was the Concerto, a Zinfandel, Syrah and Merlot blend. I’ll be visiting with Robert when we return home and look forward to sharing his story with you. We leave Thursday for Cancun. I doubt we’ll hit any wineries, but I hope to share some photos and stories with you.